My wife is a click-happy photographer. We have two laptops and one 5TB external HD. 40k photos and growing, 300 GB file.
We share duties, I catalog and tag, but since I have a color vision deficiency she does the editing.
What I thought I could do was: catalog and tag on my computer and backup to external HD. Restore on her computer. While she is editing on her computer I do nothing on my computer. When we have new photos to import she stops editing and we backup her computer. I bring it to my computer. I delete the old backup and restore the new backup. We keep doing this back and forth stuff whenever we get new photos.
This is nuts. Gotta be a better way. Plus it took 11 hours to do it.
Any help would be appreciated. Keep it simple, I'm not all that bright.
The usual choice in your situation is to store both your shared media files and the catalog folder on an external drive that you plug alternatively to each computer.
Use the backup and restore process to restore on 'custom location' on an external drive.
Ideally, you would use a dedicated external HD for backups and another one for the shared storage and catalog. Since you have enough space, you can use your existing external drive.Take care using separate master folders for backup and normal storage.
It might be a good idea to also restore your backup on one or both laptops as night jobs periodically to make an accessible version of your catalog an library without the shared external drive.