You could bind some of your keys to your most used emotes.
simple and pretty handy.
/bind (key) emotenotext (emote)
so for me I have almost my entire keyboard bound so lol I can show you a few of mine
say I'm walking along (W) see a friend and stop I press (Ctrl+W) and I wave.
if you want your emotes to show the /local text you can use emote instead of emotenotext.
so if you want to laugh - /bind ctrl+L emotenotext laugh
you want to salute /bind ctrl+s emotenotext salute
stant to attention /bind ctrl+a emotenotext attention
hope this helps
Rachel P. x
P.S. I'm also aware of a few existing binds - ctrl+g opens the fleet window, you can override it though so its ok.
P.P.S. check options and keybinds or controls and you can click the keyboard button to show you your free keys.
2. (and more importantly,) everyone ELSE is lazy, and this would make everyone else use emotes more often, which would add to the game.
Please kindly do not generalize everybody. You don't speak for me and what seems to be a lot of folks here in the forums. I also take offense to your "everybody is lazy" as I work a 56 hour week, a dozen hours of volunteerism, as well as walk nearly a ninety miles a week in a vague attempt to keep my weight down.
if you search the forums, you'll actually discover people complaining about either there being too many toolbars (The recent big one was not wanted by a few folks.) in the UI as well as some folks' disgust of emotes. I know some times sitting in ESD trying to help out and having some lovely person doing emote after emote over and over again clogging up the zone chat and making it hard to read what folks are asking about.
Emotes are also yet another example of some people's opinion of what they see as poor customer service here. We used to have quite a few more and even some cstore packs. These were removed and those who actually paid for the packs no longer (to my knowledge at least) have access to what they've paid for.