Don't know how I managed to miss this before. You can drop shortcuts into your C:/Windows file, and then run them from the "run" box, using the Windows - R combination. You're only limited by your imagination.
I had been using QTray for this sort of thing, but it is limited on the number of shortcuts, and some shortcuts are mnemonically similar. The bigger problem is that it starts the programs in the QTray folder group in the Programs file, which renders some programs, including some text editors, virtually worthless. I also recently discovered that it is no longer available as a free download (unless you do a ton of searching on Internet Archive). It has re-emerged with other freeware programs from the same author as a set of shareware power tools. I'll probably keep the free version, but slowly transition my shortcuts to Win-R.
Less mouse = oh, happy day!