Here’s what I do, so far, in case anyone is interested.
Photography has been a hobby for most of my adult life, and most of my images are family - mainly grandchildren, now - but I also take landscapes and make other kinds of image when I get the opportunity. My new images are a mixture of Raw+JPEG from Micro-4/3rds interchangeable lens cameras, JPEG from a good compact camera, and a few iPhone images.
I have only been using Mylio seriously since January 2020, after a test run during overseas travel in December 2019. Mylio now acts as the asset manager for all my new images as well as my finished older images, which are synchronised across Mac desktops, Macbooks, and iOS devices. My aim is to make sure everything is secure against storage loss or computer failure, easy to pick up by someone else in the family when I end up pushing up daisies, and automated as much as possible (I used to work in the IT world). My family is spread around the world, and we have used OneDrive for photo sharing for several years, mainly because it has a free Terabyte per Office 365 user.
My Mylio setup has four vaults. The desktop I use when at home has a vault on an external drive; my old desktop (which I keep in case the newer one fails) also has a vault on an external drive. I have an old laptop that lives in a separate garage acting as a semi-offsite vault, and the iPad Pro is also a vault (I have around 85,000 images in Mylio taking 300GB - the iPad has 1TB). The entire set of final and original images are also separately copied off-site four times a year, using a set of external drives in rotation.
The iPhone images are transferred from iCloud by Mylio’s importer on my iPhone.
If I am at home, everything else is copied from the camera card to a backup location and to Mylio on my Mac desktop using a script that renames the images to prefix the date and time to the original camera’s filename (as YYYY_MMDD_HHMM_SSsss, where sss is subseconds to identify images within bursts on modern cameras).
If I am not at home, I import direct to Mylio on my iPad Pro, using a custom rename string that substitutes a 3-digit serial number instead of the subseconds, since that is unavailable in Mylio; I don’t delete the images from the camera card until a backup has been taken externally to Mylio.
This image file naming format arose because long ago I needed computers to sort image files by capture date regardless of original camera filename (or original scan filename for film images). The subseconds part was added when I first got a camera that would shoot bursts of several images within a second.
After importing to Mylio, I assign metadata in bulk - titles, various keywords, and locations. The keywords include a topic identifier that is duplicated as a ‘fake person’ so that Mylio’s event filters can see it.
I rate the images using stars, and label them according to who will be interested - family, just me, other photographers, etc.
I use the keyboard a lot while rating and culling. There are times when Mylio’s cross-platform nature slows the workflow by requiring mouse usage, so I have developed extra keyboard actions using Better Touch Tool on my desktop computer that avoid having to move my hand to the trackpad to turn view filtering on or off, or to select ratings and labels being filtered for. (Unfortunately, these depend on the location of the buttons on the screen, so there’s not much point in sharing them. I wish Mylio’s UI was a bit less wasteful of space on big screens - it would be much better to have stars, labels and flag status all visible at the same time in the filtering bar. I know this wouldn’t work on a phone screen, of course.)
Next, I filter for the non-reject images and optimise them using Mylio’s image editor if it can, or else an external editor - usually Exposure X, but sometimes Luminar, Aurora HDR, Raw Power, or Affinity Photo depending on what is needed. The exported image from the external editor gets a _display suffix on the filename so that Mylio displays it instead of the original. Family snaps are usually fine with Mylio’s editor, other stuff needs a more capable editor.
Sometimes I revise the ratings and other metadata at this point.
Finally I export the images as JPEG to an Exports folder, and run another script that renames the images to replace the original camera filename part with the image title (retaining the date/time part at the beginning), and then saves them in my Finals folder hierarchy using the year and topic keyword previously mentioned as the folder names. Images destined for family use are automatically reduced in size and copied to a shared location in OneDrive, again using the year and topic identifier keyword as folder names. OneDrive then replicates them to family members.
For pre-2020 images, Mylio has the final JPEGs from my previous asset manager, which was Exposure X (I moved to Mylio for asset management because of its speed and cross-platform features), from Aperture before that (which I miss terribly, but it was old and also lacked cross-platform support), and from Digikam before that. The older originals (around 180,000 - I find it really hard to throw anything away) are stored on the same external drives as Mylio uses, but not imported to Mylio; I use NeoFinder to catalogue them. This means I can maintain and search metadata for the older finals using Mylio, and if I need to re-process an older original for some reason, NeoFinder will quickly locate it. I had to do that recently for ten or so final images that had become corrupt at some time in the past. Most of the scripting and folder naming was originally designed to work with Aperture, and has evolved gradually since then to save me time.
I love Mylio’s ability to browse on any device, using the same filtering and searching everywhere, and being able to fix metadata or make other changes anywhere. When I want to locate particular images in Mylio, I generally have the year in mind, and since Mylio lacks smart albums I use events in the calendar view to find them. For older images, these events are based on topical folders, but newer images are in folders based on capture date. Some of my events last all year and have filters with the ‘fake people’ mentioned above to avoid mixing up images from different places, such as overseas parts of the family that we visit often. These filters automatically pick up metadata changes, and the result is a bit like a smart album. I also have named faces, but I rarely use face recognition for finding images.
I print a few images, and generally use Affinity Photo for that since it can do soft proofing.