A launcher, if you’ve not come across it, is a program that assists you in launching other programs. There are many of them around for OSX but I prefer to use the one that’s already bundled, Spotlight.
I used to use Quicksilver years ago and found that the main use that I had for it was to quickly type the name of a program that I wanted to launch. I can’t recall exactly which version of OSX added this functionality, but it was at least 2 or 3 years ago.
Spotlight, as well as searching for files and other things on your hard drive will also search for applications so try it out and I’m sure you will get used to starting programs like this.
See the image above, it’s pretty simple. In Spotlight type in mail and you will see at the top of the list it has found the OSX Mail program, just hit enter and the program starts.
I like to take it one step further, configure which keyboard combination will take you into Spotlight and you can launch a new program right from the keyboard, no mouse or applications folder required. You can see from the screen shot below that I have it configured to be the <Command> key and the <space bar>.
So all I have to do is hit those, then type the name of the app I’d like to run and I’m done.
Try it out for yourself!