Saturday, January 8, 2011

5 Easy Steps to Organizing & Maintaining Your Digital Photos

A screen shot of my pictures folder
I love taking pictures (that’s why I decided to take on the 365 Days in Photos project). And I usually take a lot a ton of pictures. One day trip last year I took about 300-at one castle. So it’s not surprising it that can be overwhelming for me to sort through them.

I had to figure out a way to sort and store my photos so that they didn’t over accumulate, and were also easily accessible. It took a few years after getting a digital camera to find a system that works for me, but I’m so glad I did! Maybe my system can work for you- or maybe inspire you to create your own system J

1- Upload your photos to your computer before the cameras memory is full
It’s really annoying when you have your camera ready to capture that special moment, only to find it’s at full capacity! My goal is to empty the photos on my laptop at the end of every month.  Any longer, and I won’t remember the details to write captions.

2- Organize your photos into folders by year, then months
For example:
Pictures à 2010àJuly

3- Further divide your photos in events and occasions
Once your folders are set up by years and months, create folders for specific events and occasions. For example, in my July 2010 folder you are likely to find occasions such as “4th Celebrations” and “Mom’s Bday Party.”
Pictures à 2010 à July à 4th Celebrations, Moms Bday Party, Our Vegetable Garden

*Don’t be afraid to divide your photos even more. The folder “Mom’s Bday Party” may be divided into “Making the Cake,” “Decorating the Hall,” and “The Surprise Party.”

4- At the beginning of each month, share your photos from the month before
There are so many websites out there that allow you to share your photos with family and friends. If photo sharing is something you do, posting them monthly will keep your pictures from piling up (and taking an eternity to load), and keep you loved ones up-to-date.
 (photo sharing websites:,, just to name a few)

5- Use an external hard drive to pack up photos
Our photos are precious to us- they represent our memories after all. Having digital copies of our photos is like taking out insurance. Except that most of us don’t keep actual prints anymore, making the digital copies the only copies. I’ve heard too many stories about computers crashing and all family photos lost. Why take that risk? Use an external hard drive to periodically backup your photos, and have peace of mind. (Experts suggest having a backup of your backup on separate hard drives…in different physical locations…confused yet?)

Using this easy method to sort and store your photos will let you enjoy picture taking without the annoyance of them piling up, dislocating them, or losing them forever. Enjoy snapping!

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