Use the Mac OS X Dock more effectively. Place your hard drive icon in the dock (to the right line of the Dock). Leave it there. Forever. Apple should ship all Macs this way, by the way. Are you listening Cupertino? Click and hold on it to bring up a hierarchical menu of your drives’s entire contents.
(The “5 levels deep” default limitation of Mac OS X can be overcome. We used a nice little application called, “TransparentDock” to set our hierarchical level depth to “unlimited.” This setting is at the bottom of the “Dock Setup” tab in the application. At MacDailyNews, we use fully transparent Docks, but you don’t have to use this feature if you don’t want to, just use the application to set the hierarchy to “Unlimited Levels.”)
Then you can turn off “Show hard disks on the desktop” in the Finder’s Preferences if you like. (If you are a long time Mac user, you may not be able to bring yourself to do this, so leave the hard drive icon on the desktop, too, if you can’t bear it not being there.) We know we can’t do it; our hard drive icons are all in the dock and on the desktop, too.
Place your Desktop folder in the dock, too. Especially if you use the Desktop a lot, like you did in the Classic Mac OS. Place other commonly-used folders in the dock, too!
One last piece of advice: turn OFF Magnification in the Dock and make the Dock as small as possible – the text labels of the icons should be enough to identify the icons, if you can’t seem to remember which icon is which. Without magnification, it’s a lot easier to click a static icon than trying to click a moving target all day long. OS X will seem a lot less tiring this way.