There are all kinds of ways to access Applications, Files and Folders in macOS. I think most people still use the Dock for much of this activity. You can put other things in the Dock besides Applications, that includes Files and Folders. I don’t usually put Files in the Dock, but I do have some Folders there for easy access. Adding a Folder to the Dock is easy, here is how you do it.
When you add a File or Folder to the Dock it is placed to the right of the Applications area.
They appear to the right of that divider. You can drag a File or Folder to the Dock, but it is much easier to just right-click and add it. As an example, I am going to add the Utilities Folder to my Dock. I access the Utilities Folder fairly regularly during the day.
I keep the Utilities Folder in the Finder left sidebar, but rather than opening the Finder to access it, I want to just click on it in the Dock. To Add Utilities to the Dock, right-click on it and choose “Add to Dock”.
The Folder will appear in the right-side of the Dock. There is the Utilities Folder activated in the right-side of my Dock.
Putting a File or Folder into the Dock is easy to do whether it is their longterm or just for a short-term project.