There are two places in Aperture that show you your Projects. Sad to report, each behaves differently, and they don't interact as one might expect. The two places are Projects View, and the Library tab of the Inspector. Each is useful -- and becoming familiar with each will magnify your powers of organization.
You can sort Projects in Projects View by date, ascending or descending. The dates used are the earliest and latest dates of any Image in a Project. You can group by year, or -- and this is quite useful -- group according to the Folder hierarchy you set up on the Library tab of the Inspector. In Projects View, Projects are grouped first, then sorted with the group.
Note that you can drill-down through your Library hierarchy when you have Projects View grouped by Folder.
The Library tab of the Inspector shows you, under "Projects and Albums", all of the containers in Aperture in whatever way you have set them up. This is the proper place to re-arrange Projects and other containers (viz.: Albums, which hold copies of Images, and Folders, which hold only other containers). You should certainly be able to drag a Project from one Folder and drop it in another.
If you select a Project or Projects in Projects View and double-click it (or one of them), Aperture will open a Browser containing all of the Images in the selected Project(s), and also select in the Library tab of the Inspector all of the selected Projects. This is an excellent way to select Projects for relocation or other administrative tasks.
There are only three ways to sort the contents of Folders shown on the Library tab of the Inspector. These are self-explanatory.
Because date-time sort is built into Aperture at both the Image and the Project level, there is no reason at all to use Folders to create a date-time hierarchy. (You can always sort any group of Images -- including all Images, as shown in "Photos" view -- by date-time; and you can always sort Projects by date-time.) I recommend taking advantage of Aperture's functionality here to build a _second_ organization scheme on the Library tab of the Inspector. I set up two main branches within my Library, one for storage and access, and one for output. I keep Projects in the storage & access branch, and move them according to their level of development. I keep output tasks (as Albums) in the output branch, organized by degree of completion. But that's just me -- I encourage you to think about this, and create a Library hierarchy that extends what Aperture can do for you (it already gives you complete date-ordering of Projects and of Images).
Sorry for the extended answer. "What am I missing" is not an easy question to answer .
Message was edited by: Kirby Krieger
Thanks Kirby. To summarize in case anyone else has similiar questions: When you first download pictures they come up as a project under Inspector / LIBRARY / PROJECTS & ALBUMS with the name of the date that the pictures were taken. You can rename the project to a more meaningful title if you so desire (e.g. County Fair). Now when you want to browse your pictures choose Inspector / Library / LIBRARY / Projects and all the projects will be in chronologial order. Or if not using Inspector just selects Projects. The title will be County Fair but if you cursor over the project the actual date will appear plus the count of pictures.
Richard -- you're welcome. Nice and useful summary. You can (and, imho, should) name your Projects on Import. I use the convention:
• ShootName. ShootLocation. Date
which is all just text I fill out. (IOW, those aren't fields in Aperture or anywhere else.) This gives me some useful information to search for when needed. (Among other places, you can seach/filter by Project name using the search field at the top of the Library tab of the Inspector.) The date at the end shows on the Project name line of the Library tab of the Inspector. I find this a useful addition. (And I like that Aperture crops these names from the middle, so the beginning and end of the name show even when there isn't enough space to display the entire name.)
For "ShootLocation" I use something useful to me (GPS and Google locations are useful on a map -- and I put those in the "Places" feature of Aperture) -- like "Bob's Studio", or "Conservatory Atrium".
(Fwiw, I use Keyboard Maestro for date entry, macros, and lots of things like "→". Recommended (just a satisfied user), but not inexpensive.)
I use the convention:
• ShootName. ShootLocation. Date
which is all just text I fill out. (IOW, those aren't fields in Aperture or anywhere else.) This gives me some useful information to search for when needed.
Very useful information. For my example would I name it something like:
Family outing. Orange County Fairgrounds. 18 Sep 2011