After using any application for a while, I start using some keyboard shortcuts to speed up common operations. Desktop applications usually have keyboard shortcuts while web applications don't; luckily for me, two of my most used Google applications, Reader and Gmail, have keyboard shortcuts. You can find the list of shortcuts easily so rather than going them, I'll just highlight useful keystroke sequences for navigation and suggest mnemonics to remember them.
Both applications support ? to show and hide their keyboard shortcut help page.
Reader shortcut sequences
- gF and gt
- (g)o to items in people you (F)ollow or a (t)ag. Note: an (undocumented) alternative to gt is gl, (g)o to a (l)abel, like Gmail.
- nov and pov
- browse (n)ext or (p)revious item in a list, (o)pen it and (v)iew the original. Note: if you're using Firefox, you may be prompted to allow the www.google.com domain to open a window or tab.
- NOA and POA
- browse (N)ext or (P)revious subscription, (O)pen it and mark (A)ll items read. Good for quickly scanning whole subscription (or tag) items. Just remember that operations on subscriptions use capital letters.
Gmail shortcut sequences
- gi and gl
- (g)o to (i)nbox or a (l)abel
- j and k
- browse next or previous conversation (or thread) in a label. These are Vi-style keystrokes (Ah, that brings back memories!).
- n and p
- browse (n)ext or (p)revious message in a conversation (or thread).
- go (u)p to thread (or conversation) list from reading a message.
Note that Google uses the terms conversation or thread interchangeably in their online help. Unlike Reader, Gmail doesn't have shortcuts for browsing labels (or tags).
So, there's a very short list of keyboard shortcuts for that I've found useful for navigating Google Reader and Gmail; I hope it'd be useful for you too.