Most launchers work the same way – open the launcher, type in the application’s name, and hit Enter to launch the item. There are many launchers available out there using this method. But if you are willing to try a different approach to launch applications faster, you could try MadAppLauncher. This application will help you launch anything in three strokes or less.
Three Hundred Boxes
After installation, MadAppLauncher will reside in the System Tray. Clicking on the icon or pressing the shortcut key combination will launch the program’s main window. You can assign a new shortcut key combination if you want to.
The first thing you will notice about the app is the rows of boxes and tabs. MadAppLauncher takes a different approach than the other file launchers. Instead of letting users type the name of the apps they want to launch while keeping the display as minimal as possible, this mad launcher will display everything in rows of boxes and let users pick one to launch.
The system works like this. You put something in one of the boxes, and you can quickly launch it by pressing a keyboard button related to that box. For example, if you put Notepad in box B, then you can launch Notepad by pressing the B button on the keyboard. All you need to do is populate the boxes with the items you want to launch. The boxes are grouped under tabs. There are 10 tabs and 30 boxes in each tab. So you have 300 boxes in total. That should be enough to contain everything you need.
While this system is more “maximalist” than the usual approach, the system becomes very effective when you need to deal with a great number of applications, files and folders because you can launch an application faster than the common launchers.
Populating The Boxes
To put something in a box, you can drag and drop the item from Windows Explorer. Or if you want more control, you could do it in a more traditional way – right click on a box, click “Edit“, then…
Add the “Target” by clicking on “Browse” and locate the file you want. Select the item, and all the other fields will automatically be filled in using the default settings. You can customize the fields if you want to.
The “Appearance” tab will let you set where and how the launched window should be displayed. For example, you can set that a certain document will always be opened on the left side of the screen and the size at a quarter of the screen.
As an experiment, I assigned box A to Audacity. So everytime I need to open Audacity, all I need to do is to open MadAppLauncher and hit “A” on the keyboard.
MadAppLauncher itself can be summoned by a customizable shortcut key combination. To do the customization, go to “Settings – Hotkey“.
The default hotkey is “Control + Oemtilde“, but you can change it to your own combination. In case you are wondering (like I did), oemtilde is this sign: “~“.
If you want to avoid an accidental launch, you could set MadAppLauncher to perform the task only when the assigned key is pressed twice. You can do this from the “Options” window.
To better organize the launcher, you can assign different tabs to contain different kinds of items. For example, one tab for audio applications, one for games, another for work documents, etc. Then right click on the tab, choose “Edit“, and give the tab a name.
You can move between tabs easily by pressing the number keys (1-9 and 0). To speed up the tab switching process, put a number in front of each tab name so you know immediately what number to press for each tab. So instead of naming the first tab “Audio“, name it “1Audio” for example.
To hide the MadAppLauncher main window away after launching an item, check the “Auto Hide” option under the “View” menu.
What do you think? Do you like MadAppLauncher method or do you prefer a normal launcher? Share your opinions in the comments below.