True Launch Bar for monitoring the state of system resources.

Mysterious computer in the dark
Photo by Anieto2k

Did you ever wonder if someone else was connected to your computer? Ever had that feeling that your computer seemed slower for no apparent reason? Something seemed off that you could not pinpoint but you wanted to know exactly what was happening. This has happened to me lots of times.

True Launch Bar

This was one of the first apps that I ever bought several years ago when I started working and I never regretted the money spent. This is one of the first apps that I install right after formatting my computer. I use it for several purposes but the most important is definitely the ability to check the status of my computer at a glance.

True Launch Bar  is basically an application geared towards productivity that you can use to monitor your computer in realtime.

My desktop with True Launch Bar enabled looks like this:

My Truelaunchbar Desktop

I like my desktop to be clutter free as well as functional. Because I have a widescreen I chose to put the windows taskbar on the right side in order to save some vertical space. However the amount of plugins that I have enabled on True Launch Bar forced me to put it on the top taskbar. For a while I had the auto-hide feature enabled but I quickly turned it off because it required me to move my mouse in order to see the taskbar.

With True Launch Bar I can easily see all of the information that I want:

    • Processor usage
    • Network traffic
    • Wireless status
    • Disk space
    • Battery remaining

One of the base features that comes with True Launch Bar is the ability to create custom menus like this one:

Truelaunchbar custom menu example

These custom menus allow you to access any folder on your computer and they can even show thumbnails for your pictures.

Truelaunchbar menu with image thumbnails

However I don’t actually use this feature often. To quickly navigate to folders I prefer to use Launchy because it doesn’t require the use of the mouse. It’s also my favorite app launcher.

The network monitor skin that I use allows me to see the network usage of my computer for the last 3 minutes:

My Truelaunchbar Network monitor skin

By virtue of this plugin I once found out that someone was downloading files from my computer without my knowledge.

Right next to the CPU usage, these two are the plugins that allow me to monitor what my computer is doing.

The competition

As far as competition goes, another app that I like very much and that has the advantage of being free is Rainmeter. With Rainmeter you can make your desktop look like this:

Rainmeter Example desktop
Enigma Desktop from Kaelri

Like True Launch Bar Rainmeter also shows graphs for memory, network, cpu, etc, but it has the downside that you need to minimize your windows in order to see the info.

Also the plugins are not as easy to install and to configure compared to True Launch Bar.

The plugins

True Launch Bar has lots of plugins that greatly increase the functionalities of the base app.

My favourite plugin is the Clipboard Manager, that I use extensibly and helps me keep my high level of productivity. The ability to easily find a piece of text that I copied hours ago has saved me tons of time. It even allows you to lock your favourites so that they are always accessible.

Truelaunchbar clipboard manager

There are many more plugins to chose from. You even have a news reader and a weather forecast. Actually one that I used for a while was the motherboard monitor. It allowed me to monitor the temperature of the CPU and I believe is very useful for overclocking enthusiasts.

Conclusion

The good

The main reasons that made me actually buy this application were:

    • Lots of available and useful plugins
    • Lots of different skins
    • Ease of use
    • Ability to run in taskbar mode
    • Always visible at a glance

The bad

After many years of use, my only complaints are:

    • Price
    • With many plugins active it may use a bit of CPU

 

Keep in mind that although this is a paid application, there is a shareware version that you can use and test drive for 30 days. I advise you to give it a try.

If you have any questions or need any help using True Launch Bar please don’t hesitate to ask. I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

If you’re interested in getting the paid version, please follow my affiliate link. It helps with the expenses. Thanks.

Buy True Launch Bar

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