Upload & Sell: On
You will enter an ecosystem and there is no guarantee of an easy way to transfer to a different one later on, but it will surely be easier than fully utilising your first one. Even if you had to transfer some settings manually it will be easy to locate the relevant files because the hard work will already have been done.
My system had a few fundamental goals:
1. Allow easy use of the camera-brand-specific software without it being cluttered up by irrelevant images from other camera brands. (This remains important to me because I need to use that s/w to find things like which AF sensor I used and neither Aperture nor Lr will do everything. Also, I use different brands of camera gear.)
2. Allow any software including the operating system finder / explorer to easily find my better images.
3. Have unique names for every image file (to prevent confusion when doing backups or restoring from them).
4. Include the camera, date, time, and a unique image id in each filename
5. Allow me to locate the current version of any image file by having an original archived image with the camera/folder/image number, in case I ever had to restore some files from archived originals rather than a more recent backup.
6. Allow easy location of files based on technical data within the files (exif data), applied ratings/labels, and/or applied keywords.
7. Allow non-destructive editing and viewing of images at any reasonable magnification.
8. Work with the existing or any other folder system that I want to use.
9. Allow portability across operating systems (Windows and Mac).
I started with iMatch for keywording, BreezeBrowser for editing and viewing, and Downloader Pro for renaming. When I switched to Mac I lost all of those.
I went to Aperture 2 but back then it would not let me see sharpening effects except at 100% viewing size, and its internal structure could not duplicate my folder structure, and so I switched to Lr 2. All the while I still had DPP on the go.
My files are renamed by Lr as they are imported but I have to pick the right preset according to the camera. If I was using Windows then I would still much prefer Downloader Pro for file renaming. I developed Lr filename presets that suited each camera/folder combination but Downloader Pro could read the folder value and apply my preferred camera nickname automatically with only a single preset.
My folders are organised as follows:
common top level folder (facilitates whole-of-library backups and Lr recovery)
- my images or not mine
-- camera or scanner or special purpose folder
--- rating or unsorted
My filenames are something like this:
where number is a combination of original camera folder number and image number within that folder.
These files sort nicely into the shooting sequence for each camera, regardless of the software I use.
I used to put other useful text at the end of the filenames but then I found that it prevents Lr from extracting the image number when renaming images and so I removed it. That other info is now only available to me within Lr.
To facilitate unique file names I use consecutive numbering in all of my cameras, never resetting them to zero at each card formatting. That requires that I pay attention when using someone else's cards or cards that have been used in a different camera.
Once in Lr I can apply my own ratings that now represent my initial impression of the image, a colour label that represents its technical quality, and keywords (or phrases) for any number of aspects that I might want to use to separate some images from others (e.g. events, scene details, topics, whatever).
I use collections as required to further group images without having to add new keywords or alter the keyword structure. Smart Collections are used to automatically combine ratings and labels into a single overall scale of goodness or to separate certain folders of images into those that ought to be "private" or "public". Actually putting them into normal collections is done manually because although normal collections can be arranged hierarchically they cannot yet be based on specific smart collections.
With metadata selection I can find images taken with specific gear or exposure settings.
With keywords I can select based on my own terms, and if they are not specific enough then I can add or change keywords and apply them. e.g. I might have a keyword for "aircraft" but I'll need one for "helicopters" only if "aircraft" gets too crowded for me to quickly scan the results to get what I want.
There is something fundamentally important to learn before you begin: It takes a lot of work assigning information to images before you can use that information quickly and easily at a later data. You need to balance what you might need or want to use later against how much work is needed now to facilitate it. So start simple and get more sophisticated as necessary when you discover what is necessary rather than guess what might be necessary. If what you have now allows you to home in on a small group of images that includes the one or two that you want to find then you have probably done enough. If what you want to find is always buried among hundreds or thousands of other images then you obviously need more specific keywords or collections or other metadata to narrow the result down.
I hope you find this info useful. It works well for my almost random collection of image topics but would be less appropriate for specific independent events such as sports, weddings, etc.