Being a big fan of calling things out pretty quickly on my system. I have long since moved from the normal “mouse clicking” methods to the much faster “keyboard” method. A few weeks ago, I mentioned a program called AutoHotKey which allowed you to customise your keyboard to call up any program or folder that you have in your system with just a few buttons. However, there is only a finite amount of programs and folders worth customising for and personally a finite amount of keys worth using (using “WinKey + P” as a hotkey for instance is pretty uncomfortable).
To make up for it, here are two programs that work on the same principle – keyword interfaces. Launchy and Executor are like a souped up version of your Windows Run and Vista Search. With just a hotkey and a few words, you can call up your favourite programs or the folder you want instantly.
You can’t really tell the difference from the pictures since I did use the same kind of skin for both of them and they both pretty much do the same thing. However, in terms of customisation, both of them are very different. While Launchy has more program tie-ins than Executor (you can for instance, Tweet and post to your Google Calendar from Launchy), Executor has more keyword customisations and allows you to look for more files in your system than Launchy can. Not that Launchy can’t find a lot of programs and files to begin with, it’s just that I sometimes dig deep into my system where Launchy doesn’t go and Executor does, which is why I use Executor as my main keyword launcher.
At the end of the day, both programs work well to make your computer use a little more practical and a whole lot easier. If OSX and Linux have their own keyword launchers (Quicksilver for OSX and Gnome Do for Linux), I can’t see why Windows can’t enjoy the same kind of wordplay as well. Keyword launchers are the way to go if you’re getting tired of constantly clicking and searching for the things you want. These programs are definitely worth geeking out for, so try it for size, you might definitely start forgetting about using your mouse to navigate ever again.