Week 3 / Project 1
Photography FRESH START
Week 3 / Project 1
Welcome to our last week of Fresh Start 2022
Your Action Item for this Week:
- Leave a comment on what tools you use to help stay organized.
Week #3 / Project #1 – Get Organized
Here’s some useful tips on keeping your gear organized as well as some things in Lightroom and Photoshop you may not have known about to help stay organized and on track.
Great ideas. You always explain things in a manner that makes it easy to understand. Glad I took the three-week Refresh workshop.
way to many backups – oh my you’ve saved be so much space
Thanks for the suggestions. I appreciate the cleanup tips and the library tip for PS. I was keeping a list of equipment and software but I drifted away from that. This session put me back on track! I keep training, etc. in bookmark folders on my browser but I like the idea of using a spreadsheet in addition. It is easier to glance at and see what I may want to review.
Excellent video, Matt, thank you! Organizing my gear, and making a spread sheet, will be my first task. I am going to bite the bullet and finally purchase Lightroom and Photoshop. I’ve been using Photoshop Elements for the last 4 years, and it’s time to move up…I will be joining one of your classes on the subject soon.
Great ideas! I did a few of the ideas while following along with your video. I purchased the PS program from you so hoping to learn a great deal more. Thanks for this free Fresh Start course!
Every idea is better than the one before. Thanks, Matt.
Thanks for the reminder about updating my photo gear inventory and for the idea to create one for tutorials to make them easier to find. Another idea that I will incorporate is saving Presets. Thanks.
Thank you for the tips. There was something in each suggestion that I can go back and take advantage or, or at least got reminded to take care of( reminder to delete old LR backups). I did not know how to use the libraries and this will be a time saver for me as I do have textures, and such that I am always going back and forth between PS and my folder.
I appreciate all your gift of your time, talent and treasures to this community!
Another great video full of information and suggestions! thank you! Now I have some work to do – LOL – I suspect I’ll be returning to this video again to implement many of your suggestions.
Thank you for the plug-in weeding out and most for the export presets…what a time saver!
I deleted LR catalogue back-ups as far back as 2016 and thus created heaps of space on my MacBook Pro. That was quick and easy. The other suggestions I will save for when I have time.
Is there a quick way of converting a TIFF or PSD file to JPG while in LR? I have hundreds of them that I want to keep in LR but would prefer them to be in JPG and take up less space.
Thanks Matt. Another thought provoking video. I really like the hint about keeping a record of courses, etc. that you have purchased. I can’t count the number of times I’ve bought the same class twice because I couldn’t find my record of it. I’ll definitely work on that inventory,
I didn’t know about several of the tools you mentioned, like the libraries in PS and the export presets in LR, or how to search a website using Google. Really helpful. Thanks!
Great ideas for keeping everything organised. Never thought of doing spreadsheets even though I use them elsewhere. Thank you.
Great information. Will definitely delete my old backups. Never thought about looking at old PDF or TIFF files to see if I still need them . Nice to know an easy way to do it!
Great video. You just added to my “to do” list!! Scoundrel!! 🤪
……just kidding……great suggestions!
Great tips! One year when I was about to do some travelling out of country I decided to get insurance. So glad I did because 2 weeks later my camera with lens fell off my tripod and crashed on cement. The insurance people were great because they could have thought something was fishy when it had only been 2 weeks. They eventually replaced both lens and camera.
Matt what program do you use to record your videos? Recently I taught a class at a local camera club and it was so slow even though I have very fast internet service. I was looking for other options.
Matt, this video is so insightful, and opens new horizons of time management via the photography venue.
Thank you for sharing the obviously not so obvious.
Thanks for the reminder, I tend to back up all photos to two external drives twice a year ever since one of my computers went to the ‘Blue Screen of Death”. I back up LR catalogues in two places, and try and keep that one current. Lots of good ideas in this one.
This series has been invaluable. I have much to do to get organized but this series has definitely given me insight into how much I don’t get accomplished because of time wasted searching due to lack of organization. Thank you for a short, sweet, comprehensive approach.
Thank you soooooo much! I needed all this information. I have so much to learn about Photoshop and Lightroom. They have more capabilities than I was aware of. I look forward to using all this info!
Thanks for the great information, I started a spreadsheet but haven’t kept up with the last couple years.
Also regarding backups, if you’ve lost entire folders is there a way to open a backup to see if they might still be in an earlier version? I’m afraid to do it, that will change what I have now.
Thanks Matt for the last 3 weeks but especially for today’s video. The how to clean up section was particularly helpful.
Thanks again for the great tips! I have my cameras and equipment all organized on a list for my homeowners insurance. I had to do it when preparing for our trip to Alaska. I was definitely motivated! I see workshops and video lessons advertised all the time on social media and then usually bookmark them but then can’t find them later so I love your idea about creating a spreadsheet on these topic! I will be doing that! I try to keep my computer desktop organized as well as my files and even my layers in PS so I make good use of folders. But your idea of keeping your signature, logo, skies, textures in PS library is a great idea that I never would have thought of!
Thanks Matt, lots of great ideas to get organized. I do keep a spreadsheet of all my equipment and it’s also listed as scheduled property on my homeowner’s insurance policy. I also keep anything else I’ve bought on that spreadsheet, like plug ins and courses. I just have to remember to keep it up to date, so your video reminded me to add a few items now. I also keep my equipment on a mobile app on my phone called LensTag.
Your talk saved me lots of space on my HD as I had catalog backups going back to 2019. I have also now started backing up my LR files together with my photos. I still have a time machine back up of my complete HD but now I have an extra off-site backup of my LR files together with my photos.
Thanks for the inspiration to delete presets and backups.
I’ve been meaning to and now eilly
Great advice and good tips this week! I can’t tell you how important it is to insure your gear. I lost one camera and lens underwater when my housing flooded. After this incident, I insured it all. A few years later I was in a photo workshop in Venice and “framing with my feet” and backed into a small canal, but went underwater with camera and lens. I was really embarrassed, especially because it was the beginning of the trip. But after Nikon said it was un-repairable, the check came quickly from USAA.
Well, I thought I was super organized, but now there is so much more I can do. Thank you so much. This is video I will probably watch a few times.
Thanks for the ideas, Matt. I’ve often thought I needed to create a spreadsheet to keep a list of all my equipment, this lesson lit the fire for me. I’ve got it started; just wish I’d been more meticulous earlier on about writing down serial numbers and purchase dates. I have a couple of lenses and tripods where the SN was likely on the box, but I tossed the box
Thanks Matt. This was so helpful. Some of the info was a reminder, but new stuff too which makes life easier. Great Fresh Start!!
This one is harder for me. My life is not that organized (too much work), but it’s good to know what to shoot for and the insurance thing is probably the most important one.
Thanks so much for this. I now have permission to delete things (catalog BU) that I would have been worried about because I am always afraid to delete something that I shouldn’t. I also know how to find them through LR. You have made me think about exploring all the aspects of organization within LR that I usually ignore. My husband and I talk about the time spent “cleaning the desk”–that might be the barn, the toolshed, the garage, other outbuildings–but it refers to this kind of clean up and organization that you are talking about. It is so much easier to move forward after “the desk” is clean.
Thank you Matt, this was a great class. For me the parts on using Google to search particular web sites and scrubbing unneeded Tiff and PSD files was the most useful. Also your recommendation about getting rid of un needed presets is really a good recommendation (I have so many that I don’t really know what they do in most cases). Im watching the whole thing again.
P. S. I don’t mind at all your talking picture being on the videos.
Matt, I am really gaining a lot of knowledge and skill with this project. I also appreciate the pace of your project as it has made me force myself to learn. Your latest video was fantastic ! It gave me the knowledge and incentive to organize my files and photos. They are invaluable lessons because Adobe doesn’t really do any of this type learning on their products. I realized I had quite a few LR catalogs, mostly from old LR programs and some from the new version. I was always afraid to delete them not knowing the impact so your video saved a lot of space on my hard drive. It also made me realize I never backed up the backup so will need to consider that in case something happens to my hard drive. I don’t use Photoshop very often, mostly from the fear factor, so would really appreciate some video related to all the features. I
The big take-away for me today was organization – something I am definitely going to work on. Deleting old Lightroom catalogs is on my to-do list today. Thanks, Matt for the great tips!
Excellent ideas, Matt! Thanks for the suggestion on taking advantage of the PS Libraries for logos, etc. Good stuff!
I love the search tip and find it opens the site’s search function on the ones I tried. Here is a way to search a site with Google and restrict it just to that site. This is another way site:www.website.com. Thanks for your great tips.
This episode has been very helpful to me. Not only did I delete some old, unused Lightroom catalogs and backups, I actually took the time to figure out where the presets and plugins I have on my “old” computer are and moved them to my newer computer. That was the biggest help of all.
Good point about the backups to Lightroom catalogue, I just looked at mine and had over 20 backups of my lightroom catalog on my external hard drive, deleted all but the last two.
Thank you for all these wonderful tips! Organization is an area where I always get bogged down. Once I get the system set up, I think I will save a huge amount of time. This week, I updated my inventory spread sheet. I plan to add a spreadsheet for all my classes and their links – great tip! Culling photos and organizing those is ongoing mess… I plan to weekly purge some downloads. Currently, All my photos are organized in Lightroom on one catalog ( well backed up in 3 locations)… but I would like to rethink using LR for all photos. I’m looking forward to using photoshop more in my photo processing.
