Total newbie organisational advice please!

Hi and thanks for reading :smiley:
I think I at least partially misunderstood what Photostructure is for despite having read all the help articles that seemed relevant. I can totally see the benefit of it but I think I need a step before Photostructure and wondered if anybody can advise? I can see that after some preliminary organisation Photostructure will be really useful.

I have never organised my photos/videos so on creating a library I only have dates (some of which are wrong as my GoPro was set to the wrong date) and camera type to work with. I want to rationalise what I have into one SSD (which I will of course back up) and also into categories such as location, event etc.

In addition to random pics from my laptop I mostly have photo and video from a DSLR and also from a GoPro plus some phone photos/videos plus I have backups of some of these files over the 2 external hard drives and the laptop that I’ve imported into the library. Is there any relatively simple way of consolidating these so I can move them and organise them? Can any of this be done on PhotoStructure itself? Or would I be better starting off with something else? I also have some other flash drives and SD cards that I’ve not got to yet.

I’d really appreciate any tips! I’m trying to organise my photos and other digital content for the first time ever so that I’ll be able to manage it better in future but rationalising the photos/videos is kind of urgent as I have bought a couple of SSDs for travel and want to leave the two external hard drives at home with backups and move the files that I need to be able to access onto the SSDs. I’m not very technically minded (at all!) but I am willing to put the time in to learn what I need to know!

In case it’s useful to know, the laptop is a Macbook Air M1 running Sonoma. The two external hard drives I have are 2tb and 1tb Transcend and the two new ones are 1tb Sandisk and 1TB Crucial X9 Pro.I also have an ancient hard drive with time machine and I know I need to get more storage - this is just for now!

Thanks so much in advance for any help :smiling_face:

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Hi Suzi, welcome to the forum!

Your questions seem to revolve around organization… have you read this document? I think it does a pretty good job of describing what Photostructure does in terms of organizing your files.

For users interested in auto-organization (it’s not mandatory), it seems like the general workflow is to put your files someplace that Photostructure can see them (either by telling Photostructure to look at this new location, or by copying them into a directory that Photostructure is already looking at), and then let Photostructure sync do it’s thing and copy those files into the auto-organization folder structure. The end result is a folder structure where the top level is individual years, and the next level is individual dates within that year. I believe this is configurable to some degree, but I don’t have personal experience with that.

Now, if you have files with bad dates, you probably want to get those cleaned up ahead of time. For photos, you can use a tool like EXIF Date Changer, for example. I’m sure there are similar utilities for video files. One of the nice features of EXIF Date Changer is the ability to select a bunch of photos taken by a camera with a bad timestamp, and adjust them all by an offset (the theory being that if the camera date is set incorrectly, then the relative times between photos is correct, just the absolute time is wrong.)

I hope this helps! If I can clarify anything else, let me know!!

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Howdy @Suzi !

I think you’re in a similar situation to many folks (me included), where most of your photos only have a date: and some of those may not even be the correct date (if I took pictures with my dSLR but forgot to reset the clock or set the timezone to be correct to wherever I was at the time).

PhotoStructure is designed to sweep everything into a nice single pile (if you want), and then let you browse by “hierarchical” tags: so year/month/day, for example. The v2024 build (currently in beta) adds geographic name tags to the photos you’ve taken that include GPS metadata (standard on smartphones, some “rugged” point-and-shoot cameras, and more recent mirrorless cameras).

Thanks to recent developments in machine learning, upcoming builds will also automatically add “topics”, captions, and names based on face detection, and other tags based on image content: each of these should help you jump quickly through your library’s contents without having to do too much (or any!) manual edits.

Completely unrelated to organization, but equally important: I’d suggest you take the time to backup your library someplace safe: I explain the what, why, and how here: PhotoStructure | How do I safely store my files?

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Thanks so much for the responses and apologies for taking so long to reply - I had to go and focus on something completely different for a couple of weeks and am only getting back to this now.

Re storage - yes, thank you, I’ve read all that and it’s terrifying! I will be doing my best to store my photos safely.