One aspect of digital photo management that I like is the ability to create virtual albums (collection in lightroom). These are not duplicate copies of the photos just different views that show only the photos selected without having to move to the folder/directory in which it is stored. The photos remain in the original folder on the computer, there is just an additional link entry in your album to find that photo and display it. It is the perfect way to store and show only a best photos or photos on a given theme. They are a great way to organise your photo collection and probably deserves a more detail post in the future.
The downside using an album structure in current software is that it can be very hard to transfer this structure to other computers and/or software. Each package has the unique way to maintain the album contained within its code. A few packages will let you exports and upload the contents of albums but fall short of being able to export the album structure, For example Lightroom does allow their collections to be exported as lightroom catalogues, then reimport this catalogue into lightroom on a different computer. The process is simple enough but is better described by Steve’s Digicam post. Another examples is the original Picasa and Picasa Web Albums (the on-line side, which is now google+ photos) which lets you maintain matching Albums on-line as on your computer and synch the two.
Use Album Keywords as Metadata
A neat way I have to be able to exchange the the organization you have established with your albums and then be able to exchange this between packages or onto online services that support the Album concept, is to code all the contents of the album (or collection) with a unique Keyword, tag or Hashtag. I was for a time using the ~collection_ prefix to identify this organization metadata by I have abbreviated this to ~alb_ (for Album). Of a photo or batch of photos is transfered it is usually easy to search for the new metadata, Tags or Hashtags and create a new album or similar grouping from the search results.