I'd use a hierarchical structure:
first level: clients / private / work
second level: for clients a folder for each client*, containing a folder for each project,
for private and work directly one folder per project.
- if you prefer filtering by spotlight searches or similar, you might want to include the client name (maybe abbreviated) in the name of each folder of this client's projects.
If you prepend the start date like 201309_WebsiteXY to the folder name, you can sort them alphabetically and have them chronologically - I think you mostly have a rough idea WHEN you did something when searching.
For fast access to files/folders I recommend Quicksilver (see below).
You could add more "metadata" to the filename or to a spotlight comment for searching.
For the status you could use the OS X Finder labels like "done", "running", "frozen" at the level of the project folder or maybe at the level of each file.
Then with smart folders you could filter out your running project/frozen/done folders
For fast access to directories, Quicksilver (http://www.qsapp.com) is an awesome tool. I'm using it for a long time now and I would not know how to work without it.
If you let it index your project folders, by typing some words of the folder name you directly have access to the project folder and then can browse the folder's contents with the arrow keys and open/copy/show/manipulate the selected file(s).
There are a lot of plugins which also let you access
- your address book, etc.
- your web browser's bookmarks and history
- even directly display the content of text files
- manipulate images
- launch AppleScripts or terminal commands
- launch applications
- define triggers (Keyboard shortcuts) which start a certain command/action
There is also a plugin (OpenMeta File Tagging Plugin) which allows to add OpenMeta tags to files and folders, which you could use for adding the Contact/Company/client information
Options are endless and it is incredibly useful once you've got accustomed to it.
Ah, best of all: it's free. :-)
You'll find a lot of Quicksilver hacks and usage reports on lifehacker.com, e. g. http://lifehacker.com/lifehacker-pack-for-mac-2013-our-list-of-the-best-mac-635303836