This is a two-pronged question. The first part was asked and answered, unsatisfactorily in my opinion, in 2009. That question was that Word 2007 doesn't remember the last-opened folder for more than about five minutes. In all previous versions of Word, the first time you start the program, Ctrl+O takes you to the preset default folder, but for the rest of the day it takes you to the most recently opened folder.
My default folder is the Work folder, which contains one subfolder for each of my clients. The client folders have subfolders per subject (I'm a translator -- the subfolders might be things like Medical, Tourism, Manuals, Clothing).
The solutions I've been offered so far are A) reset the default folder to the one you're working in. That's impractical because I can work with 5-6 different clients' projects per day. Or B) open and close ALL files in the project right at the start, so I can just use the "recent files" list to access them all. The reason this doesn't work is that the files I want to open are not necessarily new files in the same project; they are often previous translations on the same subject matter, to see how I resolved a particular term. So I'd have to open every file in the entire folder, on the off chance that I'll want to open it during the current project.
I don't see why there's not a setting somewhere for "remember last opened folder". Are you sure it's not there?
Part 2 of the question is that when I invoice, I generate the invoice in Excel, then paste it into my stationery in Word (which has a watermark, something that Excel still doesn't allow). Simple invoices can simply be cut-and-pasted, but the more complex ones need to be inserted as objects. But it's the same thing there, Word doesn't remember the last opened file, so every time I paste in the Excel object, I have to navigate from Word's default folder. (Which you'd think would be obviously NOT the folder where the object I want to paste in is -- if it was a Word document I wouldn't have to insert it as an object.) So I have to navigate out of the Work folder and through several other folders before I get to the invoice folder. Over and over and over.
So once again: Is there really no way to make it remember the last opened folder? Does Office 2010 remember them? Because it would be worth the price of upgrading if it did!