My big takeaways are the “content-aware” on a website, cleaning up unused presets and the PS Library. I do delete old backups but really was hoping for a tip on cleaning up multiple LR catalogs that are on different devices. Guess I’ll use content-aware on your website to see if you addressed that! 🙂
Now I know how to keep track of the courses I sign up for and then forget about. Thanks Matt
Thanks for the insight. I do need to catalog all my equipment and my wife has suggested the need to update what we’ve reported to the insurance company to document a couple of new items.
As for cleaning up I am in the processs. Om the pas I mistakenly import all photos taken on a shoot and then didn’t go back and clean them up. So now its a bigger job than it could have bee.
All excellent tips, as usual, Matt! Tomorrow is a snow day from school, so I know what I will be doing! 🙂
Thanks for another good reminder about updating my lists of equipment and education purchased. I have lists, but of course, they are not current. One thing I need a reminder on is how to back up the brushes in Photoshop so when new versions come out, I’m not calling the Adobe help line to retrieve them, which is what happened with the last major upgrade. Any ideas other than the Adobe help section?
Also, when you add your textures to Photoshop, does it not slow down the system as it loads up with all that content?
Thanks for the ideas. I have to check out the Libraries section in Photoshop. I have never utilized it before but already can think of a few uses.
Thanks for reminding me…I need to Libraries too! My plan this year is to utilize more tools that Photoshop has to offer.
Sorry second comment. How do you get your image to show?
Thank you for this weeks lesson. I can see I need to go back to LR and PS and read up on libraries. Thanks
Thanks for the tip on back ups I had back ups going back to 2016 freed up about 100 g of hard drive memory
Thanks for the many ideas. The video prompted me to create an equipment inventory today.
Concerning an inventory of your Equipment.
Canon users can list all their Canon cameras and lenses on the Canon home website with serial numbers, type of item, date bought and price paid.
All this is cloud based.
I use this too! But I also have a spreadsheet for Canon + all my equipment such as Computers, tripods, printers, NAS/drives etc. It’s amazing what photographers/creatives accumulate. Next… finding insurance.
Nikon does this as well…
It would be helpful if you addressed your tips to both MAC and PC users. In this video, there were things I wanted to try (catalog storage, etc.) but you kept referring to ‘on your pc, go to …’. I’m grateful for the tips and I’ll do the google thing to find them on my MAC but just thought I’d mention. #longtimefan
Great tips. This morning I added my PhotoLogos to both Lightroom and Photoshop; it took less than 10 minutes and I’m embarrassed I never thought to do it. I’m now using a recurrent reminder app to delete Lightroom back-ups (every 3 months) and update my gear inventory (every 6 months).
Several years ago, I was in Paris and almost had a camera stolen. When I came home, I called my insurance agent and he told me my home owners would not have covered the loss. For eleven dollars, yes eleven, I am covered for $15,000 in camera equipment anywhere in the world. They also wanted an inventory and make sure you keep receipts.
Very useful tips indeed. I am a very organized person. I already have a complete list of gear with s/n, price paid etc (Excel sheet). For years, I use e-Wallet (sync across all my devices) for all passwords, passport number, cards etc. Very secure and useful tool. I also use the Notes app from Apple for all Photography tips I have to remember (and other stiff such as books I’d like to read, films etc); very useful even in the field where I have my iPhone available. Finally, I use my Calendar (also synced across al my devices) to send me reminder to… update all this stuff once in a while !!
Thanks again Matt!
I was stunned not only by how many useless LR backup folders I had but how many export presets were still in place for apps I’d long ago deleted! The exercise also helped me delete out-of-date app versions that were still on my computer! Great tips!!
Great tips….I really didn’t know how to do 80% of what you mentioned. My back ups folder must be huge….I’m going to tackle that first.
Wow, grat tips and so helpful, thank you so much 🙂
Thanks Matt, good to know, I have been spring cleaning my PC whenever I have a chance the last few weeks, these tips will help a lot to organise and to regain storage space on the PC.
I use a app on my phone called My Gear Vault. I add all my gear and purchase prices and a photo if needed or wanted. Works for me!
Great tips, thanks for the advice Mat. This will keep me busy in the winter evenings!
What was the google search term you recommended
content aware ….. something ?
… but actually it doesn’t really matter. What Matt explains, is that you can use google search to search within his website.
mattk.com content aware
will search mattk.com website for any content relevant for the search term content aware
This type of search works for any website you know
Thanks Matt, great ideas and now have something to do on a rainy day! One thing I do is I have a book and everytime I buy something photographic related I write it in the book plus the password, numbers I need to re-install it or register it, date and price. It saved my bacon a lot of times when I either changed computers or just had to contact the company for some reason!
Thanks for this one – I didn’t realize PS had the libraries. …..
Just a note. I like to enter competitions (fun, fun). I keep a document (mine is word, but EXCEL would probably work. I keep columns for date of contest, year of capture, file name of image, title of image, a column for a score, and a column with a thumbnail of the image. THAT column has saved me beaucoup time. …. In addition, I have a master spreadsheet showing all the entries I’ve done so that I don’t repeat images – saves a lot of time as well.
I arranged for a rider on my homeowner’s policy last year, but I don’t really have the kind of inventory you suggest — so I will make one. And plug-ins… clearly I don’t have enough, given the advice on culling the list. So I’d better start getting more adventurous and trying more plug-ins! The PS library idea is one I’m going to implement. Thanks for all the tips!
I have just gotten a new computer so this is the perfect time to know these things .
Step one will be to not download every single preset offer that comes along and I will be checking out where everything goes in future so that I don’t end up with multiple identical images all saved in different places.
Thank you so much for these ideas. I now have on my list of things to do this week is to rewatch this with my computer open and do each one. I’ve learned so much with this fresh start. I’m excited to get organized and start taking pics seriously again.
Great stuff, but you need to fix your insert window of you talking. It completely blocks some of the content you are explaining. I could not see what you were talking about in PS libraries because your talking head was covering it up. Do we really need to see you all the time?
Sorry… You’re just missing the beauty and keen foresight in my teaching… The best part about me covering it up is it forces you to actually go open it and look at it on your own computer (watching is good… practicing is better right). Once it’s open on your computer, you wouldn’t need to see what mine looks like. See… it helps rather than hurts the learning process 😉
Matt, another great video! I’ve deleted my extra catalogs (wow… so many…), started my course list, and am gathering my gear for that spreadsheet. Thank you!!
Thank you! Excellent tips
As usual, some really handy tips. Some that I already do and others that I will add to my “to do” list.
Thanks! The new version of LR Classic added SO many develop presets that I don’t want. Every time I have been in the Develop module, I thought, “There must be a way to get rid of these!” But I never Googled it – and now I know how simple it is to do! Same for the plugins. Now I need to go figure out the PS Libraries – next on my to-do list, thanks to this!
Wow, what great info, thanks Matt now I just need to sit down and do it 🙂
More great information and tricks to do in this FRIGID weather. This is the time to do them.
This was a great video, Matt. Lots of information presented in a relatively short time. Now I have some “homework”.
Thanks for the great series, Matt. I’m not understanding the PSD and TIFF file issue. What are these? Where do they come from? Why are they so huge? How is it safe to get rid of them (we don’t need them for final photo files)? Sorry, very basic questions, I know, but you seem to be the master at answering very basic questions in a very clear way.
Thank you, another very good video. I do not have any inventories now. Years ago, I did a video of the interior of the house showing all contents which included photography gear. I then placed a copy of that inmy safe deposit box at the bank. Unfortunatley that was one move ago and many years so most has changed drastically. I also learned from your video how to mange presets in LR. Like you there ae many I will never use so I will check tham out and delete them.
You are speaking my language with this organization video! Though I’m ashamed to say I have 42 backups of my Lr catalog. The only reason I don’t have more is I only started using Lr 42 back ups ago! LOL I’m committing to making a list of my photography gear, making presets for my exports, cleaning up PSD & TIFFs (though my Metadata tab doesn’t have a File Type filter so I’ll have to figure out how to change that). I didn’t know Photoshop had Libraries to store textures, logos etc so I need to explore that more. Thanks for all these tips!
Great ideas! especially exploring libraries & getting rid of large TIFF & PSD files to free up disk space!
Great tip about the Instagram preset. Thanks Matt1
Thanks for all the Ideas. For most of my Organization I use Notes inside my iPad. For example for all my “MattK” training, my note is titled MattK and I have my login information in this note, all the training classes that I brought from him. As I watch his training classes I’m making notes on his training for my future reference on my iPad. It’s very detailed and easy to go refer back to.
Well this was extremely helpful. It made me get up and find all my receipts and make a spread sheet of equipment that I have so all the information is in one place. It is also quite shocking to see the final dollar amount. Also keeping track of courses etc. great idea. Most of my courses are with you so I just need to login and I can see everything and how terrible I am in continuing with a course. My Photoshop course was a download. Is there anyway to make it an online course. Thanks again Matt. Love all these little things to keep organized.
I feel good that I have done about 75% of your suggestions but this is a reminder to finish the job. It’s cold out there and I am a fair weather person! Thanks, Matt.
Useful. The other thing you can eliminate are your import backups once you’re sure you’ve backed them up somewhere else. The Photoshop library tip was a re-learning. I’ve heard you talk about it in another something-or-other some time ago. I need to work on that. Thank you!
I am also unsure of how to save Virtual Copies. I understand that LR does not backup the virtual copies; is this correct? I started saving them as .jpg (web) and .tif (print), but then have to import them back into LR to make them a part of LR catalog. I keep the img_#### as the start of the filename and add info after to identify. This keeps the different variations together. Better idea? Thank you.
