Using emojis on a Mac or MacBook is actually really easy. The default shortcut is Ctrl+CMD+Space. This will bring up the the emoji keyboard. However, there are a few tricks you can do to make this even faster, or have it work on a third-party keyboard, too.
Change the Globe key
This is by far the easiest trick to do. Simply open your Settings > Keyboard. If you can't find it, use the search bar at the top right corner of the Settings menu. Once there, hit the dropdown menu in the setting for “Press 🌐 to” and select “Show Emoji & Symbols”. Once done, you can easily hit the 🌐 at the bottom of your MacBook keyboard to bring up the emoji menu. However, this won't work on third-party keyboards that don't have a 🌐 key.
Use Karabiner Elements for third-party keyboard
This one's a bit trickier, and requires you to download a third-party app. But Karabiner Elements is a powerful keyboard software that will also let you do a bunch of things, such as switch keys around, and remap buttons. On a Windows keyboard, we'll be changing the left alt/option button to become the fn 🌐 button, which will allow us to access the trick we did earlier.
To do this, download and install Karabiner Elements, then open the app and select the keyboard you are using. You may see duplicates, it's probably the one without a trackpad icon. Head to Simple Modifications, then add an item and select “right_option” and “fn” from the drop down menu. Then all you need to do is hit the key right to the right of your spacebar, and you're set.
While you're at it, you can also add a rule to swap align your Windows-layout keyboard to have the Command key next to your spacebar. From the same menu as above, click add rule, and select “left_command” and “left_option”. Because it's tied to the keyboard, it won't affect your laptop's keyboard for when you're on the go.