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33 Gmail Shortcuts That Will Make You More Productive

Attention Gmail users: You are spending way too much time in your inbox (and way too little time using Gmail shortcuts).

The average office worker spends 2.6 hours each day reading and answering emails.

Yikes.

That’s one-fourth of the workday spend catching up on communication.

Luckily, there are easy ways to cut this time down. By setting up Gmail shortcuts, you can increase your email efficiency by keeping your hands on the keyboard.

We’ve compiled the best tips and tricks to minimize your time scrolling and clicking in email to optimize your time for selling.

The team at Guidebook saves 175 hours/month with this Gmail plug-in.

How to turn on Gmail shortcuts in a snap

First thing’s first: Follow these steps to get your Gmail keyboard shortcuts up and running in less than 60 seconds.

gmail shortcuts

  1. Click on the settings icon Settings (above the inbox on the right side)
  2. Select settingsgmail-shortcuts-settings
  3. Turn Keyboard settings ongmail-shortcuts-3
  4.  Don’t forget to click Save Changes at the bottom of the page:
    gmail-shortcuts-4Got it? Good. Now that your Gmail keyboard shortcuts are on, let’s get started.

Gmail shortcuts that help you move faster

These Gmail keyboard shortcuts are so easy, you’ll be wondering where they’ve been your whole life. No more wasting your precious time with multiple clicks.gmail-shortcuts-5

Tight on time? Here’s a PDF Cheat Sheet to reference as you go.

1. Folder search

Whether you’re in your inbox, sent mail, drafts or another folder, just type a forward slash (“/“) to move your cursor to the search bar.

2. Zoom in 

Zoom in with total ease. PC users: ctrl+. Mac users: ⌘ +.

3. Zoom out

Take a step back. PC users: ctrl. Mac users: .

How to mark emails in seconds, without a mouse

Keep your hands on the keyboard. These Gmail shortcuts allow you to ditch the mouse and bounce from one action to the next faster.

gmail-shortcuts-6

4. Mark email as important

Reading through an email you want to earmark for later? Just enter x.

5. Mark as unread

Looking through an email you want to flag as unread to re-read later? Just enter shift + u.

6. Spam? No thanks.

Receive something less than desirable? Press ! to report it.

7. To select all mail

By pressing then a, you’ll select all mail in your inbox.

8. Deselecting all mail

Didn’t mean to do that? No problem. Deselect by pressing then n.

Gmail shortcuts that decrease read and response time

Tired of scrolling and searching for that one specific email? Learn how to go through your inbox (and email threads) effortlessly to cut down on your timing.

gmail-shortcuts-7

9. Quickly navigate forward and backward to other messages

Press j and to go to previous or more recent emails (respectively) in your inbox.
Note: if you’re in Conversation view, then use n and (n to go forward, p to go back) to read through each of the emails in a thread.

10. Start a reply without touching your mouse or touchpad

Replying made simple. Just hit r.

11. Trigger reply-all in a beat

Need to quickly weigh in with your input on a group email thread? Here’s your gmail shortcut: a.

12. How to forward (without really trying)

Just hit f. That’s all. 🙌

13. Move a conversation to the trash

Need to do a little cleaning? In conversation view, pressing # will move the conversation to the trash.

Start saving the messaging you find yourself re-writing over and over as a template right within Gmail.

How to use shortcuts to write and edit faster

Composing an email has never been so simple. These tricks will help you craft that perfect email, format it, and add recipients.

gmail-shortcuts-8

14. Start an email within the Gmail tab you’re already in

Forget about taking the time to maneuver your mouse over to “compose.” Instead, just type c.

15. Start an email in a new tab

If you want to keep your inbox view and start a new email to toggle to and from: d.

16. Start an email in a new window

Say you want to write an email in a smaller window on top of your inbox. No problem: shiftd.

17. Add CC recipients

Adding a colleague? For PC users: ctrlshift c. Mac users: ⌘ shiftc.

18. Add hidden recipients

Secrets, secrets are no fun. Unless you’re adding a Bcc. PC users: ctrl shift b. Mac users: shiftb.

19. Select text

This one’s helpful for the next few Gmail keyboard shortcuts below. To highlight words or phrases, first use the up, down, left, and right buttons to bring your cursor to the beginning or end of the text you want to highlight. Then, it’s shift▶ to highlight forward or shift + to highlight backwards. If you want to move faster than one character at a time, you can also use shift + ▲/▼ to highlight entire lines of text at a time.

20. Copy/paste

A refresher here for most — For PC users: ctrlto copy; ctrl + v to paste. Mac users: ⌘ c and ⌘ + v. Copy or paste the wrong piece of text? ⌘/ctrl + to undo.

21. Adding a hyperlink to an email

First, double click the word or highlight the phrase that you want to hyperlink (or use the select text shortcut above). Then — PC users: select ctrl + k; Mac users: ⌘ + k. This will trigger an option that allows you to insert your hyperlink (think ⌘ to paste the URL and enter to insert it).

22. Edit the size of your font

Highlight the text that you want to alter, and then enter ⌘ + shift and then enter either to increase the font size or  to decrease it. (PC users: enter control instead of ).

23. Change the formatting of your text

You can quickly bold (⌘ + b), italicize (⌘ + i), or underline (⌘ + u) your text without clicking anywhere. PC users: enter ctrl in place of .

24. Adjust the alignment of your email copy

If you’re on a PC, use ctrl + shift + l to left align, ctrl + shift + e to center align, or ctrl + shift + r to right align. Mac users, enter  instead of ctrl.

25. Send your email in a snap

Double check that everything looks perfect then hit tab then enter, and your email is off!

This Gmail plug-in saves you even more time than shortcuts.

Shortcuts that navigate your main Gmail window

Need to transport from window to window? These combination codes are the Gmail shortcuts that you need.

gmail-shortcuts-9

26. Look through your contacts

The combination then c will send you to your contact list.

27. Revisit a saved draft 

Say you wanted to go back to that draft you stashed away. Pressing g then d will bring you to your saved drafts.

28. Return to main view inbox

Pressing g then will display your inbox.

29. Search for an email according to label

The combination g then will set you up in the search bar to find emails according to their labels.

30. Checking out something you’ve already sent

A simple g then t will bring you to your sent mail folder.

The fun part — Gchat shortcuts

BONUS! Brighten up any conversation with these Gmail shortcuts for Gchat. Things are about to get much more colorful!

gmail-shortcuts-10

31. Change the color of your chat 

If you want to splash some color into your Gchat window with a friend or colleague, enter /bikeshed into the chat box.

bikeshed

32. Add a background picture for your chat

This one requires a Konami cheat code:  + + + + + + + + b + a + Enter.

gmail-shortcuts_konami-code-gchat

33. Send a pony

Nothing brights up a day like a prancing pony. Send one off across your Gchat with /ponies.

ponies-gchat_gmail-shortcuts


Be sure to check out our Cheat Sheet for quick reference!

What are your favorite Gmail shortcuts? Let us know on Twitter: @Yesware.