You have GOT to read this post by Michelle, who so totally understands the "big picture" behind the Library of Memories (LOM) system.
Thank YOU Michelle for sharing your post with me!
and now, finally ... an answer to a really good question.
Q: I'm behind the times and just got a copy of Photo Freedom. I love it like I knew I would. I'm so ready to dive in. One easy question, I noticed in the book that you have albums in iPhoto w/ your 4 main categories. How exactly does that work? Do you organize pictures there directly after uploading them? Or are they triaged similar to the way you triage physical photos?
A: First of all, there is no such thing as "behind the times." I'm tickled you have a copy of Photo Freedom and that you are interested in my system. Here's how I use my photo software to support my Library of Memories storage binders (chronological storage) and category drawers (triaged photos) ...
Since I use and love all things Apple, my computer is a Mac and my photo software is iphoto, which is very user friendly and customizable. Regardless of which photo organizing software you use, you'll want to set up the following albums or folders so that you can tag or copy images from your main dumping ground (I'm mean uploaded collection) into more manageable groups:
1. Seasonal highlight folders. At the end of each season or quarter I set aside some time to review and copy/move my most scrappable images into pared down seasonal folders. As I noted in the book, I might have 700 to 1000 (or more) images from July/August/September (summer) and will end up moving half or less to a highlight folder, that I label 2008 Summer I can always go back to my BIG collection and search by date and see everything I decided not to delete, but for me it's critical to pare this collection down to just those images that I will upload and archive at Shutterfly for potential printing. I generally end up with somewhere between 300 and 700 photos in each seasonal highlight folder.
NOTE: I upload photos to my computer often (once or twice a week, or more.) After images are uploaded, I quickly review and delete the obviously BAD ones. At this point, I pretty much ignore them until it's time to create a seasonal highlight folder. I do occasionally print (at home) a pic here or there before printing an entire folder, but for the most part, when it's time to scrapbook, I go to my collection of printed photos. In other words, I do NOT spend time looking for images on my computer.
2. Triage folders. Once I have seasonal highlight folders created, I generally view them if I need to find a particular image. As I spend time with images in these folders, I may do some virtual triaging into my four main categories of All About Us (folders for each person in my family), People We Love, Places We Go, and Things We Do. I do NOT spend time duplicating my physical triage sub-categories on my computer, because I have found that I do NOT generally reference them. The only triaging I do consistantly is into the All About Us folders that I have for each person in my family. I DO use these folders, as I often want to reprint an image for a layout or a school project, etc.. For example: Just this morning Taft needed a photo of himself for school. I wanted a very current photo so I went to my Taft album inside my All About Us folder in iphoto to find a photo taken on the first day of school. These pictures are NOT yet printed, so this particular photo would not yet be filed in a storage binder or triaged from there into the All About Us category drawer.
As for the other three main categories, I don't really have many sub-albums on my computer. If I triage an image, it just goes into the main category. I do create a separate sub-album for all of my travel locations and I also have sub-albums for Everyday Life and Color in my iphoto Things We Do folder -- again, because I find I need and use them the most.
I hope this helps. Sometimes I write these answers and wonder if I've confused more than clarified.
BIG Tip: Keep in mind that if you are doing more digital scrapbooking these days, you will WANT to spend more time than I do setting up triage sub-albums on your computer. Your use of computer software to organize photos should reflect your approach to scrapbooking. Be careful NOT to invest time in processes that won't pay you back in increased efficiency. You will find the right balance between computer and physical files as you start scrapbooking with your Library of Memories system. So PLEASE, PLEASE do allow yourself to start using your system before it is entirely "set up." (which, btw ... takes a long, long time to set up and fine tune and learn to use and love, and the longer you allow it to take, the better it will "stick" or work for you. Remember this OK?)