The Quicksilver Intro

I guess it wouldn’t be right to talk about GTD without mentioning Quicksilver.

The basic introduction that everyone gets to Quicksilver is to think of it as an application launcher. Well, that’s great, but why have a launcher when you have something perfectly capable like the dock?

For starters, the dock gets in the way. It takes up valuable screen real estate for nothing more than shortcuts. The first thing I do with a new OSX setup is hide the dock. That solves the real estate problem, but you still need to take your hands off the keyboard to start an application.

With Quicksilver you can just hit a keyboard command (default: ctrl+spacebar) and up it comes. Type in the first few letters of the app you want. When it comes up hit the enter key – done.

But what about spotlight? That does pretty much the same thing, right? As of OSX Tiger, Spotlight sucks for launching apps. You don’t search for apps – you search for everything. You type “photoshop” and you get an app plus any help documents or bookmarks, and the list keeps updating so you can’t reliably select anything.

But Quicksilver does more than just open applications. Quicksilver can integrate with OSX apps, letting you work with them no matter where you are. Want to send an email to somebody? No need to go to the dock, open up Mail.app, click email, add the contact. You can do it in Quicksilver in 3 fields without ever touching the mouse.

This never seemed like a big deal to me, but later I will write about how Quicksilver finally “clicked” for me when it came to using my favorite application. And once you see how it works in context like that you’ll see how you can save tons of time with Quicksilver.