10 Gmail Shortcuts To Skyrocket Your Productivity At Work

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Google released their version of a free, advertising-supported internet-based email service in 2004. Since the release of Gmail, the web-based service has become extremely popular with individuals and businesses alike, largely due to its ease of use and its ability to function within the network of other services offered by Google such as Google+, Google Calendar, Google Drive, and Google Hangouts.

A driving force that propels the popularity that propels Gmail is its simplicity and user-friendly interface. Gmail features many keyboard shortcuts that greatly increase the program efficiency and user interface of the application. Learning these shortcuts takes only a few minutes, but using these shortcuts saves hours of valuable time. Listed below are ten of the best Gmail keyboard shortcuts to save time while increasing productivity.

Prior to using keyboard shortcuts, it is important to make sure that keyboard shortcuts are enabled without the software. To enable keyboard shortcuts within Gmail, locate the gear-shaped icon in the upper right corner of the Gmail page. Click on the icon and select “Settings”, then set the “keyboard shortcuts” option to “on”. Once this is done, the below-listed keyboard shortcuts can be used with the Gmail account.

1. The “Compose” Command – (c)

One of the most important ways in which Gmail is used is the task of composing emails. Using the “(c)” keyboard shortcut command brings up the “Compose Email” screen within the Gmail page.

Once the compose email screen is open, the “tab” key can be used to navigate to the fields inside the screen to quickly compose and send an email message.

2. The “The Mark As Spam” Command – (!)

Mark as spam

The “Mark As Spam” command is one of the most valuable Gmail keyboard shortcuts. By using the (!) keyboard shortcut, an email not only deleted, but placed on the spam list.

Any further email messages from the sender will automatically be sent to the spam folder, keeping the inbox clear of clutter and unwanted messages. Messages in the spam folder are automatically deleted permanently after 30 days.

#3. The “Archive” Command – (e)

Archive a message

When organizing an inbox full of email messages, one of the best ways to sort through all the clutter is to use the “Archive” function.Using the (e) keyboard shortcut after selecting the message or messages to be archived allows the inbox to be quickly cleaned out by removing emails. Once relocated, the archived emails may be reviewed at a later time.

Once relocated, the archived emails may be reviewed at a later time.

4. The “Reply” Command – (r) (a)

Reply to a specific email

A quick way to reply to sender after reading an email message is to use the (r) keyboard shortcut. This shortcut opens the “Reply” dialog box in which a reply can be composed without additional mouse or keypad navigation. When replying to multiple email recipients, the (a) keyboard shortcut allows a reply to be composed to all of the listed recipients. Recipients may then be added or deleted by using the “tab” key to navigate the cursor to the recipient box.

When replying to multiple email recipients, the (a) keyboard shortcut allows a reply to be composed to all of the listed recipients. Recipients may then be added or deleted by using the “tab” key to navigate the cursor to the recipient box.

5. The “Search” Command – (/)

Search Specific phrase

When navigating through an inbox full of messages, it can be difficult and time-consuming to locate a specific email. By using the (/) keyboard shortcut, “Search” dialog box is opened on the screen.

Once the box has been opened, typing a subject word or phrase will allow the program to sort through the myriad of emails and find the email containing that specific word or phrase. Partial words may also be used when entering terms in the search box.

6. The “Format Text” Command – (Command +b), (Command +I), (Command +u)

Bold Text

There are times when formatted text is desired to bring the reader’s attention to certain words or sentences.

To format text, place the cursor at the end of the desired text to be formatted, and, holding the shift key, use the left arrow key to highlight the desired selection. Once highlighted, the selection can made bold (Command +b), italicized (Command + I), or underlined (Command + u).

7.The “Select All Unread Messages” Command – (Shift+8+u)

Unread messages

The “Select All Unread Messages” command allows 50 messages to be selected at one time. This command is especially useful in the “Social” and “Promotions” folders of the Gmail inbox.

By selecting the (Shift+8+u) keyboard command, large amounts of emails are quickly and easily sorted and sent to the archive folder or trash can.

8. The “Delete Selected Message” Command – (#)

The “Delete Selected Message” keyboard command sends the selected message to the trash can. Once the message is deleted, the cursor is returned to the next position on the message list.

Deleted messages may be retrieved from the trash can for 29 days after deletion. Gmail automatically deletes email messages left in the trash can after 30 days.

9. The “Insert” Command – (Command +k), (Command + Shift +7), (Command + 8)

Insert link in the body

When composing a message in Gmail, there are keyboard shortcuts available to allow for the addition of formatted lists and website links. The (Command +k) keyboard shortcut inserts a link into the body of the email.

When creating lists within an email, several options are available to format the list, creating a crisp professional appearance. The (Command +7) keyboard shortcut inserts a numbered list into the body of the email. The (Control +8) inserts a bulleted list.

10. The “Navigate Command” – (g) (i/s/t/d/a/c/l)

navigate command

The “Navigate” command is an essential tool when navigating through the features of Gmail. By pressing the (g) key followed by an addition letter key, one can toggle between seven different functions within the main Gmail window.

Pressing (g), then pressing (i) opens the Inbox. Pressing the (g) key, then the (s) key opens Starred Conversations window. To navigate to the Sent Mail window, press (g), then (t). The Drafts window is opened with (g), then (d). Pressing (g), then (a) opens the All Mail window.

To open the Contacts window, press (g), then (c). The Label window is opened by pressing (g), then (l). Once the Label window is open, use the arrow keys to navigate between labels.


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Srikar is the founder of Shopsmart and eFlair Webtech. He is a technology & automobile enthusiast. He occasionally likes to write about entrepreneurship, technology, business and online marketing.