Timesavers: GMail Keys

Monday, May 4, 2009

This is part of an ongoing series on Timesavers. The goal is simple: short, easily-digestible posts designed to help developers get faster and more productive

I’ve been a GMail user for quite some time, but only recently have I started using the GMail Keys feature. What a bonehead! Keys rock.

Why I love Keys

  • Read every single email without clicking the mouse
  • Easily "mark" emails read/unread/archived. For example, I get a lot of digest emails. I do skim most of them, but some days, I don't have time, so I'll mark em and archive em for later
  • Perform common searches (all unread items in inbox) with just a few keys
  • See the Keys Help with a single key combination (shift-Q)

Here's what that help looks like, by the way:


Frequently Used Keys

From a message list (like the Inbox)
  • c to compose
  • x to select messages.
  • j to go to next message. key to go to previous message
  • y to archive
  • enter to go into a message
From a message (i.e. you're reading an email)
  • x to get back to your list
  • if it’s a multi-message conversation, use n to go to the next message, and p to go to the previous message. hit enter to expand if it’s not expanded

You can also do searching really easily. Hit “/” to focus on the search box, then type some common phrases like “is:unread in:inbox” to show all unread messages in the inbox. In the video below, you’ll see more of that.

And finally, shift-? shows the help for Keys

See it in Action

This isn’t the greatest video, but I love the java posse and the content of this lightening talk is a solid intro to using GMail Keys. I give you… the Dick Wall’s introduction to Keys.


Ben Nadel said...

Word up! I having been loving the keys. I turned them on to get the MUTE functionality for mailing list items I was no longer interested in and it's been great with quick archive and delete functionality.

Bob Silverberg said...

No doubt, keys rock in gmail, but you missed my favourite, most used key: [ archive + next message

Marc Esher said...

Excellent! Thanks Bob.