There was a time, when I could swear my allegiance to one app launcher or another, as long as it was not Spotlight. At first, I believe, I started using the free version of Alfred some years ago, but then I moved over to Launchbar when I realized that Alfred still pretty much relies on the Spotlight index for everything. At the time, I had manually knocked out the Spotlight indexing process, in order to save CPU cycles and spare my HDD (yeah, it was quite some time ago). Launchbar builds its own index and it is very fast and fine-grained to exactly an app launcher would need.
I am still used Launchbar as my day-to-day app launcher, even though it has been years since I stopped disabling the Spotlight indexing process. I still don't like the Spotlight UI, but am aware that the index is used in many more apps beyond the app launching itself.
I am interested to know if you are still using a custom app launcher for macOS. I f yes, I would like to hear your reasons, and perhaps, get a few new interesting automation tips from you. Drop me a line in the comments.