Hi Marcia. Virtual Copies are saved in your catalog automatically. If you’re backing up your catalog then your virtual copies are automatically backed up too. You’re not supposed to do anything seperate with them. Thanks.
Deleted unneeded Lightroom backups. Great tip thanks!
Great info Matt. I have a gazillion textures and organize them in Bridge and collections by artist and date. That works well for me as I can scroll through them quickly to find a texture I want to use on my work.
Thanks for the really great tip here about using Bridge for your textures. I didn’t know about that one and have a few textures that could be reorganized.
Learned a whole bunch from start to finish on this video. Very helpful and simple to do organizing tips. Especially on creating inventory list detailing my gear. I have procrastinated on that way too long. Thanks Matt.
Thanks Matt for another great class. I clicked on backups and I won’t tell you how many I have but that will be first thing I clean up. Also great ideas for the gear log and class log. Will definitely try those. Everyone has some great ideas.
Thanks Matt. Great lesson. I do keep a spreadsheet of all my gear and where it was purchased. Someone mentioned having that list on your cell phone which is a great idea. Mine is kept on my computer but if that should crash or get stolen, it would be as if I didn’t have a list at all! I never thought about making a list of all the tutorials I’ve purchased and the website. That’ll be my next project.
Wow – got to delete 327 catalogue back-ups! Who knew….. The Libraries suggestion will also be helpful.
I wanted to share another organizational tool that I use. I have several camera bags (as I’m sure many of you do) so I have my lenses stored by photography type. My main bag has my D750 with 24-70mm lens and any accessories that I need (cards, cable release, batteries, filters, etc). I almost always have that with me. Bag #2 has my D500 with 80-400mm lens and I mainly use that for birding. I do have spare battery and cards in that as well. Bag #3 is for macro; it has my 105mm lens and two lens babies, and accessories like a diffuser and reflector, plamp and a baggie of clothes pins and tulle. Bag #4 has my wide angle 14-24mm, it’s own filters and a second cable release. My last bag has my flashes and batteries in it as well as a couple of LED lights. That way, I’m all packed to go at a moment’s notice. Each bag also has lens clothes and and brushes.
Great ideas Matt.
Great suggestions. I forgot about deleting old Lightroom backups, but will start to do them weekly.
Where you had file type, I have lens. I don’t know how to get file type as a column.
Hover your cursor over the title of the column. There will be a double arrow next to the title. Click on it and you have other choices. You can do this on all columns.
Thanks for the info. I was having the same “problem”. I have learnt so much from this short video, and the various comments.
Hi Matt, Thanks for the video much appreciated. You are so right and this is something I put off for the do it later basket. I will do this as I know it has been so long that I will gain so much hard drive back and be organised for 2022. This is the year to get off they butt and do a fresh start. Thanks for the inspiration!
Great advice. Another tip is to backup Lightroom Catalogue regularly and to a different drive (external) in case the PC crashes or the main catalogue gets corrupted.
Hi Pat, I do this for the exact same reason 😉 Great Advice!
Last year I made a catalogue of all our camera equipment and contacted our insurance agent and got a rider added to our homeowners. It has given me great peace of mind knowing everything is covered for damage or theft. I was actually shocked at how cheap the co stage was. Certainly well worth it.
Great ideas Matt! I need to delete older plugins in LR and haven’t been able to do it. I will delete old backups, go through TIFF’s, and update and organize some of my textures into the libraries – beautiful!!
Hey Hey…..I’m all caught up!!! And I did it in 1 day!
This video was very helpful and I now have a “to do” list which is perfect because it’s awfully cold outside right now,
and without any fresh snow it’s pretty dull as well.
I never thought about making a catalog of tutorials that I have purchased. Great idea!
This was very helpful in organizing my photos. I have needed to do this and this has help me make a plan. Thanks
I feel that I have done some of the things for this week! Yay! We have an inventory of equipment and it is added to homeowners as a rider. We have the pattern of updating after Christmas each year since that is when we usually need an update. I will need to be looking at the LR things in my version of Classic, as I use the cloud version and I wasn’t able to find the same functionality in that version during the video. Can anyone help here? When using the drop downs to search, it doesn’t offer the option of psd or tiff. I’ll be purchasing the Lightroom/PS system course today, so hoping that will help to fill in gaps between the program differences. I have done a lot of cleaning out of file since last week, though!
How about a section on how to organize all the actual photos? That is becoming a problem, and I don’t want to have to redo more than once. Organize by time, trip, location, subject or ?
Matt, why are my backups in LRC not listed by date? How do I find them? Thanks for the tip on Tiffs.
Some great tips – found a load of old huge PSDs that I forgotten about, thanks for yet another great video
Thank you Matt for these excellent organizational tips. I use some but not all, and my consistency needs work. I’ve appreciated all these tips over the last 3 weeks.
More great pointers, thank you Matt. Just saved a lot of cloud storage when I looked at how many tiff and psd files I had collected and don’t need.
Thanks for a great video. I thought I was organised – think again!
You tip on Tiffs is great.
Now to get to work.
Thanks for the great tips Matt! Our house was broken into a few years ago, and all my camera equipment was stolen. I had documentation for everything and serial numbers for camera bodies and lenses. The insurance company allowed me to repurchase everything and reimbursed me. Eventually the police found one of my cameras at a pawn shop and could identify it and return it to me because they had the serial number(s). It helped them find the people responsible as well. The documenting of all this information can be time consuming, but it is truly worth it!!
Hopefully, we all understand that a backup copy of a LR catalog is just what it says — a copy of the catalog (database). it is NOT a backup copy of the photos that are in the catalog!
Great ideas no matter what software is being used. Regarding passwords – I strongly suggest using a password manager – LastPass is my favorite but there many other good ones. I also suggest NOT using a web browser to store password.
So many great tips! Greatly appreciate all your videos!
Thanks Matt, very useful tips. The tool that has really helped me organize my images is FastStone Image Viewer (free but donation appreciated). It is only available for PC users though.
Oh my goodness Matt! Thank you so much for all the tips to get organized.
New to Lightroom and Photoshop, I am learning so much from you!
So, organization this week!
So many things in the session that I haven’t tried, boy do I have my homework assignments. I have really enjoyed these sessions, you are a great teacher!
Thanks for the great tips Matt. Really does help to keep things organised and easily accessible.
Great ideas! I have tried some of these but others are new to me. Thanks!
Thanks Matt. These suggestions on organization are excellent, and happily easy to implement . Scrolling through the comments provided a few more good ideas, like using 1 Passport. Good time of year to work on better organization!
Great ideas, Matt. I went through and deleted some presets as well as links to several plug-ins that I hardly ever used from Lightroom. I need to explore the Photoshop Libraries feature a bit better, may try to do this later today.
Loved this episode! This will help me keep my LR catalog more efficiently and save me a lot of time when I export images for Facebook and the grandkids.
Oh, one more thing. Speaking about insurance on your equipment. Home Owners covers up to a certain amount (based on our own policy). But don’t forget, we take a lot of that equipment with us in our vehicles to go to shoots. Make sure that is an add on to cover the cost of that equipment. So, if you have the spreadsheet as Matt describes, you can bring that with a copy of the receipts to the insurer and they will add theft from vehicle.
Hey Matt, this was worth more than the price of admission, I had backup folders dating back to 2013, they are gone, now I am working on all the old TIFF files. Thanks so much, you just do not learn these tricks from user manuals and tutorials!
As I am relatively new to LR, your information on the Catalog, Matt, was wonderful. Also, using PS to store my textures instead of the folders is FANTASTIC. I do mainly flowers and am always going through my folders to get to my textures. I just love the way you teach and explain ways of using these programs so that even those of us who may be new to LR, don’t feel so intimidated by the program. Thank you!! And can’t wait for the latest training programs to be completed. I will be your first customer.
Thanks, Matt – Didn’t know I could go to all photos, choose metadata and look for file type! I cleaned up lots of stuff I didn’t even know was there.
Back when I started to understand the power of LR I was intimidated by the task of keywording all of my images. Finally, I just decided to start with “today” and go forward – and go back if need be. I think I’ll do the same with inventory of my software and equipment – just start and work back. I do have my equipment covered by a “rider” on my homeowners policy. It is very inexpensive and covers everything that I have on the list provided to them – and provides coverage for theft AND stuff like dropping my camera in Lake Michigan. Some don’t cover if you sell images but I specifically confirmed (and saved the email) that I was covered.
This has all been so useful. I am going through photos to cull but didn’t think about spreadsheets for organization (which I definitely need). Really like the idea about using Libraries in PS. Am going to try that. Thanks so much!
Thanks for this, I have been meaning to update my Library in PS with all my textures, sat down and did it after watching this.
Bad bad bad at being or staying organized….thanks so much for the tips and tricks! Not to mention the boot to get motivated!
To keep track of my camera gear, I use Lenstag to record it. It’s a web site that also has an app and it serves a dual purpose should your equipment “go missing”. You can notify them and another photographer can check gear they might be offered to see if it was flagged.
This was an excellent lesson. Picked up a lot of great stuff from it and the comments. Two pet peeves that I’ve never been able to resolve.
1. I need to go back through my prints from decades ago as well as historic images from community and family. Any one is far more than I can do in a day — just scanning each takes a ton of time (and I do only have a flatbed scanner, which may be one of the problems — perhaps I need to see if there’s a better scanning method). And this doesn’t include the processing. I lose track of where I am with each set, so I’ve got half finished projects around. Frustrating. And I’m afraid I’ll miss something.
