Hi, new to this and wondered if someone could point in direction to learn best way to organise folders, catalogs and general file management. Already in a mess after a short time! Any help appreciated.
If you are beginning to work on Lightroom Classic and still learning how catalogs work, it is better to stay on a single primary catalog to help you consolidate your workflow. Check this article to learn about Lightroom Classic's Catalog.
new to this and wondered if someone could point in direction to learn best way to organise folders, catalogs and general file management
Catalogs — very simple for beginners: use ONE catalog. Not more than one, not a couple, not a lot, use ONE catalog.
Folders — the only folders I use are named by capture date; Lightroom Classic makes this simple, set this option in LrC once, and then all future imports will go into folders by capture date.
General File Management — simple, import the photos to wherever you want them to be (that is put them in the folder that is to be their final resting place), which I recommend is subfolders by capture date, and NEVER move them again. That's NEVER move them, as in not in a million years — leave the photos and folders where they are. Use keywords, captions and other metadata to organize and search. (Now that I said NEVER twice, there is one exception: if you need to move the folders/files to a new hard disk or new computer, then of course you move them).
Bottom line: for beginners, make this as simple as possible. In this and other forums, we see beginners try to create extremely complicated workflows, and often it causes problems. Even though I am relatively advanced now as a LrC user, I still follow all of the above, and it works well for me. The simpler it is, the less chance of human errors, errors where you do the wrong thing or forget a step(s), and errors from not understanding how LrC really works.