The best keyboard shortcut app for Gmail—and beyond

On the subject of items for your self, one chance stands out above all others. And in and of itself, it doesn’t even value a dime.

I’m speaking concerning the reward of time—the intangible asset that’s at all times in shortest provide in my life. And given the truth that you’re right here and studying this, I’m guessing that is perhaps true for you, too.

Effectively, right here on this digital area of ours, there’s no higher strategy to shave seconds off your day than to unearth and embrace fastidiously thought of keyboard shortcuts. Every one could seem insignificant in and of itself, however add a bunch of them collectively, they usually can characterize an enormous jolt of added effectivity for your most typical productiveness duties.

And one device particularly has confirmed to be my most precious keyboard shortcut secret. It’s a strong web-wide management panel that permits you to create all kinds of customized shortcuts for the textual content you sort and even the browser-based actions you carry out probably the most. And when you begin tapping into its time-saving potential, you’ll marvel the way you ever received by with out it.


The device I’m speaking about is a saucy little service known as Text Blaze. You could have heard me point out it earlier than. However over this previous yr, I’ve actually stepped up my use of it and labored to take full benefit of its mightiest step-saving potentialities. In response to its personal estimate, I’ve saved 320 hours within the roughly two years since I began utilizing the service, based mostly on the whole variety of phrases I’ve averted typing and the common typing pace of a quick typist. Whereas I wouldn’t essentially name that estimate scientific, it’s a pleasant normal thought of what this device can obtain.

So I’m going to dive in deeper to Textual content Blaze and share a few of the methods it’s permitting me to streamline tedious duties and reclaim all kinds of invaluable moments—moments that completely add as much as further minutes and typically even hours in my days, particularly throughout the realm of e-mail.

Textual content Blaze operates as an extension for the Chrome desktop browser. The core service is free with certain limitations, whereas the absolutely featured model is accessible for a paltry three bucks a month (or $7 per person per 30 days, in a team-based setting).

We’ll begin with some examples of the only time-saving methods the service allows and transfer from there into more and more superior task-automating choices.

1. Fundamental textual content substitute

Textual content Blaze’s most simple use is as a system for summoning any type of textual content you end up typing typically—be it one thing super-simple like an handle or as complicated as a whole e-mail.

Perhaps, for occasion, you ship out one million situations of “Received it. Thanks! I’ll get again to you on this quickly.” Or perhaps you ship out the identical rejection or acceptance spiel roughly 40 instances every week. Regardless of the case, all it’s important to do is sort the phrases into your Textual content Blaze dashboard as soon as after which assign them a selected shortcut—ideally one thing quick and easy that begins with a particular character like /, *, or ~ to be sure you by no means set off the shortcut on accident. From that time ahead, you possibly can merely sort that command into any textual content discipline in Chrome to have your textual content inserted immediately.


The Textual content Blaze dashboard makes it simple to create customized keyboard shortcuts that insert any quantity of textual content anyplace on the internet.

You can even entry your saved snippets, as Textual content Blaze calls these textual content bursts, in your browser’s right-click menu—in case it takes you some time to study and keep in mind all the keyboard instructions.

In case you’ve ever signed up for my Android Shortcut Supercourse or one other considered one of my e-courses and emailed me for a customized bonus tip initially, guess what? Textual content Blaze is the device that makes it attainable for all of these responses to be dealt with personally with no full lack of each working hour (to not point out each final remaining shred of sanity). The responses are all actual and human-handled, they usually typically have individualized parts which are typed by hand on the spot. However for the bits and items which are primarily the identical data despatched time and again, Textual content Blaze makes the method of responding personally a heck of much more sensible.

As you possibly can think about, the chances for this are virtually limitless. Something you sort repeatedly might be automated away—and since Textual content Blaze is a browser extension, the identical actual setup will at all times be accessible on any pc the place you signal into Chrome, with none complicated configuration or device-specific set up required.

2. Dynamic textual content substitute

This subsequent space is the place the true energy comes into play. Along with inserting fundamental bits of textual content, Textual content Blaze can tackle complicated variables that allow you to customise your textual content snippets on the fly, as you insert them, with completely no ongoing effort.

So perhaps, for instance, you’ve got a inventory e-mail you ship out to potential purchasers—however the specifics of the message range based mostly on the circumstances. Perhaps you utilize completely different greetings relying on the day of the week, otherwise you wish to reference the present day or month and even an upcoming date to make the e-mail much less generic.

Whilst you’re creating a brand new snippet within the Textual content Blaze dashboard, hover your mouse over the icons on the backside of the textual content discipline and take observe:

  • The first icon will assist you to have a wide range of date-related variables routinely inserted into your textual content. Which means you might embrace the present day or month as a part of each message, as should you’d typed it out your self every time.
  • The second icon does the identical factor however for time.
  • The third icon makes it attainable to routinely insert a future date—one, two, or three days or perhaps a week, month, or yr from the second you summon the snippet.
  • And the fourth icon will assist you to routinely insert variables such because the title or URL of the web site the place you’re typing and even the present contents of your system clipboard.
Clever variables assist you to customise your on-demand snippets in all kinds of fascinating methods.

