One type of application that can help you increase your productivity are what people call launcher apps. There are several popular ones for the Mac including Quicksilver, Launchbar and Alfred. I have tried all three, but lately I have been using Alfred. Alfred can be download through the Mac App Store or through the Alfred Web site. I recommend doing it through the Web site, it will make it easier later when you want to purchase the PowerPack and you will want to purchase it.
So what can you do with Alfred. You can launch applications, search the web, find, and open files on your local network quickly and generally speed up your Mac productivity. If you purchase the PowerPack you can save clips, control your iTunes library, start an email and even add attachments all through Alfred using a couple of key strokes. If I want to launch the Twitter application I hit command then space bar which activates Alfred. I then start typing Twitter arrow down to Twitter and then hit enter and Twitter launches. Want to search the Internet, activate Alfred type the search engine you use, then your search term. You can also search the database of Web sites like IMDB and Wikipedia. If you have the PowerPack you can create custom searches. Want to find or open a file on your network activate Alfred type find or open then the file name and hit enter. For this to work with network attached drives you have to add them too your Default Results under the Alfred’s Preferences. If you have the PowerPack you can add even more options by using Apple Scripts, Automator Workflows and Shell Scripts. You can write ones yourself or add ones that are already written. My favorite one allows me to quickly add a task to the task manager Things. These are just some of the actions that you can accomplish with Alfred.
I like Alfred, it does what I need it too. Alfred itself is free. The PowerPack is £12.00 or around $19.00 and it is well worth it. I recommend trying Alfred, I did and I was surprised how much it helped to increase my productivity.