If you're like me, you've got a pretty standard set of apps that you use during the day, and launch pretty much as soon as you turn your computer on to start working. You could set these items to open at login, but since I don't always use my computer for work, I wanted to control when this particular set of apps started up. I chose to simplify that process by using Automator to setup an app that will launch everything you need, or run a few scripts.
Open up Automator from your Applications folder, and from the new workflow menu, choose "Application" as the type you'd like to create:
Once you've done that, you can use the "Launch Application" action to start any of the apps that you'd like to launch, as well as the "Run Shell Script" or "Run Applescript" actions:
Save the workflow, and you'll get a .app file you that will run the workflow when launch. Just add this new .app to your dock, and you can now start your day and launch everything you need with one click.