A Good Organizational Strategy is Still the Most Important Starting Point
Some folks may say "just get all your photo scanning done first, then you can organize them". That is certainly one option, but having been through that kind of scenario, I will personally tell you that it becomes a much more difficult project to try organizing hundreds or thousands of photos "later".
- It is much easier to create an organizational file folder structure when you can visually see and touch the photo albums, boxes of photos, and such that are right in front of you. What kinds of "photo groups" do you see? How many photos will be contained in each group? Will you need to create a host of subfolders within each photo group? You will probably find out that you have groups of photos ranging from small to very large.
- By visually seeing your photo albums, you can play with a file structure that seems to work the best up front. Create new empty subfolders and move them around until you find something that allows you to easily find your image files.
- If you “scan then organize” your photos, they will likely be contained in numerous oddly labelled file folders assigned by the scanning software scattered across multiple hard drives, USB flash drives, etc. Each of those file folders will have numerous non-descriptly labelled filenames, like "img001256.jpg". You will be hunting all day long just to remember what all those photo files are.
- Once your file structure is pretty organized, then after a "day" of scanning photos, you will remember what photos were scanned and where they should go. They can be quickly placed into the appropriate folders. You will NOT be able to do this months later after getting all your photos scanned.