I have a mess of digital media to sort out, photos and videos, and I want a robust system to move forward with. I've been doing some research and want to offer up what I've found so far for discussion. I think I like the three tier system but need a final shove to decide. To be clear the top most root would be Pictures or Videos, these types are separate. Three Tier YYYYYYYY-MM-DD EventPhotos Flattest, most denormalized methodology Feels like year directories could get very bloated Special events i.e. holidays, that span monthly boundaries would be visually contiguous Complex day events could have further sub directories: Those with many sources such as other people and camera types Events that are long like graduations may be divided into sections Four Tier YYYYYYYY-MMYYYY-MM-DD EventPhotos YYYYMM NameDD EventPhotos YYYYMMDD EventPhotos Breaks things down further by month under the year level More nested than Three Tier methodology Holiday events that span month boundaries would be broken up by month so not visually contiguous Same rules possible for complex events and multiple sources as Three Tier Five Tier YYYYYYYY-MMYYYY-MM-DDYYYY-MM-DD EventPhotos Variants as above Plus, all the naming variants as in Four Tier Deep nesting Could potentially have one or two directories in days These could contain many or few photos Same rules possible for complex events and multiple sources as Three Tier General Comments With the Three Tier methodology the concern of ‘keys’ is not there because everything is flat under the year directory. > Three tiers then we might start thinking in terms of a relational database i.e. primary and secondary keys: YYYY is a primary key [PK] at level one but is a foreign key at level two and so on YYYY[FK]-MM[PK] YYYY[FK]-MM[FK]-DD[PK] Do we even want such a bloated naming convention with more than three tiers? It might be unwieldy to deal with anything beyond four tiers, we are humans and not computers after all It is undesirable to rely on additional software such as Lightroom The system must be as future proof as possible It should be intuitive for all that may encounter it – this will be handed down and added to through the generations Metadata is nice but it should be an independent concern that can be dealt with later/separately I would greatly appreciate your thoughts and input.