Last time we looked at the most essential keyboard shortcuts for Gmail to help you process your email faster. Today we are going to present essential keyboard shortcuts for your RSS feeds in Google Reader. I currently have 102 RSS feeds in my Google Reader for one of my website and I can whizz through them all solely by using my keyboard.
Where we’re going, who needs a mouse?
So let’s say you’ve been away from your computer for a bit and you come back to HUNDREDS of posts in your Reader. No worries. Using your mouse this one and only time, go to the “view settings” box at the top of the screen, drop it down and choose “Sort by Oldest”.
So using that setting, you will ALWAYS get the oldest post at the top of the page. You’ll see the advantage of this in a minute. Now chuck that mouse away and go back to your keyboard.
So when you go to the Google Reader page and you see all your hundreds of posts, the first thing you should do is hit the space bar. That immediately takes you to the first post (the oldest post) at the top of the page and opens it for you. OK, now you’re well on your way.
Say you’re interested in reading more about that story. Want to open it in a browser?
Hit V on your keyboard and Reader will open the link for you in a new tab / window (depending on how you have your browser configured). Want to share the link? Press SHIFT + S. Want to star it? Press S. Press T to edit your tags and e to email the link to someone.
When you want to move to the next post, just press J. If you want to go back to a previous post, press K. Using J and K you can rapidly move through hundreds of feeds in no time at all, stopping every now and then to hit V to open the interesting posts in a browser and hit T to tag them in Reader. You’d be amazed at how fast you can go doing it this way.
To refresh the whole page and update your feeds, press R and the whole page and feed counts will be instantly refreshed for you.
To jump to other folders, Reader employs the same tactics as Gmail (almost). Just hit G on your keyboard but unlike Gmail, no Launchy-type black box comes up with options. Instead, fast after the G, just type the first letter of the folder, you want to go to. So the home page would be G then H in rapid succession. Starred items are G and then S in rapid succession. You get the idea. If you have problems, just hit the question mark key on your keyboard for help.
In many ways, Google Reader’s shortcuts are the easiest of the lot to learn. Once you have things set up the way you want them, the shortcuts are fairly easy to remember. The hardest part is telling your hand not to instinctively reach for that mouse sitting there mournfully on the pad wondering if it has to go into retirement.
In the next post we’re going to take the mountain of Firefox shortcuts and tell you only the basic ones you need to know to work your browser. Watch out for that by subscribing to the Make Use Of RSS feed!