dmenu: A gem for any Linux distro
When I discovered the great i3 window manager, I was also stunned with one of it’s hidden gems: The dmenu.
It is a small utility that provides you with an ultra fast way to find an installed application and fire it up.
Since then, I always install it into any distro or desktop environment I am on. Just create a keybinding for Meta+D (or anything more convenient for you) to the command dmenu_run and that’s it. It is probably already available on your distro’s repositories!
Dmenu will search in all applications as you type and display all candidate results. If you use it once, everything else will feel much slower.
You can also customize the looks of it but you need to edit source files and build yourself (something I’m not quite ready to pursue yet).