Windows only: New kid on the app launcher block Speed Launch brings a dose of novelty and a whole lot of functionality to the scene. Speed Launch, from Microsoft Office Labs, puts a small archery style bull’s-eye in the lower right hand corner of your primary monitor. You can drag documents, programs, and URLs onto the target to create a quick launch keyword. For example, drag the executable for Adobe Photoshop to pull up a dialog where you can assign a keyword such as “ps” or “shop” to the program. Similarly, if you have a document you edit frequently like a todo.txt or a spreadsheet, Speed Launch can assign keywords to them such as “todo” or “accounting.” Hit the Win+C keyboard combination to pull up the launch menu you see in the screenshot above, enter a keyword to launch the application, document, or bookmark. One of Speed Launch’s strong points is the ability to chain together items in a keyword for multiple launches, too.
Lets say every morning you go to Gmail, read the new articles at Lifehacker.com, and launch Thinking Rock to get your GTD focus going. Speed Launch lets you to drag the URLs for Gmail and Lifehacker and the shortcut to Thinking Rock onto the bull’s-eye and assign them all the same keyword “Morning.” If you’re in the mood to test-drive application launchers and find the perfect fit, make sure to check out our application launcher Hive Five. Speed Launch is a free download for Windows only, requires .NET 3.0 to run.