Freeware application WinHotKey is a great first step toward the world of one-button automation, because it builds a ton of customizations into a program that's pretty simple to use--at least, in comparison to the relatively script-heavy hotkey applications we'll soon be discussing. Once you've installed the application and navigated past its opening tutorial screens, you'll see a list of hotkeys that have already been configured for your system. Keep them by doing nothing, or delete them by highlighting them and clicking Remove Hotkey.
Once you're ready to start automating, click the New Hotkey button. First enter a helpful description in the provided field. When you're finished, note that the app gives you some options for what you want the actual keystrokes of the hotkey to be: It won't let you overwrite an existing hotkey in the program, but you can temporarily overwrite any of Windows' default hotkeys--including good old Ctrl-C (copy)--to perform any of the following tasks, if you wish: launching an application, a document, or a folder; dumping a text string wherever your cursor is; or performing various actions on your desktop's active window.
With that in mind, we strongly recommend that you assign a combination of keystrokes to serve as your new hotkeys. Once you've done so, select your action via the 'I want WinHotKey to...' menu, and you're done! By default, WinHotKey loads when Windows starts up, so your customized hotkeys will be part of your operating system from then on.
Note: This link takes you to the vendor's site, where you can download the latest version of the software.