2. When we go on vacation, we drive — just ramble around and I take photos. Later, we talk and think “where was that fantastic lake we found” or whatever. I have found no good solution for documenting where certain photos were taken so that I can return if I want.
Would love to get tips on either of these quandaries.
My memory is not so great that I can remember where each photo was taken when I’m traveling. I use the notes app in my phone and keep a running list by day if the places we went, in order, and specific animals we saw. If I have my laptop with me I download my photos to Lightroom each night and keyword the locations and any other specific details I don’t want to forget, like animal species, etc. I keyword more general info later.
We take a lot of road trips (off of interstates) and stop to take lots of pictures. Until I find a better method, after I’ve taken “good” photos, I will take a picture with my cell phone. This gives me the location, date and time and I can figure out from that.
Good idea using the phone locaters.
Cynthia – I use date and location in the folder name for each shoot I go on. It has always helped me to find photos I am looking for.
When travelling I always take photos of signs with the name of the place. Then I either add it to my photobook or delete it when I organise my photos.
With regards to documenting where your photos were taken, if you have an iphone with you, you can just take a shot at the same location with your iphone as your camera, and if you have GPS enabled on your iphone, it will record where the shot was taken. That can later be added into Lightroom if you use it. Hope this helps.
Nice review Matt to get us thinking about being organized. I’ve done most of these, my challenge is how to maintain this organization. I should get in the habit of reviewing at least annually, but probably quarterly.
I wish I could give you a secret but I can’t…. well, I guess I can. Just do it. There’s no trick. Make it a priority, write it down, whatever. Like Nike says… Just do it 😉
I just add a reminder in my calendar 😉
Again many thanks for the excellent hints and tips. I. must get myself organised I can see a weekend of housekeeping coming up
Great ideas this lesson (and all of them). I would add that if you purchase any warranties on equipment, you might want a column for that info on the gear spreadsheet. I absolutely need the spreadsheet for tutorials, presets, etc. I buy probably too much of that, but I need to know where it is and what I have. Thanks, Matt!
Matt – great stuff. I did just recently discover the folders in YouTube – what a time saver. I have folders for Canon, Lightroom, Photoshop etc for all my favorite topics.
Thanks for all the tips
I only thought I was organized! Thanks for the tips, Matt! I’ll make spreadsheets for equipment and training resources. Now I know where to put my textures and light rays, etc. so I can find them!
I never thought of making a list of every bit of camera equipment that I own. What a good idea. I don’t know photoshop or Lightroom yet, but I’ve bought your course and look forward to learning.
I have several versions of Lightroom . I am now using the latest cloud based one AI. However, I am beginning to understand that maybe this is not the best. How do I get it all into one package which is going to be the most economical and easiest for me to work? I am a senior and need to keep things simple. I am going to take your courses on Lightroom and PS. Do these explain this dilemma?
Hello Matt, more recovered from Covid19-Ónmicron. Thank you very much for the great tips. I always clean my PC of old files and information not only Lightroom and Photoshop, but the whole team. This guarantees me to have at hand what is important and useful for each working day and avoid complications. Congratulations and good health. We continue in contact. Blessings to you and all participants.
The spreadsheet is a great idea; while I have a file drawer with folders for each gear piece and its associated receipts, etc., as well as any software I’ve purchased, a spreadsheet would be great to keep for traveling. Regarding videos for topics of interest, I keep a table of contents hand-written sheet to point to the notes I took during the video. I also keep a bookmark folder for each instructor which shows the video I watched.
Clean up ideas are something I will do; very good points!
WOW, great lesson this week! You surely filled my to do schedule for the week to come.
You hit the nail on the head on most of my struggles with getting organized and finding whatever I am searching.
Thank you for the great suggestions and reminders. I hope you keep the Video on your website for review – before we could download them – and yes I know where they are and have actually gone back and reviewed them more than once.
I am fairly up to date with equipment & software cataloguing with spreadsheets. But I have now thrown away Photoshop and Lightroom after several months of sheer frustration with access reliability. I had used the Adobe packages for well over a decade and had upgraded to their Creative Cloud (monthly fee of course). This worked well for a couple years then I started to get unpredictable lockouts because Adobe suddenly decided I had not entered correct passwords. Sometimes the software would work for a few days then the next day it would lock we out 2 or 3 times. I had a number of Adobe technicians try to sort out the problem but nothing would fix the problem – and I was still needing to make my monthly payments. I had had enough enough of this totally unreliable software so unsubscribed, dumped all of the Adobe software off my computer and bought Affinity plus Topaz Studio 2 for one off purchase prices and was finally able to process my photos again, despite the large learning curve for the new software. The only feature I do not have is a cataloguing program, so do you know of some software that you could recommend for this purpose? My folders are fairly well structured so I do not have too much difficulty in finding files I need, but a reasonable catalogue software program would be of benefit.
I have several versions of Lightroom . I am now using the latest cloud based one AI. However, I am beginning to understand that maybe this is not the best. How do I get it all into one package which is going to be the most economical and easiest for me to work? I am a senior and need to keep things simple. I am going to take your courses on Lightroom and PS. Do these explain this dilemma?
Lots of fab ideas I’m starting my clean up now
Some excellent tips here. I do have a gear list in a spreadsheet file. Never thought of doing one for tutorials, makes so much sense!
Some very good tips here. I do have a gear list in a spreadsheet file. Never thought of doing one for tutorials, makes so much sense!
I’ve been an organized person, and I keep copies of everything I own. Even if you try to categorize your items, you will get to where you don’t know where things are. I needed a tool to search all the content, no matter the format. I started with the basic version of Evernote, where I store a copy of all documents and articles I find interesting. Easy to use and very good to perform searches. The ability to search photos by keywords was why I first started using LR.
Great tips Matt. I use LensTag to store my gear serial numbers. Really like the idea of keeping a list of the software/plugins I’ve purchased in one place..
OneNote is a fantastic tool for me. Use it all the time and it sync’s from PC to Mac to phone.
Will certainly go through and cleanup old backups – keeping the last backup of the previous version of Lightroom though
Going to look in to cleaning up TIFFs and PSDs…that’s a good one too.
Lastly, I’m going to try the Libraries thing in Photoshop..I like that idea.
This has been wonderfully helpful.
I just moved into a new house that was built from the ground up. It has been almost a year since ground breaking. Most of my photo equipment has been in storage for that time. This week’s project is very timely. Thanks for the project of getting it back into production and organized.
As a long time Apple user I use their Notes app for all my note taking stuff. I love that all notes get synced among all my devices. In the field sometimes I use the dictate function when there is no way to use the keyboard. Very helpful are also the possibilities to directly add and take images and scan documents. All web links are clickable for easy use. I do rework my notes once back at the computer and complete them with additional information later on.
For my gear inventory I use lenstag.com. It’s easy to keep my inventory up to date in that app or via their website.
And finally I use 1Password for all passwords, credit cards, passport etc. Since many years for me a reliable tool that also syncs across all my devices.
Great ideas. I will do an inventory of my gear and tutorials etc, even though I don’t have much at the moment it is likely to grow over the years so best to get it sorted now and keep updating.
I use bookmarks a lot to save websites etc I’m interested in, I have many sub folders relating to the subject/article it’s about so generally I can find it. I could probably do with deleting some now, as am sure there’s some I no longer need. I also use the various filters for utube ‘save for later’ save & subscribe to certain channels, save playlists etc.
I do delete old LR catalogs but haven’t done so this past month or so , so must do.
Thank you Matt.
I have a gear list but I need to verify that it’s updated. Definitely need to clean up Lightroom and Photoshop, plus I need to make a course/program master list.
Thanks. Some good ideas that I will employ as a regular task; I tend to do this sort of thing as a “splurge” and then it’s very disheartening how long it can take. One thought however – perhaps you need to make clear that you should keep a backup of the last catalog you had on the previous version of Lr, before you upgrade to the latest major upgrade. I know you were talking about regular backups on exit – 100% agree with you, but it’s a good idea to keep separately the last backup of the previous version – just in case you want to go back!!
Tx Matt it reminds me that I have a lot to do to make my equipment save.
Great tips. Thanks Matt
Thanks Matt – I just deleted 189 old LR backups worth 22GB!!
I am now busy adding images that I use a lot into a library – thanks!
Great video and lots of useful reminders. When i set up as a business, had to create an inventory of equipment, but did not include serial numbers. Have to do some updating there. I am terribly lazy about going through the tutorials that come with any application – so thanks for the reminder to do that so I get more efficient at finding stuff.
Great class Matt. I have a solid inventory with serial numbers, purchases dates, purchased from, warranty and value I update it every year and submit as a rider to my home insurance. The class spreadsheet is definite need to do. Thanks for that great idea. I went into lightroom and had 938 video files, which are now deleted. Question: total 43,000 photos in my catalogue. and 17,000 are RAW, the remaining 25,000 are jpeg. I will throw it out there for an answer and if there is anything I need to do with those or is that normal.. Love the photoshop library. That is why I love learning from you. Keeping it simple thanks
MARGARET NICOSIA please see my comment one level down, was meant for you. (regarding number of RAW files -to keep or not).
Thanks for the great organizational inspiration. Being that it is easy to be outside year round in Southern California, I need encouragement to get computer projects done.
