At work we use Google Apps. I like to assign mails that are important to my work with todo and after I did them with done. I am pondering a way to do this efficiently and preferably without the usage of a mouse. Right now I have a label system like:

!Work > Todo >
!Work > Todo > Done

Yet here the problem is that I will also see the done-mails when I am looking for some I want to do next. Also I find myself dragging and dropping labels onto the mails, which I find tiresome.

Is there a way to use the keyboard instead?

  • Another way is to use the GTD Firefox Extension (there is probably a Chrome one btw)
    – JMax
    Jan 23, 2012 at 15:35
  • @dnbrv Why did you rename the title? I know how to handle labels manually, yet I do not know to the handle todo- and done-labels properly.
    – k0pernikus
    Jan 31, 2012 at 14:33
  • Because your labels are custom, which makes your question too localized. I'm actually going to edit the title again to make it more descriptive.
    – dnbrv
    Jan 31, 2012 at 14:40
  • @dnbrv I would argue that "Todo" and "Done" labels are too localized. But I can live with the reedit.
    – k0pernikus
    Jan 31, 2012 at 15:14
  • Although some other people may use those labels, they aren't standard in GMail. Any customizations make your situation localized.
    – dnbrv
    Jan 31, 2012 at 21:30

1 Answer 1


First turn on keyboard shortcuts:

To turn these case-sensitive shortcuts on or off, click the gear icon at the top of any Gmail page and then Mail settings. Choose the option next to "Keyboard shortcuts" to turn them on. You can also enable shortcutsautomatically by going to http://mail.google.com/mail/?kbd=1

After selecting an email use L, it opens the labels menu to label a conversation.

Type the label you want.

Another cool step is to:

  1. open up the todo label,
  2. then use the L shortcut key to add the done label,
  3. then use the Y shortcut key to remove the todo label.

The result is that it will only be under the done label.

  • Is it possible to activate the Move menu to move a conversation?
    – blackened
    Sep 23, 2021 at 9:09
  • Yes, use v instead of l to open the menu.
    – Christian
    Mar 22, 2022 at 19:22
  • The L-part of this solution messed it up for me. If I just open up a labeled message and press: y, then it archives it (and removes the label).
    – Zeth
    May 13 at 8:22

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