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Gmail keyboard shortcuts: Updated guide for 2024

Manage your inbox with these Gmail keyboard shortcuts. This guide provides practical shortcuts for Gmail, boosting your email experience.

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    By Ilija

    An economist by degree, a marketing manager at heart. Seeing my website on the first page of Google is what excites me most. I write mostly about email productivity, email management and AI.

    Navigating Gmail efficiently is more than just a convenience; it's a skill that can dramatically boost your productivity. As one of the most widely used email platforms, Gmail is packed with various features, many of which are easily accessible through keyboard shortcuts.

    Imagine reclaiming eight whole days each year just by tweaking how you use Gmail. That's right – mastering Gmail's keyboard shortcuts can save you that much time annually! (This isn't just a guess; it's backed by research)

    Whether you're a Gmail veteran or just getting started, understanding these shortcuts can transform your email experience, making it quicker and more intuitive. In this guide, we'll walk through a variety of Gmail keyboard shortcuts, categorized as basic and advanced, to suit all levels of users.

    Note: first you need to turn On the keyboard shortcuts for Gmail

    turn On the keyboard shortcuts for Gmail

    To turn on Gmail shortcuts:

    • Click the Settings gear in the top-right corner, then See all settings.
    • Scroll down to the Keyboard shortcuts section, and choose the Keyboard shortcuts on option.
    • Scroll to the bottom, and click Save Changes.

    Basic Gmail keyboard shortcuts

    Basic Gmail keyboard shortcuts

    Let's check some basic Gmail keyboard shortcuts:

    Composing an Email

    To quickly start composing a new email, just press 'c'. This shortcut brings up a new message window, allowing for immediate action.

    Replying and Forwarding

    Press 'r' to reply to the email you're viewing. This function is a great timesaver, especially for quick follow-ups. For forwarding, simply press 'f'. It's a swift way to share emails with others.

    Navigating the Inbox

    Efficient inbox navigation is crucial. Press 'k' to move to a newer conversation and 'j' for an older one. To open a conversation, use 'o' or 'Enter'. These navigation shortcuts reduce the need for constant scrolling and clicking.

    Selecting and Managing Conversations

    Select a conversation by pressing 'x'. This action is particularly useful for bulk operations like archiving or labeling. To archive an email, hit 'e', a shortcut that helps keep your inbox uncluttered.

    Searching and Other Actions

    Initiate a search within Gmail by pressing '/'. This shortcut takes you directly to the search bar, facilitating the quick location of specific emails. Additionally, you can add cc recipients to an email using '⌘/Ctrl + Shift + c' and bcc recipients with '⌘/Ctrl + Shift + b'.

    Advanced Navigation and Selection

    For more advanced navigation, use 'g' followed by another key. For instance, 'g' then 'i' takes you to the Inbox, 'g' then 't' to Sent messages, and 'g' then 'd' to Drafts. To select all conversations, use '* + a', while '* + n' deselects all conversations. You can also select read conversations with '* + r' and unread ones with '* + u'.

    Toggle Star

    Press 's' to toggle a star on an email, which is helpful for marking important messages that need attention or follow-up.

    Mark as Read/Unread

    Use 'Shift + i' to mark an email as read and 'Shift + u' to mark it as unread, helping to manage which emails have been addressed and which still need attention.

    Open 'More Actions' Menu

    The '.' (period) shortcut opens the 'more actions' menu, providing quick access to various functions without having to navigate through menus with a mouse.

    Select All Conversations

    With '* + a', you can select all conversations, a useful feature when you need to perform bulk actions like archiving or labeling multiple emails at once.

    Real-Life Scenarios for Basic Gmail Shortcuts

    Consider a busy sales professional who receives dozens of emails daily. Using 'c' to compose new messages quickly, they can respond to leads faster, increasing their chances of closing deals. When receiving updates from their team, use 'r' to reply or 'f' to forward important information to other team members and improve internal communication.

    Imagine an event planner who needs to keep their inbox organized. Using 'x' to select multiple emails from vendors and 'e' to archive them after reading keeps their inbox focused on immediate tasks. The event planner also frequently searches for specific client emails and using '/' to quickly access the search bar saves them valuable time.

    In the next section, we will get into advanced shortcuts that offer even more control and efficiency.

    Advanced Gmail keyboard shortcuts

    As you become more familiar with Gmail, exploring advanced shortcuts can further enhance your efficiency. These shortcuts offer deeper control and customization of your Gmail inbox experience.

    Labeling and Filtering Emails

    Organizing emails into categories is vital for many users. Press 'l' to open the 'label as' menu, a shortcut that allows quick categorization of emails. For business analysts tracking project emails, this function is indispensable, enabling them to filter emails by project or client seamlessly.

