Sometimes I can be really dim. I have been using Lightroom for ages now and it has only just dawned on me what I should be doing.
Usually when I look through my Lightroom catalogue it is with some sort of purpose in mind. I might be selecting pictures to go into a competition or to send to a magazine, or maybe even just those I think might be "worth a print". The trouble is, I will often select the pictures, process them and forget all about them. So if in a months time I want to get hold of all the images I sent to a particular magazine, I would have to hope that I could find it in my emails, or the directory I exported the files to - or more usually just desperately try to remember them.
My "purpose" for selecting a group of images is useful information and its pretty obvious I may need that information in the future. Basically, I have been throwing away information....that makes me a very bad Lightroom user. The whole point of having a computer is for it to store information for me.
So, now I have decided to make it a rule to always create a collection to store the images I am selecting. The collection should describe my purpose in selecting the images. If I start getting swamped in collections, I can group them into collection groups like "competitions" and "magazine submissions".
Hopefully this level of organisation will save a lot of desperate searching and head scratching in futre.