I use Lightroom Classic [not well], Photoshop, and Photoshop Elements 2020. I also have Bridge. Several years ago, I started making a catalog in Lightroom. I found it tedious and did not keep up with it. Now, I am really feeling a need for a catalog system. I could use the features in Lightroom, Photoshop Elements, or Bridge. Lightroom may be the best but it is probably more work. Bridge and Photoshop Elements Organizer may be simpler. How should I determine which is best for me? If I go with Elements Organizer, is there a way to take the catalog with me if I upgrade to a new version?
If I go with Elements Organizer, is there a way to take the catalog with me if I upgrade to a new version?
Yes, all versions can 'convert' the old catalogs to the newer format.
Note that Lightroom can convert PSE catalogs to its own format, not the other way round. In that case you would have to 'write metadata to files' in LR before importing in PSE. You would recover tags, captions and ratings, but not collections for instance.
As you know, Bridge (which is free to use with PSE) is not based on catalogs.