Hope everyone is doing well. I'm curious to find a better file management system to organize, move and back up my files than what I currently do.
To sum up:
-I am an avid outdoor shooter, who also does weddings and branding on the side.
- I have a 500gb macbook pro retina (2013) and multiple external hard drives ( a couple 1 tb, and one each of for 2,3, and 4 TB hard drives)
- I hate working off externals, and prefer to work off of my laptop for as long as possible before I need to move images over to an external. Carrying an external just gives me anxiety, and they tend to be slow (my mac doesn't function that fast either despite being 2.6 ghz i5 with 8gb ram). I also like to edit in bed a lot, and I've had issues where those stupid hard drive cords will become dislodged and an entire hard drive will stop functioning properly and need to be erased/formatted (Lacie porsche design a couple years ago, only have seagate now)
- For weddings and paid gigs, I always just work off an external because once I edit, I send them off and usually never touch them again, but keep the files on multiple drives so those files aren't really a management issue for me as I don't work with them all the time
For my outdoor travel, I edit everyday trying to better myself, and constantly export small numbers of images to my phone as I post on Instagram everyday for growth. Typically, what I have been doing up until this point is I will create a catalog for a certain period of time, like "2016_fall", or "2017_part_1" for example. I usually import the image originals into subfolders within the corresponding master folder for "2016_Fall" or 2017_Part_1". So I keep working on these files until my laptop hard drive is almost full, and then just remove an entire catalog (the oldest one) worth of shots off of the laptop to make room for my future shots. the old catalogs I just work off a hard drive for, but generally don't touch them much once they are moved off of the laptop.
The issue that I'm running into is keep all files and folders and catalogs up to date on all drives. I feel like its a mess and requires a lot of manual copying and pasting from drive to drive, which discourages me from actually backing up for a month or more at a time. I don't use time machine really, just because I'm not sure how I would benefit from it in my case as it would only backup what I currently have on the laptop. I will admit though time machine confuses me and I don't even know how to just delete old backups to keep external hard drive space from getting overloaded with unnecessary backups. I never need to access old versions of my computer, just old images. I generally will just delete an entire folder of images and catalog off the externals and replace it with all of the up to date info (copy and paste) from my laptop. This is obviously annoying when you have to transfer 100gb+ at a time just to backup a weekend camping trip for example.
What I am looking for is simply just a better and more efficient way of backing up to multiple locations, keeping everything up to date, and doing so in a better system than I currently do. Open to any and all suggestions! I definitely have the space for everything, its just the management is what confuses me.