I have tons of photos on my phone that I needed to organize. I make LOTS of folders on "My Pictures" folders. When I open up the folder, I have one folder for each year. Then in each of those folders, they are sorted by month or event, but mostly event-which has the dates (ie: Chicago Trip, April 2012). This makes it really easy for me to find pictures. Unless of course I can't remember which year I did something. Hahaha. I've been using this method for years and it seems to work.
For printed photos, I sort into boxes, each set of similar pictures are sorted into sandwich zip-lock bags so I can just grab and go. It works for me.