Posted on 8 Comments



I think my husband and my kids are growing weary of hearing about my current quest. No. Scratch that. I know they are weary of hearing about it. They have reached the point of being unable to hide their weariness of it. I’ve seen the eyerolls and heard the “here we go again” sighs when I open my mouth to speak about it.

I get it. File management seems really, really boring.

But see, I don’t think they realize quite how interesting the whole thing is to me! And yes, maybe I did tell them about one little bit of the project here, and another little bit there, but each time I have something to say it is actually different than the time before.

No, it seems I’ve over-saturated the market for this kind of talk here at home. It all sounds like the incoherent babblings of a digital-organization super freak to them now. Blah blah blah.


So. Guess what. This means it is your lucky day. Oh, yes. You get to hear about my current quest. Maybe you’ll be fascinated. Maybe you’ll read along with rapt attention.

Or maybe you’ll join my family in the “how can this be of interest to anyone, anywhere?” camp. Although I hope not.

So here it is: I’m transitioning from managing my photo library with Picasa to managing it with Lightroom.

It sounds simple enough, assuming I understand the capabilities of both pieces of software. I thoroughly understand Picasa. And I’m learning about Lightroom.

When I started this whole thing, I really only intended to use Lightroom for its Develop module. I’ve been taking photographs in RAW mode since mid-August, which is great for a lot of reasons I won’t go into right now, and Lightroom is a good tool for post-processing RAW files.

I had intended to continue managing my photo library with Picasa, because it has been working well for me for many years. I like that I can easily upload my images to Google+ (which is where I back them up, and where I share them with family), and I love the facial recognition of Picasa. Love. it.


But the more I play with Lightroom, the more I see that it can do 90% of Picasa’s tasks along with most of the other non-Picasa uploading I do, and it can initiate these things with less effort. In fact, if Lightroom had facial recognition, I would probably be done with Picasa entirely.

So, I’ve made the decision to use Lightroom for almost every photo-library-related task I have, and just open up Picasa when I need to add some faces to the family photo album.

This is a cool decision and all, but I want to do it differently than I usually do things.

What I mean is, I don’t want to act first and think later. With something as big (over 40K images!) and as important to me as my photo library, I really want to work out the details before I do anything.

Right now I have an organizational system that is working, but is unbelievably complicated. This is something I discovered when I diagrammed it out. My folder structure took up an entire page in my legal pad. Honestly, that really surprised me, because I thought it was all so efficient. It turns out that while my workflow may be a well-oiled machine at this point, it is anything but efficient.

So, I totally need to simplify.

And I am sure Lightroom can do it for me.

And I’ve even written out a new, less-crowded-with-folders, organizational idea in my legal pad.

And I’m chomping at the bit to put it into place.

But I am waiting.

Yes, I know. Little old chronically-impatient me? Waiting? It’s absurd!

Mugs 16/30

I’ve bought a Lightroom 5 book, which is supposed to be the most extensive book out there for discussing the file-management aspect of the software. The other Lightroom modules (like Develop) are ones that I can play around with and learn by doing. But the Library module holds the key to keeping my photos organized and sane.

I want to learn everything I can about what the Library module of Lightroom is capable of, before I start moving things around my hard drives. I’ve already tweaked my plan a little bit in response to some things that I’ve learned while reading, and there may be more tweaks to come.

By not rushing into this, I think I will end up with a folder structure and a workflow that will be sustainable for many years.

And during those many sustainable years, nobody‘s eyes will have to glaze over while I yammer on about folders and files and photos and Lightroom and workflow and and and…

Won’t that be nice? 🙂


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Posted on 8 Comments

8 thoughts on “Simplify.

  1. Lisa, you are so funny! I understand what you are going through completely! Gotta know it really well before going toooo far! (FYI – there are a few UDEMY courses for Lightroom!) I’m in a simplifying mood too – trying to downsize my craftroom so I have more room to take pictures and move around in. I want wall space!!!! That’s a lot of stuff to shuffle around.
    I have a question for you – I’m learning WordPress. Do you have an opinion on Blogger or WordPress?

    1. I like WordPress. It’s what I use here.
      Actually, it’s important to make the distinction between and The .com is probably what you are talking about. It’s similar to Blogger in that the company (WordPress or Google) hosts the blog on their servers, and they provide all of the themes, widgets, tools, etc. and they set all of the rules for what is allowed.

      I use, which is self-hosted, which means I downloaded the software and installed it on my own server, and I have complete control over every square inch of my blog.

      This kind of control is not necessary for everyone, but if you are a control freak with a background in computers (like me), it’s kind of important, LOL!

      Anyway, between and Blogger, I naturally gravitate towards wordpress because it’s nearly identical to what I use here. But I’ve been on both sites, and they’re both good.

      1. Thank you for that simple distinction between .com and .org!!! I needed that!!!! I set up a self-hosted wordpress blog to learn on. I like the idea of having complete control over my work too. Eventually I will be spending a great deal of time in my blog and I would be pretty upset if it disappeared for some reason. I’m getting there slowly. If it ends up turning out anything like your website I’ll be happy! I love what you do in photoshop! Some day I will be there! Until then I will just plug away and enjoy why I’m here in the first place — reading and learning with other folks who have some of the same interests as me! I could look, but I’m just going to ask…Have you done any PSE or wordpress tutorials or thought about doing any?

        1. PSE is Photoshop Elements, right? I’ve never done any tutorials in that (never used it, actually), but I’ve done a few tutorials that I hope were maybe general enough that you could translate the steps to PSE. You can find those here.

          I’ve also done a few blog-related tutorials, and you can find those here. I really should write more of those. I have plenty of ideas!

  2. Well, while I am not a photographer, I totally get being organized and simplifying…it is indeed such a happy thing! 🙂

    1. I’m so hyper-organized in my digital life – I wish I could do the same with as much enthusiasm in my real, tangible world!

  3. I am impressed! Nothing compares in life to a good plan. Enjoy your transition!

    1. Thank you. I do enjoy planning this kind of thing. I only wish I were as organized in “real life” as I am digitally!

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