Most digital cameras today don't use AA batteries, but there are a few still out there. Additionally, most flash units generally use AA batteries (correct me if I'm wrong). If you're like me, you have about 20 rechargeable AA batteries floating around at any given time.
I learned a long time ago that keeping track of battery groups is crucial to extending the life of your batteries in general. What I mean is that most devices either use 2 or 4 batteries, and not all devices use batteries at the same rate. So if you get some old batteries mixed in with the new batteries, you've got the battery life of the old ones and you may end up
throwing out recycling perfectly good batteries.
My solution to this was to label each set of 4 batteries with a unique label — I use “A”, “B”, “C”, “D”, etc. This allows me to keep the same battery set together in use and in charging. When that set dies for good, I can be confident that I've used up every bit of possible juice from those batteries. This method also allows me to cycle through each set so I don't use up one set faster than the others — and I also know that the “A” batteries are older than the “D” batteries, so I have a good idea of which ones are likely to hold less charge and die out more quickly in use.
Anybody else out there pay that much attention to their batteries, or am I just nuts?