Keyboard shortcuts help perform tasks faster than normal, but one thing always seemed to be missing from my Gmail Inbox. I have always wanted a keyboard shortcut to delete email messages in Gmail and it looks like Digital Inspiration has found one.
Once you are either viewing a message or have a message checked, just press Shift+3 (that would correspond to typing the pound “#” sign) and the message(s) will instantly be sent to the trash. Despite Google not putting this in their list of keyboard shortcuts, this does indeed exist natively without any scripts or hacks.
This made me think about what other email solutions are using for keyboard shortcuts. Yahoo! mail cleverly uses the Delete key which is a lot more intuitive than Google’s. More Yahoo! mail keyboard shortcuts can be found here for those of you using that service.
Then there is Hotmail. I searched and searched for Hotmail keyboard shortcuts, but couldn’t find any documentation officially produced by Microsoft. The only thing that I could really find was a script that someone made to create shortcuts for deleting and moving to the next/previous message. This would require that you’re using a browser, such as Firefox (with Greasemonkey) or Opera, that can use custom scripts on a site-by-site basis.
Windows Live Mail, unlike Hotmail, does have a small amount of keyboard shortcuts available including the Delete key to trash messages. I was actually expecting Live Mail to have the most keyboard shortcuts out of any of the services, but it took me about 15 minutes to find the list of shortcuts and the result was disappointing.
So that kind of leaves Gmail as the odd one out of the bunch. They do have a keyboard shortcut available to delete email messages, but it is not intuitive like the one for Yahoo! Mail and Windows Live Mail. I know that Google says you should never delete an email, but let’s face it, not every email is something we should keep forever.