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Problem: Google Drive Links

Several times a day I need to send emails with links to Google Drive documents. However, I do not like the default "Insert File from Google Drive" formatting in Gmail and Google Docs; I just want plain links with the title of the document as the link text.

Here is my usual workflow using keyboard shortcuts:

  • ctrl + tab: Open Gmail.
  • c: Create a draft email.
  • ctrl + shift + 8: Create a bulleted list, if I'm going to be sending multiple documents.
  • ctrl + tab, click: Switch to Google Drive, click on a document.
  • n, ctrl + c, esc: Open the "Rename" modal, copy the name, close the modal.
  • ctrl + shift + tab: Switch back to Gmail.
  • ctrl + v: Paste the document name.
  • ctrl + tab: Switch back to Google Drive.
  • a, down, down, down, down, right, down, enter: Copy the link to the document. Often I will just click the "Copy Link" button in the toolbar.
  • ctrl + shift + tab: Switch back to Gmail.
  • ctrl + shift + left: Select the name of the document.
  • ctrl + k, ctrl + v, enter: Open the "Edit Link" modal, paste the link, close the modal.

And now repeat everything from the third step down for each additional document.

Inventing Anna: ... I really don't have time for this!

For a single document, this is bad, but not terrible. When I have multiple documents, this gets very painful. In the next few posts, I'll describe various solutions I've been working on.