Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Get the most out of Gmail by learning all of its keyboard shortcuts. With Keyrocket for Gmail you’ll be shown a notification every time you use the mouse instead of a keyboard shortcut, helping you learn the shortcuts and reminding you to actually use them.
Any longtime computer user will tell you that keyboard shortcuts can save you a lot of time – moving the mouse is slow when a simple keystroke could do the job instead. The problem with keyboard shortcuts, however, is that you need to learn them – and that also takes time.
Not with KeyRocket for Gmail. This Chrome extension shows you a simple popup every time you do something with your mouse that could be done with your keyboard. This means you learn to use the shortcuts while you’re actually using Gmail, saving you the time of actively learning them.
KeyRocket for Gmail works on Windows, Linux and Mac provided Chrome is your browser of choice.
Learn As You Go
When you first install KeyRocket for Gmail you’ll be shown the following notification:
Do not ignore these instructions! You must turn on Gmail keyboard shortcuts or this extension is little more than a distraction. KeyRocket helps you up by opening the settings; make sure keyboard shortcuts are turned on and click “Save” at the bottom of the page.
Once you’ve gotten everything sorted out simply start using Gmail the way you always do – nothing will be different.
Nothing, that is, until you use the mouse to do something you could have done with the keyboard. When I press the “Archive” button, for example, I see this:
Now I know to “Archive” a message is as simple as pressing “E”. Good to know. Without thinking I click to head back to my inbox. Oops:
Now I know how to use my keyboard to get back to Gmail’s inbox: pressing “G” followed by “I”.
You get the idea: shortcuts are pointed out every time you could have used them. Learn to use the keyboard shortcuts and the notifications will no longer show up. It’s simple but effective; you’ll learn all the shortcuts you need to know in no time.
Install Keyrocket for Gmail
Ready to install? Download KeyRocket for Gmail from the Chrome Web Store. Installation is easy, as always: just click the big blue button.
Find the keyboard shortcuts aren’t working? This video, from the Keyrocket team, outlines everything I’ve explained above:
Download Our List of Shortcuts
Like the plugin, but want a list of keyboard shortcuts for your own reference? No problem! MakeUseOf happens to offer just such a list, which you can download here. Combine this reference with KeyRocket for Gmail and you’ll master Gmail’s keyboard shortcuts in no time.
Want to learn more? KeyRocket for Windows teaches you the keyboard shortcuts for Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Word and Windows Explorer in much the same way, as Erez recently pointed out.
Myself, I’m an avid user of keyboard shortcuts on my computer, and I’ve been using Gmail basically since it first came out. For some reason, however, I never really got around to learning Gmail’s keyboard shortcuts. KeyRocket for Gmail changed that, which is awesome.
Which Gmail keyboard shortcuts do you find most useful? Let me know in the comments below, along with any other tools you use to learn keyboard shortcuts.