LaunchBar, Quicksilver (OS X) or Colibri (Windows)

Apple’s notebook line has been selling like wild for quite some time now, and I think it’s appropriate for notebook users to know about these programs.  Even desktop users should have them, but there is literally no excuse for a laptop jockey to forego them.  My wife, a vested Windows laptop user, has the option of Colibri.  These programs are interchangeable in what they do for the most part, so I’ll just go ahead and write about them as a group.

They are all handy little applications that index your files, programs, webpages and such so they are no more than a keyboard shortcut away.  I cannot stress enough how much time and effort these programs save.  They remove the tedious movements and tendon crippling one-finger clicking a mouse can produce.  They save you countless hours per week of navigating through the Finder or Start Menu.  You can launch pretty much any application within three keystrokes, which for  a notebook user is indispensable.  Imagine sitting on a plane and not missing your mouse.  You can open songs, albums, files, pictures, you name it and it’s indexed.

LaunchBar has been my application of choice since I was on Panther, so I am a bit biased towards that one in particular. The downside is a license will cost you roughly  €24.  Quicksilver and Colibri are both free licenses at the time of this writing.

I’ll let you decide which is right for you, but be warned: this is like going from dial-up to broadband.  You get the good stuff and you’ll never live without it again.  So for those choices that are donationware, I strongly suggest you keep their development teams happy and throw them some coin.

Here’s the links:

QuickSilver

QuickSilver

Launchbar

Launchbar

Colibri

Colibri

As I said, I’m a huge proponent of LaunchBar, they give free updates, and have one of the fastest interfaces on the planet.  See below for screenshots of the preferences panels, and if that isn’t enough go ahead and click on the link above and download the free trial.  You won’t be sorry!

General

General

Appearance

Appearance

Shortcuts

Shortcuts

Actions

Actions

lb5

Calculator

Clipboard

Clipboard

Advanced Options

Advanced Options