I'm working on a particular project with two other people and whenever I go to "shared with me" it shows everything that was ever shared with me, which is quite a lot. Only individuals have been shared with me for the current project, so they're not in one folder. Is there a way I can at least filter by author (or any better idea)?
If you star the items in the Shared with Me folder, then these items will appear in your Starred folder.
This will only help for one project though.
The way I do it is when I originally create the files, I put them all in one folder and then share the whole folder with collaborators. You can also add shared files to "Your Drive" (so that they show up in your main screen) and put them in a folder there; that won't screw it up for other users.
To add a shared file to your drive, select the file (in the shared with me screen) and look for this button;
This is a problem I had a lot too; hope this helps!