Years ago Microsoft announced that Windows would be Data Driven rather than Application Driven. In your Start Menu you could see a list of recent documents worked on images, spreadsheets,databases. You just had to click on one of them to re-open it. Strangely hardly anyone used it, and Microsoft, as is their wont, forgot about it as well. It was however extremely useful, here is how to reenable it in Windows 7.
Right click the Start/Win button, select Properties
Click the Start Menu tab (it should be select as default)
Click the Customize button
Scroll down and check the Recent Items check box
You should now have a “Recent” option in the start menu.