I can't say what setup that works for you, but.. at least if you've got a Macintosh and IE, it might work for you..
I've created a "favorites" folder named Livejournal on my toolbar, which makes it easy to drag addys there from the adressfield, even if that, of course, isn't somehting you have to do..
But.. I've added every single one on my friends list in that favorites folder, and using dividers, split them into "categories" as in.. having all LJ related stuff, such as "Birthdays", "Admin Console" etc in one group, including my own user profile etc..
Another group contains all the personal LJs, another the communities etc. I've also got a group with people I'm not friend of, as well as, at the bottom, people I'm interested in (checking out) but don't have as a friend or is a friend of.
The addy needs to go to the journal page, not user info etc, for this to work. Then, I've set a subscription to each an every page that benefits from it. No point in setting a subscription for "birthdays" as an example.. But. I've got one on my User Info. That way, I get to know if someone has added or removed me as a friend etc.. since the page changes..
That way, I just need to "open" that friends folder, get the dropdown and see which users are indicated as changed (Which it, of course does, every time someone leave a new comment etc as well), and go directly to the journal that has been updated.
Sure, it's very much possible to use the "Friends" page, but.. with this, you can pick what you want to read, and in what order, etc.. as well as making it easy to check out someone specifics LJ etc..
That works especially good if you don't have a Paid account, and can't create Friends Groups.
With Friends groups, I've got it arranged in 2 "groups"..
I've got one group of groups which I use for reading, another for writing. (Even if it's, of course, possible, to read/write to all Friends groups)
That way, I have, as examples: a group called "Personal", another group called "Communities", where all personal LJs and Communities goes respectively. That way... I can fileter out all communties from my friends page, or just read the communities.
You might have a "Slimmed" group, with the special friends, if you're pressed for time, and just need to check up on the ones that's really close friends.
As for posting, well.. I've just created specific groups as usual. As an example, I've got a group called "Swedish", which I can use to post in Swedish, with only those I know speaks Swedish can see, so I don't have to fill up others friends page with them. A good group would be: "Quiz", where you post all the various "Quizzes" you do, and being able to let those who don't like them not getting them. jema sure would appreciate that :)
Sure, this is quite simple things etc, but.. progress comes out of learning small things you've simply not thought about yourself.