Keyboard Shortcuts

People often ask us if we can help them receive less email. We have good news and bad news on this front. The good news is: yes, we can. We know two efficient ways to reduce email. One is to send less email, and the other is to get a different job. Let’s assume both are not likely to happen. Now comes the bad news. Trends show that you are actually likely to receive 30% more email next year.

So rather than focus on receiving less email we would like to focus on how to process the large amount of email you do receive more efficiently. This is why we dedicate a whole chapter to keyboard shortcuts. Along with learning improving your typing skills, this is one of the best ways to become a quicker email processor (and will save some energy, too).

In this chapter we share our favourite shortcuts for Outlook and Windows. We recommend you try each out as you go through the list so you can see how they work. There is a printable Email Handyman cheat sheet that includes most of these shortcuts. We will also show how you can teach yourself new shortcuts in most computer programs.

Navigate and Find

Go to email view:

Ctrl + 1

Go to calendar view:

Ctrl + 2

Go to folder:
(then press the first letter of the folder + Enter)

Ctrl + Y

Find item:

Ctrl + E

Advanced find:

Ctrl + Shift + F

Processing Email

Read Email: (Shift)



Ctrl + R

Reply to all:

Ctrl + Shift + R


Ctrl + F




Ctrl + Enter

Move item:

Ctrl + Shift + V

Copy item:

Ctrl + Shift + Y


New message:

Ctrl + N


Ctrl + P


Ctrl + C


Ctrl + V

Undo action:

Ctrl + Z


Activate window:

Alt + Tab

Select option:

Alt + underlined letter

Show desktop:

Windows key + D

Open explorer:

Windows key + E

To learn more shortcuts (also in other programs)…

  • Go to the Help section (shortcut F1) and type Keyboard Shortcuts in the search bar
  • Keep an eye out for shortcuts in menus as you use features; they should be shown next to the feature
  • Hover you mouse over a button and see if a shortcut pops up
  • Google the name of your program and the words “favourite keyboard shortcuts”


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