Can I just upload my photos into folders in My Pictures for now to make it easy, or should I use my canon organizer software. Because eventially I will want to use Elements 10 so want to make it as user friendly as possible now.
It appears that I cannot have the same folder in elements every year - which is what I was doing in the past; such as, 2012 then family and vacation, etc. I tried to use 2013 and family and got the message that the folder was already being used.
Photos I did have in elements organizer have been moved, and I spent a lot of time trying to reconnect and it didn't happen. Can I just delete the catalog and start over. I haven't uploaded many photos yet because I'm trying to figure out what to do.
If it's not too problematic, start over, and follow these steps.
1. Decide how you want your folder structure to be organized, and stick to the system. You can mostly automate the import process so that it adheres to your system, and Elements does have a way to expose the folder structure (with hierarchy) along the left side of the UI, so that you'll be able to double check and fix that hierarchy anytime you want. For example, I use an external drive, have a 'Home Photos' folder, with Year folders, then Month folders (named 01 Jan 2012, 02 Feb 2012, etc), then Date and/or Event folders (01_Feb_16_Birthday).
2. You can create the folder hierarchy in Finder/Windows, or using Canon zoombrowser, which has the added benefit of letting you also see your RAW files, in addition to create folders automatically by date for you.
3. Create a new catalog in Elements, then drag/drop the whole folder into Elements, or use the Import command to bring in everything in that's in your Pictures folder (wherever that is). Open that folder view in Elements (after the import is done), click the little hierarchy button that looks like a folder in the left pane, and you'll see your whole folder system, intact.
4. Set up the Elements 'Watched Folder' feature to watch your pictures folder, so that any new files that are added to it (hopefully according to whatever structure you prescribed) will automatically be added to the Elements database.
5. However you copy files into that folder, make sure you follow your hierarchy rules, because the instant they are added to your pictures folder, then picked up by Elements, if you create new folders or rename folders (without using the Elements folder view to do that work), they will get disconnected. Canon's importer, or Elements' built in importer give you the control to pick the folder structure while you import, so you can do this directly. If you do this manually, just be sure that you organize everything in sub folders BEFORE you move them into your Pictures folder, otherwise Elements will record their original position, but changes after being moved into your picture folder will be lost, and disconnects will happen. If you do have to make changes to the location of files, or their names (or folder names), do that in the Elements folder view, and disconnects will be avoided.
Hope that helps!