Back in 2003 my son advised me to shoot in RAW which I did and am thankful for. As editing software gets better, year after year, you can go back and edit those old photos and turn them into something amazing. So, now that is the same advice I would give someone else, as you cannot edit jpgs so the same extent. I, myself, would not throw them out. To each his own.
Thanks these are great tips. Cleaning up my P.C. now – these tips are very helpful.
A spreadsheet of all your gear is a definite must, especially if you travel. My husband lost his camera bag (believe it or not it got blown off a cliff in Orkney, Scotland!) and he had his list of gear on his phone to report to police and insurance. We are still trying to figure out how his heavy pack got blown away but it was recovered 24 hours later, 2 coves away on the beach. Needless to say the salt water damage was extensive but our insurance covered it once we were home. He spent the rest of the trip with one lens – lessons learned!
Great info. I have a spread sheet of my gear but not tutorials. I will start one. A lot of the rest of the info is over my head but I will strive to get into it. Thank you.
There are a number of items Matt presents that I need to follow up on. The first is creating a camera/equipment inventory. I also need to clean up my software/password list. I’ve always kept it as a list in a doc file but a spreadsheet would be much better. Then I need to create file export presets and clean up all the user presets. I rarely use any of them.
Thanks for the tips this was great. When I insured my photography gear I took a photo of each item along with the receipt showing price and date of purchase. I added it on to my home owners insurance. It was a bit of a chore, but now that it’s done I don’t have to worry about it.
When I insured my equipment I had to make a document with all the relevant information you mentioned plus provide copies of the purchase receipts. I transfered this information to a folder that I have placed in a safe. Also, when I purchase software I have a document with the website login/passwords, purchase date, costs and activation keys for the software. I am super sloppy when it comes to organizing photos, presets, etc. The LR/PS software is something I don’t use much, OnOne and DXO primarily. Thanks for the ideas.
You provided much needed information I this video. I have been trying to organize way too many photos. Being a bird photographer, I take way too many shots in order to get the one special one. Then others are so clear and special in a different way that I can’t delete. And PRESETS – thanks for that information as I need the variety of exports. Some to print and some for Facebook and others to be mailed to friends/family. So much good information!
Great tips on organization and decluttering. I have a spreadsheet and a written copy of inventory. I love the libraries function in Photoshop. That’s where I keep the textures, overlays, skies, backgrounds, etc. I need to clean up and organize all my presets in LR. I generally do my own so I could probably get rid of a lot of those. My courses are in folders in my outlook email folder which includes the sign ins and passwords. But I am def going to make a spreadsheet for those so I know what I already have. When you have been through 5 Day Deal and Genius Bloggers Toolkit and The Photoshop Summit, etc. – I have a plethora of courses to look for. Thanks Matt
Thanks Matt. I immediately went to my catalog to look up tiff and psd files. Found about 400+ psd and went through then but I am at a loss as what to do with them. They originally started in LR Classic then to PS for some additional editing. Should I convert these to jpg or just leave as is? I’m confused. Is the PSD version larger than the original ARW raw file? Sorry for the ignorance.
I wondering that same thing.
yes psd or tiff files are usually larger than the raw files. Sometimes much larger, also depending on number of edit you do in PS. I have raw-files of about 60 MB in size and tiff files close to 400 MB after editing.
I keep all the files in my LR catalogue. There are now almost 300’000 images out of that about 6000 psd and tiff files. Yes the do consume a lot of disk space, but it’s just disk space. I don’t want to decide now, if for some reason I want to come back to a photo I had developed many years back. When our sons had an important anniversary I was more than happy to come back to some images that I had developed 15 years back.
I had started with LR 1.0 and since kept all photos and the developments in that catalogue. From time to time I need to add an additional backup disk, but anyhow the lifespan of a disk is limited, so I replace 5 years old disks by new ones, that are usually bigger and that covers the increased space my images consume.
My recommendation is, if you doubt, keep the files.
All the best
I generally leave them all. Yes, they take up space but (just for me) there is a reason that they are a TIFF file – I did something special in processing. Sometimes I go back and re-edit these files in PS and it is helpful to have all of the info. I figure that storage is cheaper than recreating things. Now days you can get a 8tb hard drive for about $150 at Costco – that’s pretty cheap.
Thank you, Matt! So many great ideas in this video! I need to get started on these soon!
Great tips. I need to do some of the organization you talked about.
As much as I love and use technology, the practicality of just pen and paper is amazing. I have an entire notebook dedicated to photography. Gear list, education websites, cool photographers websites, as well as logins and password info, etc… Most of time is inside a fireproof/waterproof case where I also keep hard drives and such. Extra layer of protection…jejeje!!
I have the gear inventory list that I update every 6 months, but had not thought about the Lightroom and Photoshop cleanup tips that you mentioned. Those were the most helpful to me. Now to go do them!
Thanks, Matt – I can see I have LOTS of organizing to tackle. The only current thing I do is deleting catalog backups and somewhat organizing favorite tutorials. The spreadsheet and documents will take some time but will be worth it. Cleaning up LR presets and large files and creating export presets will simplify my workflow and speed things up. Thanks for the tip on Photoshop and use of Library.
Thank Matt, I now know how I can reclaim some of my disk space 🙂 Was always unsure of deleting old catalogue files so yup have a few.
Thanks, Matt. Very helpful. I have a lot of work to do.
For years now I’ve been a huge fan of OneNote, it’s a text editor which is part of MS office. The biggest benefit is that it’s searchable so links to class, notes on classes can all be found by searching. It’s setup like the old spiral notebooks we used to have in high school, so you can have different notebooks for home, office, photography anything you like. Anyone have suggestions for password programs?
I love Dashlane for passwords. Have used it for a couple years now.
Thanks, I’ll check it out.
Matt, I always learn something from you. I am super organized but have my purchases in a number of places electronically and paper-wise. That is a new goal for 2022. I also am going to edit the plug ins. I never understood presets on export. Thanks for explaining. Also I have too many LR back ups so will be deleting them which should help m clean up that hard drive. As I said last Thursday I used to use Aperture for organization. Now I use LR, but I change the folder name by adding the event like 2022 Winter Maryland countryside drive. Then for each year I have folders and sub folders. Since I live in Maryland, MD, DC and Virginia have their own folder each year and the events are in sub folders. Easier to find things. Every major trip has its own folder too. If I find that I have visited someplace more than once during the year, I create folders under that. So DC may have a folder for the zoo as a sub folder and then there are folders with dates under that sub folder. It works for me. Every photo I export is starred in some way so I can easily search for them. I also like the LR metadata clean up. Sometimes my plug ins create a tiff file even when I decide not to edit in the plug in. I have lots of new projects for 2022.
My situation is likely simpler than most. I’m using Apple Photos and iCloud backup, and I save very few photos. Only the best survive. The rest go in the bit bucket.
I photograph my camera equipment with the serial numbers for further proof for insurance. Matt’s idea of keeping lists of equipment and purchased tutorials/educational videos is a good one!
Thanks Matt for adding to my To Do List. Great tips!
I’ve been meaning to delete old Lr catalog backups so this will give me a nudge to do it. Also need to inventory gear, tutorials, etc.
Have already discussed insurance with my agent and as it’s a hobby for me, I’m covered under our homeowners policy, as long as I don’t make money from photography.
I think the export presets will be helpful for me and I never knew about the Ps library which I now know to start using.
Good Lightroom tips! I do actually have an inventory of all my camera gear but you have reminded me it needs to be updated!
I also use the camera capability to load different settings baselines. I save the settings to my image card and store them in folders on my computer. I have different base settings for different genres of photography. When I know I am going out to do some photography in one genre (e.g. sports or underwater) I load the settings.
Also make use of the different user modes on the camera. The reason I mention this is because I do use a spreadsheet to document the settings and user modes.
All good tips.
Libraries in PS. Who knew. I am in the process of consolidating all the “stuff” had I stored all over. Cheers.
Excellent organizational ideas! Documenting all your gear is something I have not thought about but it makes sense. I will need to get on this asap! Also love the Lightroom clean up suggestions. Thanks Matt!
Great tips again. I valued the tip on deleting backups. I am working through your Light Room Package as well as doing your Fresh Start. I look forward to the new updates later in the week. These tips are invaluable for someone who feels overwhelmed with LR. I like your directive style where you make us feel accountable for looking for Information while giving good tips such as the spread sheets. I have limited gear, the spread sheet for Videos, websites we have looked at in invaluable. For me I will apply that directly to your courses as I wonder how I can remember all the information. Thank You.
Wow! I just deleted hundreds of Lightroom backups. Now I only have the most recent.
great information as always Matt. Thank you for taking your time to help us with the details to make our photography life better and easier. There is always something to learn. I love the idea of making a bookmark on google to find videos and to put the name after the website to find a video that I liked before. When I watch them. I make notes on who and what was shared and then when I need to do it, if I can’t remember, I go back and look for it to watch again… this will make it sooo much easier. also thank you for the reminder for my lightroom catalogs and the tiff and psd files… that will be a huge help for me.
Thanks….cleaned up my LR Back ups!!
I DO have a MS Table with an inventory of all of my photo gear. One Item I include on this table is weight. Every time I contemplate “upgrading” my equipment, I check to see what the new item weighs (compared to what I already have). I also include filter size for lenses, and sensor size for camera bodies.
You suggested finding (large) TIFF files in LRC Library, and then deleting them. I have about 700 TIFF files, and they are all images that have been edited in Topaz (Sharpen or De-Noise) plug-ins. If I delete these files, don’t I delete the final improved images that were transferred back to my main LRC library???
