Use the keyboard, Luke!

I’m immensely enjoying the GTD Summit in sunny California. And I’m not the only one. The atmosphere is great, and it’s terrific to meet people in person after reading their stories or exchanging e-mails.

This is a bunch of people who really get things done. Well, except for one thing: why do I see people using the mouse to move e-mails to other folders? I don’t get it.

Outlook has great support for keyboard shortcuts and if you’ll remember just four of them, you can archive your e-mails 40% faster! This is an impressive percentage when you want to get your inbox to empty every day!

To copy or move an e-mail to a different folder, use Ctrl+Shift+Y and Ctrl+Shift+V. These shortcut keys copy and move any Outlook item to another folder, so if you want to copy an e-mail to your calender you can use Ctrl+Shift+Y too. *)

To close an item, use Alt+S. This is useful after copying an e-mail to your tasks list, for instance. Outlook will show you the new task and Alt+S (Save and Close) makes it easy to finish working on the task.

And finally, to go to a different folder, just press Ctrl+Y. Outlook will display the ‘Go to Folder’ dialog. In this dialog you can select another folder using the cursor keys or by typing the name of the folder on the keyboard. If you’ve selected the correct folder, press Enter to go to that folder.

Enjoy your new speed.


*) If you think Ctrl+Shift+Y and Ctrl+Shift+V is too hard to use in real life, check out my e-book ‘Each Day Empty’. In it, you’ll learn how to set up Outlook for total productivity, including being able to use Alt+1 and Alt+2 instead of the more difficult standard Outlook shortcut keys for copying and moving e-mails.