Found this little tip on the Apple website. Very useful if you use a lot of applications on a somewhat regular basis.
dding folders to the right side of your dock can be a real timesaver, and two of the most popular folders to add to the dock are your home folder and your Applications folder. Another thing you might consider, rather than putting your entire Applications folder on your dock, is to create a new folder and put in aliases of just the applications and system add-ons (such as the Calculator, etc.) that you really use. Then you can access these by Control-clicking on the folder in the dock and a pop-up menu will appear that looks a lot like the Apple menu from OS 9.