External drives and Lightroom go hand-in-hand. I have a USB powered (so no extra power cord of its own) 250 GB drive (that is just a little larger than a deck of cards) and it travels with me everywhere. Back home I have several larger capacity external drives that are always connected to my desktop workstation. I use the external drives for backup, but also for transferring files to work on while traveling. Having an internal drive with some folders on it, and multiple external drives with other folders each of them, and perhaps you have folders on various network drives as well, it can be hard to look at Lightroom’s Folders panel and determine which folder is on which drive unless you plan ahead. So here’s the tip, instead of having the folder on my local internal drive simply called “Photos” I named it “LocalPhotos”. Then all my subfolders are named by year, then by YYYY-MM-DD. The result is this:
On each external drive my folders live inside a parent folder that is named the same as the drive. My portable 250GB drive is named “Sparta” (yes, I had been watching the movie 300). Every time I connect the drive a little voice says “This is Sparta!” (just kidding). So on that drive the top level folder is called SpartaPhotos, so with the two drives my Folders panel looks like this:
If you only have a single drive that you work with, then this tip isn’t going to do much for you, but I can’t tell you how many issues I see on the Help Desk related to missing/lost folder and photos. Hope this helps the rest of you!