I'm a little ahead of the game on this challenge. I switched cameras a couple years ago and got a new computer as well. When my original software didn't work with my new camera I decided to come up with an organization system that worked no matter who took the picture and what camera was used. I also set up a series of folders on my computer organized by year, month, and further divided into some misc categories. I went back to the birth of my first child to start organizing photos as that's when I really started taking pictures with a digital camera. In addition to the folders on my computer I back up my photos to an external hard drive that is stored in a safe deposit box. Here is a small sampling of my folders:
You may have noticed in the first picture that I have a file labeled "photos to print". This is a fairly new addition. My husband was becoming aggravated with me because he knows I have a ton of pictures to print but I never have them ready to go or have the time to get them when a special comes up at Snapfish. I decided to create this folder and just add photos to it as I have time so that when he finds a coupon or special I have some ready to go. I also put two of the same photo in the folder if I want double so he doesn't have to sort through them to determine how many we need. (I have separate photo albums for my kids so they'll be able to take them with them when they leave home and we don't have to worry about trying to split a join album)
I also have photo boxes for each of my kids. When I get their photos printed I date the back and file them into their boxes. I need to do this for vacation photos as well since some of them are just for my and my husband. I try to do a small page or two in my kids albums for each vacation but the majority of the photos go into a joint family album. The only thing I still need to do is add monthly tabbed dividers to each box.
The most recent addition to my scrapbook organization is a hanging file folder box that I just purchased. I'm planning on covering some hanging folders in pink and blue like I did here for my kids keepsake crates and using the file box to store the photos that are sizes other than 4x6 and won't fit in their current storage boxes.
I'd love to get the printed photos organized into "kits" that are ready to go when I head to a girls night out for scrapping like Andrea did at A Bowl Full of Lemons. I've thought about doing that before but I'm not sure how practical that will be for me as I have a TON of embellishments (brads, ribbon, charms, paper pieced die cuts, etc . . . ) that I love to incorporate. My newest fad is sewing on my pages. I'll have to keep working on that part to develop a system that will work for me.