Thank you for the tips.
That’s an awesome idea. I think of the weight every time I pick up my camera bag — and I have only two bodies and two lens, but wow.
Thanks Matt. Cleaned out TIF’s that I don’t need and never thought about.
The tip about finding out where the backups are stored does not work for me on Windows. Catalog Settings > Show does show me where the Catalog is stored, but not where my catalog backups are stored. I have Lightroom set to back-up every time Lightroom Ends. Before actually doing the backup, a pop-up window asks me if I want to do the backup or “skip it this time”. The only way that I can see (or change) where the backups are going is in that pop-up window.
I enjoyed this video a lot. I do have a comprehensive gear inventory as I have a lot of gear and it is all on a rider policy for our home insurance, amazing how much it adds up over time! Also I keep all files for software purchases, so many used to come with those long keys you didn’t want to lose.
This is like a spring cleaning only it’s still winter, I had forgotten about deleting old backups and had about 4 years worth. I checked in my LR catalog metadata for file types and sure enough I had 500 TIFF files and 450 PSD so I will be sorting through them and deleting unwanted files.
Timely and important tutorial for me. I’m in the midst of physically organizing my equipment and reflated paperwork so it makes sense to do and document an inventory as well, plus checking up on insurance. Thank again Matt.
I use spreadsheets a lot.
I’ll definitely check out the libraries ideas.
Basically I just copy whatever Matt does because he encourages and teaches simplicity.
Thank you, Matt! Just finished deleting my many lightroom backup files, some in 2020!
Great tip on the libraries – had no idea you could just drag and drop a layer in there. Sweet!
With regards to organizing plug-ins, training & stuff, I’m terrible about signing up for/purchasing/downloading tutorials, presets, etc., etc. and then either starting and not finishing or never starting them. Agh! Anyway, last year I started to organize them in Evernote. I have a notebook for ‘Purchased Creative’ and then separate notes for each web site where I’ve purchased tuts, plug-ins, presets, etc. from. I have the web site address, my log-in info (not the password because I have a manager for that) and then headings for Training Videos, Books, Presets, Plug-Ins, etc. and I list those and where they’re located. That’s been a huge help and allows me to then easily find what I need or review what I have or, when I have time, choose a training video to go to quickly and easily.
Back in the day when I was responsible for equipment used by a number of people, I kept an inventory card for each item, including its repair record. With that in hand, we could review the usefulness of a brand/model, as well as determine what repairs were common.
Some good ideas from Matt. I have a friend (don’t we all) who does utilize the equipment inventory Matt mentioned. He’s a ‘semi’ pro, so he does have a fair amount of inventory. He names his file ‘Dust Collection’.
He has a reminder at the start of each month on his calendar to review that file. His objective is to have that comprehensive list of stuff so he can visualize what he has, what it cost to buy, and most importantly, did he actually use that item in the last month. He said when he looked at the Dust file 3 months in a row, he got mad at himself and realized he’d laid out a lot of money on impulse buys. He keeps two sentences at the bottom of the spreadsheet: Do you really need all these items, and, are you being honest about it?
The last time I asked about this system of his, he said he had sold off about 4,500.00 worth of equipment that he simply didn’t use enough to keep. If you think people buy too many add on apps, just think of how much equipment is gathering dust because it isn’t being used enough. Another good reason to build the inventory document and look at it…often!
wow, the cleanup of TIffs and psds from lightroom and the presets I don’t use was so needed. I have used libraries only once with your blending course but I see so many other uses now that you say what do you do alot of… THANKS for the nudge to get organized and pair down…
I mostly use the Apple Notes app to store key information. So, the important information provided by an online tutorial ends up in summarized form in a Note. The contents of my five external disks appear in an entry in Notes. References to YouTube videos I also place in an entry in Notes, or I will include the key elements of the contents in it. For me, the fact that Notes appears on all of my Apple devices and that it is stored in iCloud, making the information available on all of my Apple devices is a great convenience. Moreover, the fact that I can include web links, PDFs, and Excel (or Numbers) spreadsheets in a Note, provides me with a lot of flexibility and simplicity. As Einstein is reported to have commented: “Everything should be as simple as possible, but not too simple.” The Apple Notes app provides me with just the simplicity and flexibility that I need to remain reasonably organized. For a password manager I use 1Password, which provides me with the means to create and store all of my passwords in a single place, accessible from all of my MacOS and IOS devices. In addition to passwords, I store all of my app purchase information in it. It’s secure and easy to use — again providing a reasonable level of simplicity.
Great tips about deleting of backup folders and unnecessary PSD & TIFF files. I also like the advice about adding more features to my Libraries Panel as whenever I want to add a signature or a filter to an image I currently have to open and search several folders. A real timesaver!!
Thank you for all the great tips. First order of business will be spreadsheets for gear and tutorials.
I really like the ideas about making inventories of gear and training materials in spreadsheets! I don’t have very many presets or plugins, so not much need for a cleanup there. I do also use export presets, but the video has me thinking that there are a few more I need to add, for some things that aren’t quite covered by the ones I have already made.
I tend to make lists, keep receipts in a camera file, etc…..but a spreadsheet makes so much more sense! And a sheet for courses (and other assorted orders) is a – ‘why didn’t I think of that’ great suggestion.
Many thanks, Matt for all the tips!
This is my delve further into LR/PS year – grateful for the tips there, too.
Very good suggestions! Thanks.
I use Microsoft OneNote to store things related to tutorials. Within OneNote, I have a Photography notebook, with pages for General Photo Tips/Tutorials, Scrapbooking tutorials, Webinars, etc. Each “lesson” gets a page, named by lesson. I can type (or write, on the iPad) notes, drag in links, screenshots from webinars, links to YouTube. It’s all stored in one, searchable place and I can view it from any device. OneNote is free and available for Windows and Mac. I have friends who use Pinterest to bookmark print tutorials and that seems to work well for them.
I have a folder on my hard drive called Photoshop Supplies, and in there I have folders for brushes, styles, patterns, etc. Brushes are further organized by type (grunge, frames, script, etc.) I long ago purchased a little viewer that allows me to just click on a brush, style, etc. within Windows Explorer and see all the assets associated with that file – without opening or installing the file. It’s called the Argus Preset Viewer by Tumasoft. I think it’s around $10 and it’s the best $$ I ever spent on software. I have no idea if it runs on a Mac.
Great info! I have gear and course spreadsheets, which need updating, and I need to create a spreadsheet for presets, plugins, etc.
lots of good ideas here. I keep a spreadsheet of all the gear my husband and I have with all the S/N, date and placed purchased, etc. The receipts are in a file in our file cabinet. Someone suggested scanning the receipts and storing them with the spreadsheet. I believe in MS Excel, you can enter a link to a file in a cell so that would be a great way to be able to find the receipt quickly.
Someone also suggested having the list in the cloud so I think I will save my Excel sheet and scanned receipts to my Dropbox account (when I get all those receipts scanned).
One thing I didn’t see mentioned is getting rid of receipts and manuals for gear you don’t own any more. I have a huge file of receipts and manuals for TV’s and small appliances that we got rid of quite a while ago. I think I need to go through that file and clean it out and we’ll have more room in the physical file cabinet!
Good info. I always have my email interface open so I find it convenient to send emails to myself to keep track of websites, tips, how-to’s, etc. I have an Outlook folder called “Notes to Self” and currently have 8 or 9 emails in them; for example, “Photography, Logos Bible Software, Home Technology, Photo Scanning, etc. If I come across some piece of information that I want to make note of, I open the appropriate email and forward it to myself after adding the new entry. I then delete the old version of that email. Works for me.
Really like the idea of keeping a spreadsheet inventory of my electronics gear.
I forgot about Lightroom keeping old versions of the catalog backups. I maintain two catalogs and just paused the video and deleted over 30 backups for each of them.
Gosh, what great ideas. I will definitely do export presets and libraries. Do you do closets?
Thanks for the laugh Marcia! I need someone for my closets too!
Had started a gear list a year or so ago but never considered peripherals or laptops and such. Also have a column for when sold and how much. The rest of your suggestions are all top notch especially tutorials. I’m always trying to remember where I saw something later. The really big one is putting textures and such in PS libraries, don’t think I knew they existed. Must have missed that chapter. This will be a big improvement over what I do now. Many thanks 🙏
Thanks Matt … some great suggestions.
Excellent suggestions! Some I already do others I didn’t know about – thank you for the information. All of these sessions thus far are good computer practices for photographs/photographers. Thanks for the impetus to get these things started!
A super collection of “to-do’s”. Thanks
I keep a spreadsheet with a tab for each type of gear, with columns specific to that type. For example, I record the diameter for lenses and filters.
Fantastic Video as usual Matt. I had no idea I could search like Google MattK and what I am looking for. This is going to help a lot because I have looked repeatedly through your website for specific videos on the same thing! Thank You!
Great info – appreciate it. I keep a list of my gear in my Notes on my phone. When I get a new piece of equipment, I add the make, model, where I purchased it, and any important specs I may need to reference (like the diameter of the lens – was just looking at filter systems and needed to know what diameter one of my lenses was). I also take a photo of the serial number info on the box and a photo of the receipt and keep it all in the photo gear notes. I also add in any warranty info – dates that it covers and a photo of the warranty number – and where more info is (sometimes it’s in an email – and who the email was from).
