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Essentials app can easily become your favorite and irreplaceable shortcuts pad. Just press hotkey (default is Ctrl + space, but you can customize it in preferences) and Essentials will appear where ever your mouse cursor is (or not, if you choose so in preferences).
You can use it to:
- quickly launch applications
- access assorted folders, documents and files of any kind
- act as clipboard or "dropbox" for your e-mail messages, text clippings, PDF and image clippings
- drag/drop paths and images (from for ex. Adobe Illustrator)
- create, drag/drop or/and mix color item from standard OS X palette
- make YOUR OWN simple Terminal commands/scripts (that can act as droplets too! :) ...now which app can do that! :D)
- run all items from a selected group
- resize groups by holding Command key (⌘) and scroll up or down (or pinch it on trackpad)
- resize items icons (⌘+scroll) and their titles (⌘+⌥+scroll) - hope this feature makes you say "sweet!"
- item spacing preference for even longer titles plus two line rendering of item titles for longer titles
- cycle through groups with Command key (⌘) + up/down arrows
- group your favorite items in any way you like
- reorder groups and items by holding Command key and dragging groups/items to desired position
- mark items AND groups with colors from pop-up menu
- you can finally make your dock look fancy by not overloading it with so many icons
Essentials is simply essential because:
- you can keep your favorite/frequently used items really accessible and nearby
- saves your time and improves your productivity in many ways; e.g. displays right beneath your cursor when you hit the hot key, supports QuickLook, ads text clipping into text clipping (like next sentence) without opening it, groups and items can be colorized for fast viewing…
- it has smooth and intuitive UI
- it is responsive and fast
- it can easily blend like it is part of the OS X
What's New in Version 1.3
- Spacer item type (adds empty space between items)
- support for "note links" from Evernote
- items highlight on mouse over
- bug fixes
Crazy Fast Script Launching
I have used a lot of shortcut apps, quicksilver and alfred are my usual OSX shortcut apps, but essentials is different because its implementation of terminal commands. If you use any terminal commands or scripts regularly, essentials is great because you can add a script or command to essentials very easily. It is possible to run terminal commands with other apps, but essentials has a very smooth and logical implementation of this function. In my opinion its great if you have a few very specific functions that you need to do frequently without opening a terminal. As far as launching apps, it is not as fast as quicksilver if you have several tabs of apps, but compared to mission control or spotlight essentials is a total time saver. Some of the keyboard shortcuts are not completely logical to me, but its not too difficult getting used to them, but it would be nice to be able to change tabs without multiple key input. Currently switching to tab 1 is 'command + 1' switching to tab 2 is 'command + 2', it would be nice to just specify tab 1 by simply typing '1' for example.
Overall my small quirks are just that, they are by no means a reason to consider essentials to be a bad app. Essentials is a fantastic, its fast and smooth and saves me so much time. I have recommended essentials to other people who were also happy with their experiences with it. On a 10 point scale I would give it a 9 out of 10.
Very nice UI, works well, initial setup a bit tedious
Once it's set up properly it's great. You can hide the dock icon, menu icon, so it doesn't clutter the screen until you use the hotkey to launch it. I also like the named group tabs better than switching screens like in Launch Pad. Also much better than Launch Pad because Launch Pad is super tedious to customize and dumps every single application into the list.
That said, the following would make Essentials even better:
* Be able to set it to auto-sort. Currently after you add items to a page, you have to use the gear icon to resort the page.
* A manual sort option also would be great - to be able to drag icons around and have the other icons move out of the way to accomodate new sort order
* Sorely needed: ability to re-order group tabs. I had to edit the plist file to change the order after I added some new groups. For now, make sure you create the folders you want in the order you want first, before adding all the apps
Overall for me, this is a much better launcher than Apple's.
Exactly what I was looking for
I've tried using stacks in the dock and it never really worked for me. I wanted something that would make many folder locations, web shortcuts and the like readily available. I looked at other solutions, but was not completely happy with them.
Essentials brings the functionally I wanted together in a beautifully and logical way. An important feature is that it is customizable. I set it up to remove the dock icon and leave the menubar icon. I also chose not to hide it when another window has the focus. This is absolutely perfect. Yes, it is indeed worth the money.