If you are like me, then you probably have thousands of digital photos spread across multiple devices. It is so easy to take photos on our phones and tablets, making the accumulation of photos very easy. However, it is often the case that these photos remain on our devices. And the more photos we take, the harder it becomes to get the motivation to sort, organize, and print them.
Over the years, I have developed a digital photo organization process that has served me well! And yes, I am going to share my awesome tips with you. Let’s get started with setting up an organization flow that will help you work through your digital photos. Remember, this week we are focusing on tackling one set of photos at a time. It is not recommended that you attempt to organize all of your digital photos in one setting, especially if you have thousands to sort and organize. Pace yourself!
THE PROCESS – DIGITAL PHOTO ORGANIZATION
STEP ONE – Start Somewhere! Anywhere!
In this first step, you are going to pick a starting point to begin this process. For example, perhaps you elect to organize your holiday photos or your birthday party photos from last year? Just pick a set of photos and go with it.
STEP TWO – Review Your Photos
Once you have selected a set of photos to organize, you will start the process of reviewing each photo. This should be a relatively quick process where you make swift decisions. For each photo decide if you want to KEEP or TOSS the photo. The photos that you elect to keep should be your very favorite photos. From those photos you can later select which ones you want to SCRAPBOOK. Toss photos that are duplicates, blurry, or photos that you simply do not like. Continue this process until you are satisfied – what remains should be the photos that you truly want to keep.
STEP THREE – Sort and Organize
At this point, you will need to sort and organize your digital photos into categories. Creating digital folders is a very easy way to manage your photos. You can opt to set up folders on your computer, but be sure to back up your photos just in case something happens to your computer (more on this in a few). Decide how you want to organize your photos: by theme, year, month, person, event, holiday, etc.
Create a digital folder for each category and assign your photos to the appropriate folder. Also, set up a folder for photos that you wish to scrapbook in the future. That way when you are ready to create a layout, you have photos designated for scrapbooking. This will save you a lot of time when you are ready to create! NOTE: Your digital photo organization system should be unique to YOUR photo management needs! Do what works best for you.
STEP FOUR – Back Up Your Photos
Once you are done reviewing, sorting, and organizing your digital photos, it is time to back them up! I recommend using 2-3 methods of storing your digital photos:
- On your computer
- On an external device such as an external hard drive
- On the Cloud (internet based storage) HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
If something happens to your primary digital photo storage, (i.e. your computer crashes) then all of those precious photos will be backed up and secured using the other methods.
While your computer and even an external hard drive are good photo storage options, I highly recommend that you consider using a cloud based service as a digital photo storage solution. Cloud based services are increasingly popular and there are so many options to chose from. Companies that offer cloud storage will allow you to store tons of digital photos and media, sometimes for a fee, and you can access your media at anytime and on any device (i.e. computer, tablet, smart phone). Some services allow you to share your photos using Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, while others offer products like digital photo books and scrapbooks. Here are just a few services to choose from – there are tons more!
- iCloud (for Mac IOS users)
- Microsoft One Drive
- Google Photos
- Amazon (free with Amazon Prime)
Once you have your photos securely backed up on the cloud, you can have the peace of mind knowing that if something should happen to your other devices, you will easily be able to retrieve them using an internet based storage solution.
STEP FIVE: Print Your Photos and Repeat the Process
Now that you have organized your photos, it’s time to print them! I recommend selecting a set of photos to print as a batch. You can opt to print your photos at home or use one of several photo printing services. My favorites are:
Make it a habit of printing your photos on a weekly or monthly basis. Also, don’t forget to take advantage of photo printing sales! Walgreens and CVS often offer photo printing specials which makes batch print super affordable!
Once you have finished organizing your first set of photos, its time to repeat the process! Pick another set of photos and start the process all over again! Remember, photo organization takes time so don’t feel that you have to rush through it. Set a realistic goal and be consistent. Before long, you will have a library of organized photos ready to be printed, placed in photos albums, or used on a scrapbook layout.
Be sure to head on over to the Victoria Marie YouTube Channel to learn more about this process!