Great tips Matt. I have all my camera gear on a spreadsheet with purchase date, serial numbers, last date cleaned etc. The spread sheet is backed up to an external drive plus flash drive.
As for my photo files i have them backed up on 2 external drives 1 of which is kept off the premises at friends place while other 2 are kept here at home. This is incase of fire etc so that i do not loose images. I also have a spreadsheet of image folders with places, dates taken (even returning to same place), maked in green if completed, red if not started looking through image folder and blue if partially done. May sound complicated but saves a lot of time when going through photos to edit. Ones i am editing are downloaded to my computer for faster access and re backed up. I will implement some of your file organisation tips. Thank you so much.
I have found that the easiest way to keep a record of all my photo gear is to save a pdf of the sales slip to a folder for that type of equipment (ie cameras, lenses, tripods etc.) Since the vast majority of my purchases are with B&H their online access to orders and the ability to download and save copies of past orders makes it easy to document for insurance purposes. Virtually all my training videos have been purchased and downloaded so preserving them in an appropriate folder structure is easy and very accessible at a later date. Links to online training is handled the same way. I keep track of which videos/links I have viewed using the color annotation for file names found in the Mac OS (ie. Green = completed, Yellow = in process, Red = needs a second look). Thanks Matt for all the effort you put into this very helpful course.
Great tips! Thanks!
“Good stuff Matt. Thanks for putting this all together.
Great suggestions! I have an inventory of photo gear but not on a spreadsheet – I’ll work on that. The info about PS libraries was very useful – I have put some textures in a library, but I will put more in as well as my watermark. Thanks.
Another great thought-provoking video. While I have an inventory of gear, the video reminded me of some things I need to add after recent purchases. I created a list of passwords and logins some years ago that has saved me more than once so I highly recommend that organizational tip. But remember to keep it current.
One of my goals for this year is to learn LR and PS. The organizational tips in the video concerning these programs were intriguing and I plan to implement them.
If you are on a Mac, the free Notes app that is included in the MacOS is a great place to store tables of stuff like gear and passwords and such things that (for me) might get stuck somewhere on your computer that you can’t remember where. Notes keeps getting better all the time, you can make folders for the tables and lists, and all the data is encrypted so you can access and add to and delete the same notes on your Mac and iPad and iPhone. You can make the tables/spreadsheet within the Notes app itself or create the spreadsheet in something else and paste it in. If you are a small business, not too commercial, you can share some specific notes with other people, like your boss. I suppose you can do something similar with Google, but I’m not a Google Girl.
I love using the Adobe Cloud libraries – has been so useful organizing all the graphics I’ve accumulated over the years.
I also use the Notes app as it syncs to the cloud and with the new updates you can tag them and organize them into folders and subfolders. I’ve been keeping track of my online courses that way. But I haven’t done a gear inventory yet, great tips!
Thanks Matt, I’m not organized at all so I have some work to do
Great ideas…I always feel like I’m not digitally organized, but haven’t known where to start. This is a big help.
Thanks for the video Matt. I have never made an equipment inventory, or a document with my course/preset etc purchases. I really need to do this, I know I have purchases I’ve never used. I also need to clean up my presets again!
I need to get a lot more organised – as you said tonight make 2022 the year to do it. I’ve just ordered 2 x 6TB hard drives and now onto the cloning and backup software. I use Libraries already but not all my textures are in there so I need to organise better – bring it on!
Great reminders. I need to update my inventory of the new, fun, cool stuff I bought this year! Thanks for keeping us honest, it’s great to have a reminder.
Man,I thought I was organized until I watched this video! I will make an inventory of gear and another for software. I also will do export presets! Thanks, Matt!
I am very organized in my Lightroom catalog but feel pretty disorganized with everything else. I liked the idea of spread sheets for both equipment and educational resources that I’ve purchased. I am having a hard time finding an affordable option to store all my gear. I don’t need temperature controlled boxes and really don’t want to buy Pelican cases because of the expense. If anyone has ideas for camera/lens storage I would appreciate it
I like to keep my gear in a big closet (actually using an old TV cabinet with doors that looks like a piece of furniture) with everything basically on display. I like being able to see all my gear. I use pelican cases for travel.
Excellent video and great suggestions.
Thanks for the idea of using Photoshop Libraries to help organize textures. watermarks, etc.
Thanks again Matt for the great tips.
In addition to the camera info you mentioned, I have a Spec Sheet for each of my cameras and its related accessories. This has saved me a ton of time, giving me an easy place to look for filter sizes, what accessories do I have that fit that camera (several times I’ve lost an accessory, and so have a place to look up the brand, size, etc), lens weight or angle of view, etc.
Great ideas. I have an equipment log but need to create one for programs. Great idea to have the log ins and passwords all in one place. Will look at cleaning up LR and PS as you suggest too! Thanks!
Great ideas Matt. I’ve thought of a few of your organizational tips, and even started them, such as beginning a spread sheet listing my gear, however, I know I’ve let it lapse, and it isn’t anywhere as detailed as you suggest. Thanks for the reminder and also for the tip on gaining more disc space by deleting a lot of stuff in Lightroom. Thanks for the kick in the b….
I store my LR catalogs (yes, I have one for the hobby; one for business) and LR backups on Dropbox. That way, the catalog is always current no matter whether I’m using my MacBookPro or desktop iMac.
Great suggestions. I don’t seem to have so much to organize, but will get going on all the classes and tutorials etc. Right now they are in a email organization but not so clearly marked. Also list my small amount of gear. Some of the LR clean up resonated too. Am looking forward to see what comes from other comments.
I was really surprised at the size of my backup catalogs. And I just deleted all but one. I will use the next few days for a few more quick cleanups.
Thank you so much for all this Matt! I have a spreadsheet for all my classes – but haven’t finished it yet…guess what I’ll be doing this week along with inventorying my gear? lol! Your suggestions for the library were great! I’ve been working on this one, so glad to know I’m on the right track!
From a photo organization standpoint, I make extensive use of Smart Collections in Lightroom for things like edit status (based on a color flag), favorite and portfolio images (color flag plus rating), favorite photos by year, favorite photos by location (for example the Oregon Coast), etc. This definitely helps me keep my editing organized – now I just need to do more of it!
I have been keeping an inventory list of my gear for several years. It’s a great way to know not only the total value of your gear but also helps keeps you informed of exactly what you have. We have a rider on our homeowners insurance for $25K of gear and $1M of liability. Costs about $450 a year. In addition I have PPA insurance that comes free with membership. Just last October I dropped my new Nikon Z7II and did $400 damage. Insurance paid for everything. Had to file with both companies though because my homeowners had a deductible.
I’m not a Lightroom user so cleaning presets and such isn’t something I’ll do.
Been using Libraries in Photoshop since they became available. I totally agree with you, it makes it very easy to find things. I do a lot of compositing and I put elements in the library that I use frequently, including textures and logos.
The one thing you mentioned that I may think about is a schedule of my tutorials, downloads, and such. Right now I keep downloads (brushes, actions, etc. ) in specified folders on my hard drive. They’re fairly easy to find, but I don’t always know what they do until I open them. So a schedule would be nice. I do use the YouTube functionality to create playlists and put videos in those to identify the type of video. Then when I need to refer back to it I can find it. Still a pain though.
I have been working on organizing my pics and iTunes since 2009! Hopefully this lesson will help.
Really appreciate the gear and software inventory forms. Will definitely do that. Going to delete the catalog backups now.
My biggest organizing issue is that so many of my photos have lost the link to the Hard drive. I don’t even see thumbnails to identify the photos. How do I deal with that?
Question: Should LR backups be on your hard drive or the external drive with your photos?
If your hard drive crashes you lose the LR backups so backups should always be on an external drive.
Hope this helps
great information1 Thank you
What a great summary of how to stay not only organized but safe. May I add that Valuable Personal Property insurance for camera equipment will replace or repair for just about anything and it is less than 1% of the insured purchase price. It is also a way to keep track of your items since you have to log the features, serial nos, receipts etc with the insurer.
I have add a thank you for your tip on using Google to search a web site. I have never seen that before, and I thought I was a geek.
Thank you for sharing.
P.S. Any courses that I download, I add to the Apple TV app and have them organized in playlists by author. There’s one for you.
How do you download a course to the Apple TV app? I would often enjoy watching these on TV vs. my computer, but not sure how that would work. Sometimes I mirror my screen.
You could use an HDMI cable and plug your computer into your TV
I have kept a spread sheet containing all my gear, but have never kept any kind of a log of software purchases. Both my export and develop presets have become cumbersome and once prompted in this weeks video, I will not weed out the unused and old items clogging the particular lists.
I have one Nikon point & shoot & I don’t use Lightroom so, it most of what you said doesn’t apply. But, thanks anyway! My photo editors, Faststone & Photoscape, just work off my PC’s file folders (which I do organize – folder for each year with a subfolder for each day I shot photos & a categories folder with subfolders for special groupings). These editors are good enough for my purposes, but not nearly as fancy as teh ones you pay for…
Good organizational tips. . . one that I am currently wanting to know ~ what is the most efficient method to use in uploading images from your phone AND phone message images to LRc?
Thanks, Matt. I have the equipment inventory in place and update it twice a year for insurance purposes.
The Lightroom and Photoshop cleanup tips were the most helpful to me as I had not thought of most of them nor has I known how to do them.
Thanks for all the great simplifying suggestions.
I have a dropbox subfolder where I store download photo processing tutorials – such as the MattK Photoshop and Lightroom tutorials. I operate under the assumption that disk space is relatively cheap. I see that a spreadsheet would be helpful as well.
