Previously mentioned Choose Wisely is a great Mac app for launching browsers from links, but reader Aaron Zuchhold writes in to show us how to de-clutter the dock and use it for launching other groups of applications.
Create a copy of the Choose Wisely app and rename it to something appropriate. In this example we will call it "iWork" as it will be used to open the apps in Apple's iWork suite: Pages, Numbers and Keynote. Browse to where the renamed copy is stored, right click on it and choose "Show Package Contents".
Open up the Info.plist file in Property List Editor. Now look for where it says "Bundle identifier". This is used to identify the application and also specifies the name of the plist file in the ~/Library/Preferences folder. Change the default value to something like "com.something.iwork". Run the "iWork" app and drag in the three apps (Pages, Numbers and Keynote) from the Finder. Drag out the Safari icon if it is placed there by default. Then just place the iWork app in the dock. Opening it will now give you the option to run either Pages, Numbers or Keynote.
Simply repeat these steps to make other application launchers. Each can have up to five icons. You can also change the icon of the launcher app using something like CandyBar or IconDroplet to make it look nice in your dock.