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FWIW, I have a couple of different systems.

For travel photos (which is most of what I do), I have the place (e.g. Philippines) as a folder. Under that I have a year (e.g. 2012). Under that I put days as folders (e.g. 6_12 for "June 12"). The photos themselves get renamed by the Nikon software, using the location (e.g. "Boracay") and a serial number. I try to keep the numbers sequential, so if 6_12 ended with shot number 89, then 6_13 will begin with shot 90 (even if the name of the place changes to "Bohol", for example). This system seems to work really well for me.

Local stuff (family, outings, events) I usually toss them in a folder (e.g. "family") and make sure the photo has the name of the event and a date. If it's a big event generating several shots I'll put them in a labeled folder under "family". I still need to work on this as it isn't as easy to find as the travel stuff, but doesn't seem to lend itself well to the same sort of system I use for "travel".

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