That’s true of wine, of course. Technology, too. It’s also true of humans. How does a Mac user improve? Change. What separates the Mac power user from an average Mac user? The answer is simple. The keyboard. Or, rather, Mac keyboard shortcuts.
Most of us know half a dozen or so Mac keyboard shortcuts that work in most apps. Command+C for copy. Command+Q for quit. Command+P for print. Command+O for open. After that, remembering keyboard shortcuts gets a little more tricky, and we start reaching for the mouse or let our fingers do the walking to the Mac’s trackpad. But the difference between using the keyboard for almost everything, and switching to a mouse or trackpad to navigate is exactly what separates the Mac power user from the average everyday user.
Power users keep their hands on the keyboard. The rest of us bounce back and forth between the two and that means wasted motion and time. What I’ve been trying to do the past year is elevate myself from average Mac user to climb a little closer to the power user category. Yes, of course, there’s an app for that.
If you don’t want to spend money but really, truly, deeply want to improve your Mac skills, Quicksilver is the app you need. It’s free. It’s powerful. It makes minced meat of everyday pedestrian Mac tasks that used to require Mac mouse or trackpad.
Use Quicksilver to launch apps, open documents, search through contacts, play music, even browse through the Mac’s files without the mouse or trackpad.
Type in the Quicksilver keystroke combo, then type what you want. Quicksilver learns your actions and remembers what you did. Enter a few keystrokes, and Quicksilver responds with a pop up of options and learns by what you type and select.
Sure, you can type keywords into Spotlight in the Mac’s Finder. Spotlight knows where nearly everything is on your Mac. But Spotlight is stupid. That’s why it display umpteen gazillion items when all you want is one.
Quicksilver not only finds more of what you want, it remembers what it found, and what you did with it, so the next search is faster.
Within Quicksilver you can open apps and files, but also move files, copy things, rename files, delete files and navigate throughout your Mac’s files without leaving the keyboard.
For all of this power, Quicksilver takes a leap of faith (remember Indiana Jones’ leap of faith in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? Same thing. You have to use Quicksilver for a few days to undo your old habits of reaching for the mouse or moving to the trackpad to do what Quicksilver can do faster just from the keyboard.
Remember, nothing improves without change.