I moved every single image into the one storage location (a 1tb portable hard-drive in sync on Dropbox) and that brought together various duplicate back-ups from multiple locations.
My previous filing system was a combination of date-based and named-folders, so there is a fair bit of dragging, dropping and deleting going on. I am using a combination of Windows file manager and Picasa to locate and manage the images. I have tried and given up on several programs designed to manage duplicates but they are not very user friendly, so my own process has worked out the simplest.
There are four "parent" folders -
- People (anyone outside our immediate family, including extended family, friends and others)
- Places (anywhere we go outside our home and garden)
- Things (any activity, whether at home or elsewhere)
- Us (my husband, our three children, son-in-law, the Baby2be (due in 11 days!) and our pets)
Within these four folders, images are then filed in sub-folders. Each existing folder of photos is measure against the four categories and the primary label is determined. Stray photos are gathered into groups and duplicates are easily identified and deleted.
I have photographed most of my scrapbook layouts over the years and they have mostly been filed by the person or year. Once I finish with the photo files, I will move to the scrapbook pages and move those currently split into Yearly albums will be reallocated by the above categories, meaning that I won't feel any compulsion to work on my back-log chronologically and can just choose what I feel like working on. Of course, there will be multiple volumes under each category!
I am finding the system really user-friendly and am glad I have finally jumped in and started to fully implement it. I will easily be able to identify photos that have or have not been scrapped and work through them, either using Project Life style pocket pages or traditional layouts.