This tip won’t appeal to everyone, but some will think it is just jim dandy fine, so here it is. And this is not just a Lion tip, it works in previous versions of the OS as well.
If you have lots of apps on your Mac but find you primarily use the same few on a daily basis you may want to keep them at the ready without relying on the Dock. Many people with small screens don’t like the amount of real estate that the Dock consumes. So here is another choice for you.
Create a folder on your desktop. Move an alias of each of those important apps to that folder and use that folder to quickly access your apps.
To create the alias do this:
Go to the source of the application, i.e., the Applications Folder. Click and drag the application to the folder you created, but before you release the mouse button, hold down Option and Command.
You now have an alias in the folder. It is identified as such in list view when you open the folder.
You can use this same technique to create an alias of other folders, documents, etc.