There are myriad ways of managing image files. Whether one uses a simple folder system within the computer OS or an automated catalog that hides the files within its program structure, the files themselves have to reside somewhere on your storage medium. The trick is to know where they are and be able to find them. I primarily use Photoshop CC and a simple set of folders based on date of capture and camera body. There are three parts—Captures, Derivatives, and Collections. This works for me, but many prefer the catalog approach Lightroom uses.
If Lightroom is your program of choice, you’ve no doubt dealt with the issue of how to manage images made while traveling and how to integrate them into your primary catalog or catalogs. John Shaw uses one approach described in his blog here. Tim Grey has also discussed Lightroom catalog and image file management in his free Ask Time Grey eNewsletter (sign up here) and in his excellent electronic Pixology magazine. There’s always more to learn, and these are just two of a host of great resources.