Yeah, I'm mostly thinking about placing files by date into subfolders for a specific category (e.g. pictures of Theodore, vacation trip, Collective Shoot #705,...). I use the star ratings and color labels a lot, and some keywords (which I really need to use more of).That's not strictly true. While not nearly as complete (or intrusive) as Lightroom, DxO does allow you to keyword your photos and search by keyword. I think it may do more than that, but I don't use those features so I'll have to suggest that you do a little research at the DxO website.
I'm similar to Nick on those points, but I don't use any file transfer program except "Finder" on the Mac. I catalogue by year/month/day and have been doing so for 15 years. I can usually find what I want but I certainly would agree that it would be a lot easier if I had used some cataloguing system with keywords, etc., from the get-go. Too late now.