- My mission today is to save you hours, perhaps days, even weeks per year of productivity by doing just one thing. What's that thing? Stick around and I'll show you today on Dotto Tech. Steve Dotto here. How the heck you doing this fine day? At Dotto Tech, we make technology easy so you can do more. Now, today, I'm going to talk to you about Gmail shortcuts, using keyboard shortcuts to save time and increase your efficiency. Now, this process works regardless of which email application you use, and regardless of, actually, which tool you're using, even outside of email. But if you learn to use the keyboard shortcuts for the tools that you use most often, you can save yourself hours, even days per year of productivity. Now, I'm gonna walk you quickly through how it works in Gmail. Then, I'm gonna show you just how many hours you can save. I've got a calculator I'm gonna show you. And then I'm gonna finally wrap things up today by talking to you about how you can develop these skills, the easiest way to learn to do all of the shortcuts. So, let's dive in first and talk about Gmail. Now, if you wanna use keyboard shortcuts in Gmail, before you begin, you have to do one thing. You have to go into your Gmail account, go under the settings menu, and you have to enable keyboard shortcuts. You scroll down within your settings through all of the different settings until you find, where's my enable, there it is. Keyboard shortcuts. It's turned off on my demo account here. You have to turn your keyboard shortcuts on, and then, as is always the case within Gmail, you have to go to the very bottom and save changes. If you don't save changes, it doesn't work, and you won't believe how often people get frustrated 'cause they think they've done something in Gmail and they haven't saved the changes, so the changes weren't saved and it wasn't done, and they're frustrated. Once you've enabled the keyboard shortcuts, instead of having to go to the different menus and constantly reaching for your mouse to click to do everything, you can now stay on the keyboard. And this is where you save a lot of time. Now, Gmail, because it's browser based, the menu structure is a little less organized than a regular application, like an Excel or Word, where you've got the drop down menus and you can always see the keyboard shortcuts handy to you. So, what they've done, once you've enabled keyboard shortcuts, is you can just hit the shift key and question mark and look what pops up. All of the different keyboard shortcuts that are built into Gmail. Now, you will do this on a regular basis, 'cause this is how you're gonna learn how to access all of the different shortcuts. And you just scroll through and read. Now, I'm not gonna take you through each and every one of these shortcuts, 'cause that would make this an incredibly long and superfluous video, but instead, what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna show you a couple of them and then we're gonna go on to just why this is so important. So, for example, people always need to jump in to check their contacts, to find an email address, et cetera. So, you can go. Now, you have to, instead, you can go under the app menu, where they've moved it to, and you can click on contacts. But instead of doing that, you can hit GC. Just hitting the G and then the C key pops open Google Contacts. Now, if this doesn't work for you, one of two things is happening. The first thing that's happening is you aren't in your inbox. You are in, say, a compose window within Gmail. So, the same keyboard shortcuts don't work, 'cause they're dependent on which window you are in. Or, you've not turned it on. You haven't turned it on in the gear settings. And go back in, turn it on, save it, and it will work. It's very cool. I kind of like the fact that Google has incorporated this GC or G, for example, if I wanna go into my drafts, I can go under here, under the different menus here to click on my drafts folder, again, reaching for my mouse, or go GD. It always makes sense. And that'll bring you into your draft folder. This is, it's kind of like the G symbol, when you're in your inbox, is sort of like asking the Google assistant, with the Google Home. G lets Google know that you wanna do something, and then the next letter follows with what you want to do. So, once again, you can go into the keyboard shortcuts. You can read through and you can see just how many shortcuts there are. Now, if you learn to use all of these tools, just how much time will you save, if you learn to stay on the keyboard? Well, look at this. There's one article that I found, and I will link to this article down below, these articles. But this is from a company called Brainscape, and they claim that, if people learn to use keyboard shortcuts on all apps, and they say you save about two seconds every time you use a keyboard shortcut instead of going to the menu. And I daresay, that's when you know where the menu is. It might even be longer than two seconds to go over and make a click. But they say you can save up to eight days of productivity per year. Eight full days of getting more done, and they've got a calculation here that they work through that proves it. Well, I can one-up that. I'll also link to this in the comments below, but these people at Shift Art created a calculator. Now, they created the calculator, ostensibly, for people that are using Photoshop, but it works for everything, as far as I'm concerned. You can go in here and you can decide how long it takes you to find a menu item. Say it's two seconds, we'll leave it at two seconds. The average number of keyboard shortcuts that you use per minute when you're working. And I'm just putting mine at one minute. If you're doing something like, if you're using Photoshop or you're doing an app like that, you'll be using more than one keyboard shortcut per minute, but let's just say one. And then they calculate how much that works out to in seconds. And the number of minutes per session. So, let's say that, they're saying Photoshop, but let's say you just work on knowledge work four hours a day. Doing emails, writing reports, doing that sort of stuff. Stuff where you'll be using different keyboard shortcuts, or different menu commands, on a fairly regular basis. So, based on four hours of working per day, five days per week, then they say that you will actually save 34 hours per year, just based on that criteria. And you can play with this calculator. If you say, "You know what? "I work five hours a day on average." If you increase it to five hours a day, there. You hit the week, you hit 42 hours of productivity saved per week. That is why it's worth learning to use these shortcuts. Those little two second snippets, they add up and they add up big time over the course of a full year. Now, what's the quickest and easiest way to learn to use these shortcuts? Well, I think just by using this window here. Learning to hit the shift question mark whenever you are about to look for a menu, and then taking the time to look for what the keyboard shortcut is, and then using that shortcut. It'll be a process that, over weeks and probably months, you'll train yourself on the apps that you use most often. Obviously, in Gmail, you use this keyboard shortcut window, but in other apps, when you're using them, if you take a look and you pay attention to what the keyboard shortcuts are in the menu, if you make that a habit to do that, you can, indeed, save yourself at least a week of productivity per year, maybe more. I love this concept. I'm committed to doing it, I hope you are as well. I love reading your comments and suggestions, so please post below. I do read every single one. If you like this video, please give it a like and share it with your friends or colleagues who may find it useful. Now, make sure you've subscribed and hit that notification bell, and if you have time, check out some of our other videos right over there. 'Til next time, I'm Steve Dotto. Have fun stormin' the castle.
How much time do you spend in your Inbox?
You can use keyboard shortcuts to win your hours back.
In this video we show you how to enable keyboard shortcuts and how to use them to save a lot of time every time you sit down to use email.
Plus you can use these keyboard shortcuts for other apps too!
Some extra resources:
- Keyboard shortcuts for Gmail
- Keyboard shortcuts for Google Docs
- Chrome keyboard shortcuts
- 9 keyboard shortcuts in Gmail that will make you more productive
- How keyboard shortcuts could revive America's economy
Until next time,
Have fun storming the castle!
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