    Using Search Operators

    Power users often need to find specific emails quickly. Using 'g + i' to go directly to the Inbox or 'g + t' to access Sent messages helps in locating emails more efficiently. A project manager, for example, can use these shortcuts to find important project updates or communications with team members.

    Advanced Navigation

    Advanced navigation shortcuts like 'g + n' and 'g + p' for moving to the next or previous page are crucial for users who deal with high volumes of emails. A human resources manager reviewing job applications can use these shortcuts to navigate through applicant emails swiftly.

    Customizing Email Actions

    For instance, use 'v' to open the 'move to' menu, allowing you to quickly move emails to different folders. A financial advisor might use this shortcut to organize client emails into different financial planning categories.

    Switching Between Views

    Use 'g + a' to access 'All Mail', 'g + d' for 'Drafts', and 'g + s' for 'Starred conversations', allowing quick navigation across different sections of Gmail.

    Navigating Conversations

    Use 'p' and 'n' to move to the previous or next message in an open conversation, an essential tool for professionals who need to review long email threads.

    Managing Threads

    For muting conversations, the 'm' shortcut is invaluable, especially for users involved in multiple group emails where not all updates are relevant.

    Custom Shortcuts

    Gmail also allows the creation of custom keyboard shortcuts, enabling users to tailor the interface to their specific needs. This feature is particularly useful for power users who have unique workflows and require specific actions to be more accessible.

    Note: These advanced Gmail keyboard shortcuts are designed for users who require more control over their email management. By mastering these, tasks like searching, organizing, and navigating become much quicker and more intuitive.

    Real-life Scenarios for Advanced Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts

    Using more advanced Gmail keyboard shortcuts can significantly enhance the efficiency of various professional roles:

    Project Managers: Using 'g + t' to quickly access Sent messages can be crucial for project managers who need to track the status of communications sent to team members or clients.

    Marketing Executives: For those in marketing, using 'l' to label emails can help in organizing campaigns or client interactions, ensuring that each project is easily accessible and well-categorized.

    HR Professionals: HR teams often navigate through large volumes of emails. Using 'g + a' to access 'All Mail' helps them review all communications, including applications and employee queries, without missing any important emails.

    Boosting Gmail productivity with Mailbutler

    Mailbutler for Gmail

    Discover the hidden potential in your Gmail with Mailbutler’s unique features. This innovative extension transforms ordinary inboxes into efficient Gmail productivity systems.

    Email Tracking for Gmail: Ever wondered if your email was actually read? Mailbutler's email tracking feature takes out the guesswork. It notifies you the moment your email is opened, a game-changer for those awaiting critical responses.

    Smart Assistant: The Smart Assistant feature is like having a personal email wizard. It offers AI responses with suggestions for improvements and corrections, ensuring your emails are not just sent, but well-crafted and error-free.

    Email Tags: Organizing emails can be a very boring task. The Mailbutler's Email Tags system lets you categorize emails effortlessly, making it simple to track and retrieve information whenever needed.

    Task Management: Mailbutler also transforms emails into tasks. This feature is particularly useful for project managers who receive action items via email. They can easily convert these emails into tasks, ensuring nothing gets missed. With the Mailbutler’s Task feature, you can also create follow-up reminders for each email.

    Email Templates: Creating and using email templates saves significant time, especially for responses that are repetitive in nature. Mailbutler's template feature streamlines this process, enhancing efficiency for customer support teams, sales departments, or any outreach professional.

    Mailbutler's Gmail keyboard shortcuts

    Integrating Mailbutler's features into Apple Mail and Gmail is easy and efficient, thanks to keyboard shortcuts. Here's a quick guide to setting them up:

    • Start by clicking on the Mailbutler icon, which will bring up the Mailbutler Sidebar.
    • Within the Sidebar, locate and click on the Account Settings (⚙) button, and then select Account & Preferences.
    • This action will open a new window. Here, navigate to the sidebar on the left and select Keyboard Shortcuts under Preferences.
    • A list of all available keyboard shortcuts will be displayed for your convenience.Mailbutler's Gmail keyboard shortcuts
    • If you wish to customize a keyboard shortcut, simply click on the desired shortcut and then press your preferred combination of keys.
    • Once you press the new combination, it will be recorded automatically. Your custom keyboard shortcut is now ready to use, allowing you to access your favorite Mailbutler features more efficiently.

    Wrapping up

    Learning Gmail's keyboard shortcuts can greatly improve how you manage emails. Simple shortcuts help with everyday tasks, while advanced ones assist in organizing emails better. Adding Mailbutler, with its email tags and Smart Assistant, further boosts efficiency. Try using these shortcuts and Mailbutler to enhance your email routine.

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