Tips for Organizing Your Digital Photos

Organizing your electronic media can be a pain in the butt. I helped you get a start on your general electronic clutter before but now it's time to tackle most people's biggest offender, photos! I won't lie I can be really bad with photos sometimes. Now with cameras attached to our hands most of the times we take way more photos than we ever did in the past. Most people's photos are a crazy mess since photos tend to be on multiple devices. It's useless to have all those photos if you can't share or use them in the future.

1. Everything in one place. 
Don't just leave them on your devices!! Make a point of pulling them off on a regular basis. Take time to do it at least once a month, maybe even more depending on how many photos you take each month. If you're a person who takes tons of photos invest in an external hard drive to store just them. It's a pain having to check multiple hard drives and you computer as you mutter under your breath that you know you put that darn photo somewhere. Seriously I have stuff on multiple thumb drives and hard drives at the moment and it's chaos. Don't be like me, be monogamous and put it all in one place.

2. Set up a specific folder system
I've discovered that the more specific I can get with my foldering system the easier it is to find what I'm looking for. For the longest time I was just putting stuff in a year folder then breaking it up by seasons. This was ok but I was still scrolling through hundreds of photos in each season folder. Since then I've realized that it's still good to break it up by year but I need to be more specific with the sub-folders.

There are always those events that you just end up taking tons of photos at, like the weekend up at Kevin's parents lake cottage or at the AC/DC concert. Within the year folders I'll make sure to give those events their own specific folders with the date! The date is really important, it helps you remember when these memorable events happened.

With my blog photo folder I've been breaking down into topics then specific post folders. Such as "Recipes" then "Taco Ring". This helps especially if you're not working on the specific post right away, it makes it so much easier to go back and find the photos you took during dinner a month ago!

3. Delete
No I'm not suggesting you delete photos you actually like. I'm talking about that accidental photo you took of someones leg as you were pulling the camera out of your purse or that one where you and all your friends weren't ready for the shot.

Why keep photos like those that you're never going to share or even look back on? That's right don't keep them! Plus this will open up more room for more photos that you actually care about and you won't have to wade through tons of excess photos.

4. What's in a Name
I'm not gonna lie this is one that I have a really hard time with it because it can be time consuming and there is no way to really do it quickly. You should really be renaming your photos especially if you're using them on your blog (that's a different post for another day). By naming them logically you make it so much easier to find in the future. Yeah I remember that Easter at Grandma's when I was little. Hmmmm I didn't put it in the logical folder but I can now find it because I changed the title on the photos to Easter at Grandma's 1995.

5. Back That Thang Up
Yes I know I said earlier to have them all in one place but this is after you've organized them in that one place. You should always have a back up. Life happens and stuff breaks. I've had hard drives die on me, lucky for me my brother was able to pull almost everything of the broken drive but I won't always be lucky and neither will you! Have a hard drive that is just a back up. Don't work with the photos from that drive. You plunk them on there when the photos are done being organized and that's it. 

I also would recommend invest in cloud back up as well. There are several great options like Dropbox or Google Drive. It's better to be too prepared and be backed up in multiple places rather than in just one place. Also don't leave any files, photos or documents, on thumb drives as storage. Those are less stable than a large hard drive. 

What do you photo files look like? Do you already have a system in place or are they in need of some serious organization?

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