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43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

How do you describe Quicksilver?

Acting without doing SOUNDS good, but... (Ask MetaFilter)

I really liked this AskMe question about Quicksilver, since it's one that comes up a lot for folks who don't get as enthused about the app as I (and many of you) do:

Everywhere I go on the internet, Mac users rave about Quicksilver. I've downloaded it a couple times, and I sort of get that it COULD be really useful, but I am not sure how...

So what am I missing with Quicksilver? I see so many other people who get a lot of use out of it, and I am sure I can fit it in somewhere, too, but I just can't seem to figure it out....

Here's a portion of how I responded in comments:

Quicksilver provides access to almost any kind of stuff in your Mac's and your world -- contact information, bookmarks, files, Applications, system settings, and pretty much anything else -- and it lets you leap to any of these things by typing a few letters of the name (NB: Spotlight is more about contents and QS is more about names; they're complementary, not competing). So, that's the neato, Day 0 stuff.

But the big sexy comes with how QS understands the potential verbal relationships between any of those objects, then gives you a single keyboard interface for making amazing things happen...

I'll admit that it always makes me realize what a fanboy I am whenever I try to explain Quicksilver, but, truthfully, it is kind of challenging.

How do you describe Quicksilver to folks who don’t get all the fuss? How do you relate the sexiness?

mpancha's picture

Re: You're kidding, right?

I guess its a bit of both.

Had it been about 5 years ago, I would spend days trying to figure out how to incorporate a software with a cool feature into my workflow. Now though, and I'm not all that old, I don't have time at work to spend trying new things, unless it will vastly improve my efficiency. So far based on what I've read about QS specifically, it doesn't provide me anything that my current speed on a keyboard/mouse/trackpad + expose + spotlight doesn't already give me.

With software in general, the 15 minute rule applies during the work day. I just don't have the spare time, with some exception. For example, my current "task" is to figure out if virtualization will help our server solutions at work. So for the next few weeks I"ll be experimenting with VM Ware and whatever else I can find.

At home, I've tried QS, I just don't have the time to spend figuring it out. I have a wife and kid I'd rather spend time with, and I have an HD tv + other assorted toys that rank higher on my priorities than the examples of how QS could speed my tasks.

There are a lot of cool features on the Mac that have saved me a ton of time. But, the truth is, and I'm sure most of the "many things" you have encountered on the Mac fall into this as well, you could figure out and were intuitive and required little or no learning curve. That's what drives people to the Mac, "it just works", and things are where you think they are going to be. QS, to me wasn't intuitive, and thus hasn't gotten much of my attention, and hasn't ranked higher than playing with the baby while podcasts (you are one of my favs on MBW by the way) play in the living room.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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