Back in the day, Quicksilver was the hot app for OS X. I hadn’t used it for years, now; at some point it seemed to become unstable, and its indexing sucked up a fair amount of CPU. So until recently I’ve been launcher-less on my Macs. Oh I checked out the occasional alternative like Launchbar, but never took to it.
But now I’m using Alfred and seeing the launcher light once again.
Alfred is nicely capable on its own: Invoke it, type an application or file name, and Alfred displays the matches, each with a hotkey to activate. But with its Powerpack, it gets just fantastic, with dedicated shortcut keys to active popup finder navigation, a mini iTunes player and a Clipboard history. The keyboard shortcuts continue — each popup gives hotkeys to the options it presents.
These tools have replaced my normal modes of navigating on the MacBook. It’s so easy to invoke any of the powerpack features to find and email a file, fire up a playlist, or simply launch/switch applications. What I used to do with quicksilver, I’m now doing with Alfred, and loving it.
[The launcher app itself is free and available on the Mac App Store; the powerpack, which turns up the capability to 11, costs about $20. Worth it.]