It’s Friday and I couldn’t come up with a Friday Freebie app because developers are getting wise and figuring out that the growing number of Mac users means there’s actual money in apps. So, this Friday I’ll do a mashup of my famous hubris and facetiousness. I’m a Mac power user. Uh huh. I did it with a single app. Seriously!
I know my way around Mac probably a bit better than most but when something goes a little wonky I resort to the tried and true. Reboot. Lately I’ve been on a kick to recognize my mortality while trying to improve my efficiency. That means keeping those Mac apps that do more with less effort. Take LaunchBar, for example. It’s a Mac launcher so it works like the Dock which is built-in, drop dead simple to use, and free. So, why would I invest money and learning curve time in LaunchBar?
Navigating and using a Mac by keeping hands on the keyboard is more efficient than removing hands from the keyboard to use the trackpad or mouse. LaunchBar attaches a few simple keyboard shortcuts to a long list of options which can be learned quickly and put into use as you learn. Press the keyboard shortcuts, start typing what you want to launch.
Keep typing until you get what you want. It’s easy. Keyboard shortcuts in LaunchBar make it faster to send email, upload a photo to Twitter, grab and store a snippet of text, review the Mac clipboard’s history (the multiple clipboard operation is worth the price of LaunchBar alone), open Contacts or Calendar, as well as move, rename, compress files or create folders.
All that without touching the trackpad or mouse. Use only the keyboard and you become a Mac power user.
Command-Space on the keyboard brings LaunchBar to the front of the Mac’s screen. Start typing and LaunchBar figures out what you want with a list of choices that is reduced as you type. That makes you more efficient, more productive so you get a little more done each day while you’re a guest on planet earth.
Need a different look than the ordinary? LaunchBar delivers themes.
What else can it do? Beyond opening apps and files and folders, you can send files elsewhere on your Mac; to other apps, different folders, even email or text. LaunchBar lets you browse iTunes while you’re working on something else. It searches the web easier and faster than Spotlight. There’s a built in calculator, an option to view Mac app package contents, even dig through your Contacts app without opening said app.
Any caveats? Other than price (you must be committed to LaunchBar), a few. LaunchBar drops down from the middle of the Menubar. I’d like to be able to move that closer to the center of the screen. LaunchBar does not use Spotlight so its ability to refresh file and folder locations is a bit slower.
The nits are few because LaunchBar gives a Mac user a little more productive power that emanates from the keyboard. That takes a bit of effort to make an adjustment but the rewards are obvious. You become a Mac power user.