Add a place to store your files - Help and How-to - Microsoft Office Online
Turns out Microsoft Office apps have a hidden tool, seen only in the save dialog box, that allows one to add icons to the left side of the save/save as dialog. Thanks to Andy M. for pointing this out.
Very obscure, very useful.
Office is editing a registry setting. There must be a non-Office utility for managing these 'My Places' entries, I'll look around for it. In OS X one can do drop and drag to add or remove the equivalent shortcuts. Also in OS X, though little known, is the ability to drag and drop an icon from the desktop to the save as dialog to change the target ...
Update 12/3: Alas, the changes only affect Office. So it messes up my workflow by creating application specific behaviors for routine file management funcitons. Thank heavens I don't use XP as much as I once did ...
Update 12/4: XP Power Tools TweakUI allows one to change the standard Windows My Places list. The custom list allows five options. One of my five is a 'shortcuts' folder I use, it has about 20 shortcuts to the projects and files I'm working on currently.
Update 12/11/06: Check out the comments for a way to extend the list by directly editing the registry. I don't know if it's safe to add more than five entries.