This is my workflow for using vim.
Right now I have my leader character being ',' because it is easier on my fingers.
So I normally start a vim instance in the directory that I want to work in.
cd /Sites/scarlet vim .
This starts the file browser which then I choose a initial file that I want to edit.
After that when I need to open a file I ",d" to bring up NERD_Tree. From here I can open and close folders where I started vim from which is mostly in my project directory with 'o'. Then when I find a file that I need to edit I can scroll through it and then hit 'o' again and it will open it in a new buffer. If I am finished with the NERD_Tree I can close it with ",d" and return to my work.
If I leave NERD_Tree up while I edit I can switch to it from my document with CTRL-w CTRL-w
To leave NERD_Tree up but open many different documents then I just "go" all the documents that I want.
Open files in a tab is easy with "t" or "T" to leave focus in NERD_Tree.
With all this at hand it makes it super easy for me to work with many different files quickly.
Now put all this in with the power of screen and you have an amazing tool.
"C-a" 'c' Creates a new window start autotest "C-a" "C-a" switch back to another terminal and start coding. When you need to look at a autotest response then switch back with "C-a" "C-a"