One thing that helps me to recall when I took photos and which folder they would be stored in is my Smugmug account. Most major projects end up with a Smugmug gallery. I can look at that and learn the date of each image from the metadata if I don’t remember in any other way.
As I age and my memory becomes more fallible crutches like that become increasingly important.
I keep the spreadsheet with gear and software info on dropbox so I can get the info when traveling if need be.
Great tips Matt. I do need to catalogue my gear, can’t believe I needed reminding…Im a dedicated list maker, lol
Excellent suggestions! You’ve motivated me to create an inventory.
I have YouTube playlists for the main educational photographers I follow – including Matt 🙂 I wish YouTube had a few more sorting options but it’s not horrible…
I need to clean up the items in Lightroom and Photoshop (presets, textures, skies). I am switching to the new computer so this video was very helpful.
Thanks Matt for a helpful and straight forward series of videos.
348 days to learn Photoshop. I can do it … maybe.
Ok….so much to do now!!! For somebody who uses excel on a daily basis I didn’t even think to use if for my photography inventory. I do use it for my password inventory though…
As for the lightroom and photoshop info…all new things for me. I’ve got some work to do now!
Quick question, will we have access to these videos in the future, I have a feeling I will need to go back and rewatch a couple of them. Thanks again!!
Great tutorial. I’ve used libraries for logos but will add my textures to stop searching when I need them.
I have many small external drives that I’d like to combine onto one large drive. Suggestions on best brand, quickest way to transfer? Would live some suggestions. Do you have a course on this?
Very good suggestion to get organized now!
A “searchable” notes program. like Evernote, can be good choice of where to store information.
I’m reducing my need for file cabinet space. I have a fast document scanner that I use to scan receipts as PDF’s. I drag the receipt PDF into Evernote. I can easily and quickly find the receipt if ever needed.
i thought your best tip was the one at the end…. if your’e not busy doing something right now why not take the spare time and cleanup the stuff you haven’t got to for a while. will do that for sure. thanks matt. interesting course and informative. worth the time.
Honestly, I never thought of getting organized like this. I definitely see the benefit of doing this and will.
I have an inventory of all my equipment and accessories, but will go back and add serials, etc. to the equipment list. Cleaning up presets, deleting old backups and removing TIFFs and PSDs I don’t need will be a big help. Great tips. I do keep my photos in folders by topic or date on my computer and two backup drives. Unfortunately, I didn’t name or label individual photos so mostly I have to access ones I remember by scrolling through the folder. Messy system but I don’t know how I could set up anything new at this point. All my photos go into one master catalog in LRcc, then into those computer folders as sorted. Cleaning up that system would take huge time, which would be better spent shooting more photos.
Great Video series! Question: You mentioned you store textures, Logos and Watermarks in the Library in Photoshop but
what about a folder with photos.
Great info just what I needed since I’m in cleanup mmode.
Great suggestions today – things I never have thought about!!!
Another great video, Matt! I bookmark all my favorite online tutorials, grouping by presenter and topic AND I include a rating of 1-10 at the beginning of the bookmark title. As for export presets, I will definitely start doing that. Finally, one more request to add closed captioning to your videos for us hard-of-hearing-but-fully-able-to-take-and-edit-photos folks. Thank you!
Good info, Matt. I’d never thought about making a spreadsheet of training resources.
The suggestion to inventory photography gear definitely resonated with me. I haven’t done that for some years. I do retain of folder of bookmarks for significant photo websites, and I have an email folder for photography. I also keep a copy of my LR catalog on an external drive–just in case.
Hopefully, we all understand that a backup copy of a LR catalog is just what it says — it is NOT a backup copy of the photos that are in the catalog!
Good stuff! I haven’t used the Photoshop folders so will try that! I also use my gear list as a checklist when packing for a photo trip.
I do not have my equipment cataloged and this is a great idea. Also include any cases or bags that you have bought. I have 2 pelican cases for my photo equipment and if someone walked away with the case, I would want to include that in the police report.
Great ideas on organizing PS and Lr. I deleted all of my old backups and now will go through my photos and delete.
For me, Lightroom is the ultimate organizer for my photography. I do not set up multiple folders to organize my files. My Lightroom workflow is organized around just 3 folders; “Import”, “In Process” and “Finished”. All imported files go into the Import folder. Here is where I set titles, captions, keywords and other metadata. I also eliminate any “duds” at this location. The remaining photos are ones that I want to work on and I will drag them to the In Process folder. After processing in Lightroom, Photoshop or ON1, the files are dragged to the Finished folder. They stay here forever. If I have done a good job with my metadata, I can find any photo I am looking for.
Love your organization. I always keyword but everything is in folders by year and date. Your system sounds very clear, simpler.
Good series of organizers. Google is always bugging me about upgrading my maxed out free 15G cloud space, yet I am unable to see where I am using any (and it doesn’t let me sign in )? A couple of your organizers highlights area that I may want to use more. On a different issue, I am now going over to check my tifs and psd’s in LR.
My screen was sharp today?
The export preset tip really helped me out! Thanks also for the tip on Photoshop libraries (I always forget about those…). Some organizational things I’ve done that really helped: 1) I got a tall wrapping paper container to hold my tripods and lightstands; 2) I put a small bookcase in the closet to hold all the photo gear, and now it’s really easy to grab what I need and pack it in the photo bag; 3) I’ve been pretty consistent charging the camera batteries and remote power supplies so I can run out the door with the equipment without worrying about it (this was a tip from a previous Fresh Start).
Yep, equipment inventory is absolutely needed. Attach images of original purchase invoices if you have them. Hopefully you will never be a victim. If you are that inventory will be priceless.
Concerning the use of Libraries, I found what I consider a much easier way to enter items into a library. When you subscribe to the current version of Photoshop and Lightroom you also become “attached” to the Creative Cloud and typically have an icon in your task bar that opens it. When you open the Creative Cloud it defaults to the “Apps” tab where you can check on the version status of the apps you subscribe to. If you click on “Files” at the top (next to Apps) then “Your Libraries” in the left column all of the libraries are visible and you can drag and drop files like textures, overlays, skies, etc. directly into folders you can create for them. Then you can access them in Photoshop. The interface is larger and easier to manage than in Photoshop, just due to the size of the space available.
That’s a great tip, Paul – thanks. Do you store brushes in your library? I’ve purchased so many brushes, and have them all in a brush folder on my computer, but was wondering if putting them in the Library would be a good idea.
No, I don’t see any way to store general tools like brushes, actions, etc. in Libraries. I think Libraries are generally restricted to photo type files like jpeg ands forth.
Some great suggestions. Cleaned up about 5 years worth of LRCAT backups.
I insured my gear years ago and had to go through the process of creating a spread sheet for that. That policy has probably paid for itself on claims I’ve made so, everyone, get your gear insured.
RE insurance: I have my gear on my homeowner’s policy — is that sufficient or is there photo equipment-specific insurance as well?
Lots of good ideas. I have my textures stored in LR as part of that library, but you are correct in that I use them in Ps so I would usually have to move them from one program to another; duh!
I am finding them a new home in the Ps library today!
I am also going to hunt down those redundant/unwanted Tiff files too!
Matt you have been quite motivating throughout this quick start I thought my file management was good but with some of today’s tips they’re going to be great. Thanks for all you do.
Concerning finding purchases from webinars, I created a subfolder in my email box titled webinar presets and purchases. Then Ithrow the email confirmations with the links in there. Then, when I want to find a past purchase, I just go to the folder and click the link. Has worked well for the past 8 years.
Thank you, this is a great suggestion!
OK … so this is the year I learn Photoshop! Great organizational tips .. yes I have to put signature and other text items in a place where I can find them rather than continuing to search for them and then duplicating and putting them in a folder in a location never to be found again! .. 🙂 thanks again …
Thanks for the overview today. I am continually cleaning up Lightroom and Photoshop in order to keep them clean and efficient. However I export a lot of jpegs for various purposes, web, print, sharing etc These frequently are the same photos rehandled several ways color, b/w, size, resolution. Most of these I want to keep. I use one Lightroom catalogue and often want to compare the exported jpeg with the original RAW file in Lightroom. These jpgs run thundereds if not ‘000s. can you suggest a method of simply organising these jpgs together with some attached information on each? Should I build a separate catalogue in Lightroom for the jpgs or is there something else I could use/
Couldn’t you just keep each variation as a separate version in Lr – versions are simply processing recipes alongside the Raw and much smaller than the exported jpegs.
Mike, what do you mean by “…variation as a separate version in LR…” Is the same as a ‘Virtual Copy”?
I could, but it would mean reimporting all the exported jpgs and re associating them with the original (whichever variant remains) which would be tricky. Just seems that it would be re cluttering LRC. But I’ll give it some thought. Thanks.
Keep it simple… delete the derivative JPGs and just “Export” new ones when needed. It’s not really a good workflow to keep them and you probably won’t find a good way of organizing them.
I didn’t have any problems viewing today. Excellent ideas this week. I definitely need organization.
I would recommend that you keep a copy of your gear on your cellphone and cloud so if you are travelling and items are stolen, you have the information to complete a report to the local police.
That’s a great tip!
Good idea. Also, if you use a password managed (I use 1Password) you can store a copy of the document in the vault and always have access to it that way.
That’s a great idea! I also use 1Password and therefore always have it with me on my phone. I’ll try this 🙂
This is an excellent idea! Thank you.