Without Gnome, usbmount is your friend !

Since I've left Gnome desktop for i3-wm, I was a bit disappointed with automatic usb volumes mounts. Gnome integrates an internal way to automount your USB devices quite easily, with a fine grained solution based on Policy-Kit and some more packets. I've always been surprised by my EeePC which had a desktop not based on Gnome nor KDE (it was openbox) and that was able to automount any USB key or hard disk. But you know, when a system works out of the box, you don't really want to spend much time to discover why. But by leaving Gnome (at work and at home too), I was really frustrated to manage USB devices by hand (mount as root on a cmdline). After five minutes of (a worth-spending) Debian wiki search, I re-discovered the Debian usbmount packet. It is a really small software that provides automount (and unmount) for USB devices. It is independant from the Desktop system and works even if you don't have a desktop at all !

If you have already named your devices in /etc/fstab, usbmount mounts them at the right place. A great and useful piece of software that must not be forgotten when you walk on the path of tiled window managers !