Productivity Tip: Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts

I’m on a keyboard productivity kick at the moment. Having been through the time-saving keyboard shortcuts in Google Tasks yesterday, I thought I’d take a look at the ones that I use in Gmail. I’m only going to cover the shortcuts that I use every day. It’s actually possible to do nearly everything in Gmail without touching the mouse, though you’d need to remember a very long list of shortcuts to do so, and personally I find it hard to remember shortcuts for tasks I do less frequently.

Before you get started with keyboard shortcuts in Gmail, you need to make sure that you’ve enabled them. Go to your “Settings” page (available through the link top-right), hit the button next to “Keyboard shortcuts on” and then click “Save Changes.”

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Once shortcuts are enabled, you’ll see a little cursor to the left of the current message in your inbox.

  • c: Compose new message.
  • k: Moves the cursor to a newer conversation.
  • j: Moves the cursor to an older conversation.
  • n: Moves the cursor to the next message in conversation view.
  • p: Moves the cursor to the previous message in conversation view.
  • x: Selects the current conversation (ready for archiving, marking as spam, etc.).
  • e: Archives selected conversations.
  • !: Marks current conversation as spam.
  • Enter: Opens the current conversation.
  • r: Reply.
  • a: Reply all.
  • g then i: Goes to the Inbox (easy to remember as “Go Inbox”).
  • g then a: Goes to “All mail.”
  • g then k: Opens Tasks and switches the focus to it (unfortunately not g then t — that opens Sent Mail!)

These are just a small subset of all the keyboard shortcuts available, but they really help speed my Gmail usage. If you want to totally get to grips with all of Gmail’s available keyboard shortcuts, Twitter CEO Evan Williams put together this nice printable cheatsheet.

Do you use keyboard shortcuts in Gmail?

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