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I use and very much like the Free, open source Program Launcher, Launchy.

Launchy automatically loads itself on boot and waits for the user to call it by pressing Alt + Space (I changed it to Windows + Space). Then you start typing the name of the program they wish to run. Launchy automatically searches its list of programs for the closest match as the user types. When it finds the desired program, the user hits enter and it is automatically launched. This process is far more convenient and takes much less time than launching programs through traditional methods of start menus and desktop shortcuts.

After the program launches, Launchy automatically hides itself. Besides launching programs, it will to arithmetic, and access Internet sites.

Launchy guesses what programs where you want indexed and what file extensions (bookmarks? music?). It automatically indexes your start programs menu and your desktop shortcuts. You can add (or remove) any folders you want it to index. Then you can tailor the extensions to that particular folder so it will find the programs you want when you want them. So you can say that in the spreadsheets folder it should index .xls and .qbw files, while in the desktop folder it will index everything (.*).

I have launchy setup to launch the website for the Secunia Inspector, my mileage to record travel, and most of my other software. It learns what you are most likely to want, so if I type "mi" it guesses "Mini-Timeslips", which what I use to enter my time for billing. When I add "le" to make "mile" it comes up with "mileage 2007" which is my 2007 mileage spreadsheet. If I were to simply type "2007" it shows "Quicken 2007" as it's first choice followed by "mileage 2007" then other rarely used options.

I told you about Evernote in the Jan-March issue. I even use Launchy to launch particular notes which I frequently refer to. I created a folder on the desktop called Evernote Shortcuts, and I make shortcuts to individual Evernotes in it. (right click on a note and choose copy note link, then make a shortcut on your desktop an paste the link into it). Then I re-index Launchy and voila, I have direct and immediate access to that note.

Date: July 2007

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