Call it an obsession, but I'm always looking for ways to get to my apps a little bit faster. The Windows 7 taskbar is a massive step forward, for instance, but I've nonetheless experimented with just about every application launcher I could find anyway, just to see if it's more convenient or a little bit faster.
Now I've found one that's gorgeous in a sci-fi sort of way, and also is amazingly useful. Middle click your mouse, and it pops a set of concentric rings around your pointer with icons for all of your favorite things.
Circle Dock is a free app launcher that looks like a rotary phone. Drag files, folders, and apps to its concentric rings, and then your most valuable things are just a click away. I like Circle Dock because your mouse doesn't need to go anywhere -- your apps come to you, wherever you happen to click to summon it. Indeed, you don't even need to move your mouse far to click an icon -- spin your mouse wheel, and the apps spin around like a roulette wheel.
It's also insane configurable. A tweaker's dream come true, there's virtually no aspect of this app launcher that you can't fine tune to satisfy your particular manifestation of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
That said, Circle Doc's help file is written like a college textbook, with little regard for making the program simple to understand for ordinary people. I was frankly astonished at how the author cold make something so simple -- an app launcher -- and make it maddeningly complicated to understand. It's not intentional, I'm sure; it's just that his day job surely is writing the tax code and he has trouble adjusting.
Don't let that scare you away, though. Circle Dock is a cool app launcher that could increase your app launching efficiency -- or at least make you feel more efficient. Not thrilled by Circle Dock? Then try some of the others I've written about recently, such as MouseExtender and 7Stacks. [Via Lifehacker]