And all of that’s nonetheless simply the beginning.

3. Dynamic textual content choice

Along with the automated variables, Textual content Blaze helps you to create your personal customized fill-in-the-blank fields and even menus of dropdown-style alternatives for completely different bits of textual content inside your on-demand responses.

This is perhaps the service’s best time-saver of all, as soon as you determine methods to put it to correct use.

Some examples:

  • You should use the “Textual content discipline” variable to provide your self a clean house for manually getting into a single phrase or quick phrase—like an individual’s title, for occasion—whereas leaving the remainder of your prewritten message in its commonplace, inventory state.
  • You should use the “Dropdown discipline” variable to prewrite a handful of various tidbits that may then be chosen to look inside your message. Perhaps you want to finish your emails with completely different expressions relying on the day of the week, for occasion—”Hope you’ve got an exquisite week” on Mondays, mayhaps, and “Hope you’ve got an awesome weekend” on Fridays. Regardless of the case could also be, this characteristic helps you to choose and select and customise your prewritten message on the fly with a pair fast clicks.
  • The “Toggle discipline” variable merely turns a sure little bit of textual content on or off. You’ll be able to set it to be both on or off by default after which click on its toggle whenever you summon your shortcut to change it into the alternate place.
  • And the “Date discipline” offers you a easy date selector so you possibly can select any date you need and have it inserted into the context of your prewritten message.
With customized fields, you may give your self an limitless array of on-demand decisions to customise textual content on the spot.

In case you reply as a lot e-mail as I do, a one-time considerate setup of widespread responses with these variables in place will empower you to reply folks personally whereas saving your self the hassle of typing the identical very same stuff time and time once more. It’s a useful booster to your workweek productiveness.


4. Gmail and LinkedIn intelligence

If all of that isn’t sufficient for you, the final icon alongside the underside of the Textual content Blaze snippet editor will allow you to set up service-specific command packs that add much more step-slashing energy into your setup.

Most notably, the Gmail command pack offers you with the power to routinely insert the primary title or full title of your present message recipient as a part of any of your Textual content Blaze snippets. You’ll be able to reference the recipient’s e-mail handle, too, in addition to the date an e-mail was acquired.

Textual content Blaze’s command packs allow you to insert superior variables particular to environments like Gmail and LinkedIn.

And in an particularly fascinating twist, you possibly can create precise instructions that’ll transfer your cursor into your present message’s CC or BCC discipline after which add a selected handle there and even ship your message as soon as it’s finished. For instance, you might arrange a shortcut that routinely provides a colleague’s handle into the CC discipline and sends your message anytime you sort **S—a a lot sooner strategy to accomplish these duties than the usual multistep strategy.

The same command pack exists for LinkedIn, too, if you end up juggling a number of correspondence on that platform.

5. Full-fledged internet automation

Whew! We’ve coated a ton of time-saving territory, however don’t tune out but. I’ve saved the best for final.

Textual content inserting, you see, shouldn’t be solely helpful for the surface-level advantage of streamlining your digital correspondence. It may additionally prevent treasured time with getting across the apps you utilize to speak—with Gmail being the best instance.

There’s definitely no scarcity of unbelievable keyboard shortcuts constructed instantly into Gmail. However the Gmail web site additionally has some areas which are annoyingly inconceivable to succeed in with any method of easy shortcut.

The one which will get me on a regular basis is the listing of messages inside a selected Gmail label. I take advantage of Gmail labels religiously, and I regularly discover myself needing to peek into the listing of emails inside one Gmail label or one other—most of the time the “Newsletters” label the place I routinely filter after which retailer each single newsletter I send out for simple ongoing reference.

Usually, the one strategy to get to that label with out clunkily clicking round is to hit the slash key to get myself into the Gmail search field after which to sort out label:newsletters and hit the enter key. Not precisely speedy, proper?

With Textual content Blaze, I can create a customized command that handles all of the heavy lifting for me and consequently takes a fraction of the hassle. In my inbox, I merely sort /*n, and Textual content Blaze zaps me over into my “Newsletters” label within the blink of an eye fixed.

The trick is to make the most of Textual content Blaze’s Autopilot system, which lets you insert precise site-specific clicks, keypresses, and even delays into your snippets. Simply click on the mouse-shaped icon throughout the Textual content Blaze snippet-editing interface to discover the choices and get began. You’ll discover instructions for inserting your cursor, clicking an on-screen factor, and urgent just about any key you might presumably need.

Within the case of my customized label shortcut, I’m utilizing the usual Gmail slash-key shortcut to get myself into the search field. After that, I’ve Textual content Blaze sort out the phrase label:e-newsletter after which hit the enter key for me.

Superior instructions take mere seconds to arrange in Textual content Blaze and might then automate virtually any motion on any web site eternally.

It could not appear to be a lot, however whenever you carry out the identical sequences a number of instances a day, chopping the effort and time linked to them in half—or perhaps much more, in my case—completely provides up.

Now you’ve received the device, and you understand how to make use of it. All that’s left is to set issues up for your wants as soon as after which determine what to do with all of these minutes you’ve out of the blue reclaimed.

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