I have been taking digital photographs since 2003. My collection is a mess, and I have no idea what to do about it. Everything from 2003-2009 is on an external hard drive, basically, and 2009 on is on the hard drive of the machine I'm updating currently. In 2003 it made sense to organize photos by albums, but in the modern era of cellphone cameras and one or two pictures per day forever, it makes more sense to organize in other ways (e.g., day/month/year, faces, locations). Much of my stuff is in Aperture right now, which I purchased thinking it would be a helpful upgrade over iPhoto, but it was a waste of money -- I feel it works even worse.
So what do I do? Here's what I'm thinking.
(1) Get all the files in one location, on my computer. File structure doesn't matter as much as having everything in one place does.
(2) Back those up on multiple drives in multiple locations, including the cloud (not sure where to go here -- Flickr offers the free terabyte, but I'd rather pay for Dropbox or Google. Meanwhile, most of my devices play the nicest with iCloud).
(3) Find some photo organizer/viewer that works the best. Whether this is iPhoto, Aperture, Picasa, or what I don't know and can't say. I guess this will take some research. (It seems as if photo organization has really taken a hit in the current era of the closed web, doesn't it?)
(4) Start to organize in a way that doesn't make me want to pull my hair out.
(5) Back all of that up too.
Am I right? Am I wrong? Any hints? Please help!