I remember one of my undergrad classmates who could respond to 50 emails in about 30 seconds. I have to admit I was jealous of his mad skills. Now, I want to learn the shortcuts myself.

The first step is turning on the keyboard shortcuts within Gmail. Go to settings on the top right, and press “Gmail shortcuts on”. Without this, none of the shortcuts will work.

learning gmail shortcuts

Next, I decided to focus on only a few Gmail shortcuts at a time. I started by thinking about what actions I do the most. I use “Mark as unread’ for any email that will take more than 2 minutes. If an email will take less time, I try to immediately respond.

Forward = f

Reply = r

Send = Control + Enter

Archive =  e

Mark as unread: _

While these are the most helpful for me, I would suggest looking at the the full list of Gmail Shortcuts available. (The shortcut for “reply all” seems dangerous because you could get yourself in trouble though!)

Because I want to get into the habit, I try to disconnect my mouse and still read through my email.

Another tip would be to keep a list of the most common Gmail shortcuts printed out. As a result, you will always have the shortcuts close by at your computer.

In conclusion, the shortcuts are easier than I thought! I already use copy and paste, and these Gmail shortcuts are very similar.

Is it weird to admit I already feel more productive using these Gmail shortcuts the last few days? Let me know on Twitter (@affairofcharact) or Instagram (@affairofcharact) if you are now using some!