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I am regularly driven round the bend keeping track of folders (file system)

Either I have to have a ton of windows open, each with a different location, or I have to renavigate each and every time using the common dialog 'file open'

Is there an app which can run as a widget or systray app that can remember a magic combo of 'most used/most recent' folder so I can get straight there, also to have an option to put the path into the clipboard would be great.

Anyone know of such a thing?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I'm sure there are plenty ways to skin this cat.

My tool of choice is Total Commander - simply hit CTRL + D to add a location to the "Directory Hotlist"

If you fancy something more 'graphical', have a look at Standalone Stack

enter image description here

There is also Anvir Task Manager Free, which automatically populates a list (accessible from tray icon) showing the most recently opened folders (folders can be added manually to this list).

enter image description here

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Standalone stack looks nice, but it doesn't work as I would expect it to. I'm trying Anvir, just trying to figure out if there is a hotkey to pop up the menus shown above (rather than the anvir task manager UI) – adolf garlic Nov 25 '09 at 10:20
I like anvir! After using it for a while I can confirm it is def a good little app – adolf garlic Jan 8 '10 at 10:45

What you need is an open/save dialog box extender. Two good and free extenders are listed below:

The open-source DM2:

DM2 inserts an extra button in all default Windows Open/Save dialogs. When clicked, this button shows a pop up menu with user-defined favorite folders and files. Additionally, menu contains a special submenu ('Recent') with latest of previously used files and folders. By selecting one of the available menu items, user may navigate very fast and easily between favorite folders. This significantly saves time while opening and saving files, since it frees user from boring and time wasting browsing!


FileBox eXtender


The button with a little heart on it like this: displays a "Favorites" menu. The FileBox Extender Configuration window allows you to add your favorite folders, files, document names, or other text items on it. You can use this to make Windows work as you want it to work (not how it wants to do things "out of the box").

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All it seemed to do is add an icon to the systray. I see nothing in word 2007, 2005 etc – adolf garlic Nov 25 '09 at 9:02
and it seriously interfered with right-click functionality across all apps, had to kill it in the end... – adolf garlic Nov 25 '09 at 9:06
I never used it, but it has a fanatical fellowship. Sorry it didn't work out. – harrymc Nov 25 '09 at 10:09

I like using more "minimalistic" approaches; usually trying to work with whatever options the OS (Windows in this case) has got. In this case, I create a windows toolbar: Creating a new toolbar

Then make a new folder which will contain all the shortcuts to my preferred folders. Lastly, I place the toolbar at one side of my screen (say, left side) and configure the toolbar to "autohide", show small icons and show text:

Toolbar configuration

This way I only have to drag a folder's shortcut to the folder representing this toolbar if I need quick access to it (after opening the toolbar folder by clicking the "open folder" option shown in the previous image).

Finally, I additionally created a small VBS script that allows me to create a new note in the same folder/toolbar. The script is placed at the top of the toolbar:

enter image description here

And allows me to create a simple text file after entering a title (which is used as the name of the file). The script source is (consider it in the Public Domain):

x = InputBox ("Write the title of the new note","Note Title")
Set WshShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
if x <> "" then
    y = "C:\Documents and Settings\myname\My Documents\Notes\"&x&".txt"
    Set myFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
    Set WriteStuff = myFSO.OpenTextFile(y, 8, True)
end if
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