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9 ways to use Launchy to improve your productivity

09 11 2009

I am always on the lookout for new tools to help me become more productive and after I saw a colleague using an mac application called Quicksilver, I wondered if there was a Windows alternative which lead me to discover Launchy.

Launchy is a utility for Windows and Linux which was designed to launch applications quickly. All you do is hold the hotkey [Alt-Space] to bring up Launchy. Type the first few letters of the app you want to launch and it starts it for you.

Using Launchy to launch web sites

Whats really great though is the addition of a plugin called Weby. Through webby you can search your favourite web sites without the need to browse to the site and click inside the search box.

Weby works by firstly picking the website you want, then allowing you to enter a search term into the URL.

All you need to do is add this kind of command to the list of Weby searches:

Search YouTube

  1. Name: YouTube
  2. URL: http://www.youtube.com/
  3. Query: results?search_query=%s

Launchy simply replaces the %s with your search term.

Search Wikipedia

  1. Name: Wikipedia
  2. URL: http://en.wikipedia.com/
  3. Query: wiki/Special:Search?search=%s&fulltext=Search

Becuase all Launchy does is build the URL for you, you can take it a step further:

Search Pirate Bay, but change the sort order to number of seeders

  1. Name: Pirate Bay
  2. URL: http://thepiratebay.org/search/
  3. Query: %s/0/7/0

Compose a new GMail email and fill in the 'To' field

  1. Name: Gmail
  2. URL: https://mail.google.com/mail/
  3. Query: ?view=cm&tf=0&to=%s&fs=1

Search your own bookmarks on Delicious

  1. Name: Delicious
  2. URL: http://delicious.com/
  3. Query: search?p=%s&u=YOURUSERNAME

Do a WHOIS request on a domain

  1. Name: WHOIS
  2. URL: http://www.networksolutions.com/whois-search/
  3. Query: %s

Plus, Lauchy works on any web site, so I created one for my own shopping tool, the BestShopGuide, which itself was designed to be a time saver.

Search Amazon, Ebay and Shopping.com all at once

  1. Name: BestShopGuide
  2. URL: http://www.bestshopguide.co.uk/
  3. Query: search.php?category=all&searchterm=%s

Search Twitter for links on a specific topic

  1. Name: TwitterLinks
  2. URL: http://search.twitter.com/
  3. Query: search?ands=apple&filter=links&rpp=15

Lanuchy with the Everything search engine

You can integrate it with the Everything search engine for Windows - tutorial here

Google Desktop Search

  1. Name: GDesktop Search
  2. URL: http://127.0.0.1:4664/
  3. Query: search?q=%s&flags=68&num=10