A+: Start Menu

Manually editing the automatically generated Start Menu can ease the selection of programs. Most apps automatically assign one or more links and/or folders in it for one-click launching, but click-and-drag allows you to recategorize programs, and right clicking allows sorts and cut-and-paste as well as renaming and deleting. You can also switch from large to small icons to permit more apps in a list, or upsize the icons if desired.

Adding to the default Start menu starts with a right-click on its button; pick Explore to add a new item to your own menu or Explore All Users to add to all users' Start menus. Shortcuts appear on the right, the menu folder opens on the left. Expand a folder by clicking on its + symbol.

Pick on a folder by clicking on it at left, or right click to create a new folder. File | New | Shortcut starts a wizard for the Shortcut (for your menu only); then, directly enter a path to the app or browse to it. You can optionally rename the app as it will appear before you do Finish | OK

Vista and XP can use the Classic Start menu mode from Windows 2000 (which runs faster if you are short on memory or CPU cycles) and you can find a registry patch to do the same in 7. It's far easier to edit the Start menu in Classic mode.