Have you ever stopped to look at how your photos are digitally organized on your computer or drive? I finally took a peak and realized that I had thousands of photos thrown into one main folder. And the picture folders I did have, had titles like “Summer Fun 2016” and “My Best Friends”… labels that were so vague and at the time really *cute*, but now I really didn’t know what was in them!
September is “Save Your Photos” month
I’d been wanting to make time to get them better organized so that I could more easily find images as I was needing them. And when I realized that September was “save your photos” month and October hosts a “National Clean Your Virtual Desktop” day, it felt like the perfect time to get some digital photos organized!
I want to be honest and say… sorting 10+ years of photos is NOT fun! It took days of endless sorting and copying and pasting! (Plus a little extra time to reminisce and get caught up in the moments) But in the end, I am SO satisfied with the result!
I can now quickly look into my pictures folder and find the perfect photo for my current project. Yes!!
Hopefully, you’ve been organizing your digital photos in a better way and don’t have this issue, but in case you’re struggling like me and want a way out, I thought I’d share 3 easy rules that worked best for me to get my digital photos organized!
*Side note: I highly recommend spending some time decluttering your digital photos while you’re organizing them. Digital storage is just like any other kind of storage, even though it might not seem like a big deal. Digital photos and documents are still taking up space whether it be on a cloud or hard drive or even just your computer. And at some point, you’ll need to make room for new photos.
So take a few minutes to delete images that are blurry, have bad lighting or duplicates, and even scenic ones that don’t really take you back in time to the trip itself.
This should knock out at least a good 1/4 of the photos you’ll then spend time sorting– so make sure you do it first!
The labeling is KEY to success here.
- Start each folder with the year it was taken– this will help put everything into chronological order when sorting! So everything from 2009 will be in order in my folder and I can find the pictures from college graduation.
- After the year, use the month NUMBER– So instead of saying 2011 May, put 2011-5 so you can again keep everything in chronological order.
- And last, be descriptive in the event from that date. So instead of saying “summer fun” put something like “Canyon Lake Trip” or “Kayak Adventure on Mission Lake”.
That’s it! That’s all it takes to get your photos in an organized fashion and reference ready!
This does mean you will have more folders, but it also means that you can see at a glance, where your pictures are. So if you decide to send a photo book to your parents of your past years adventures, you can easily do so!
It also makes it easier to make a silly photo collage of my friendship with a girlfriend over the past 10 years, really easy!
Summer time usually means vacations, family time, and lots of photo opportunities! What photos are you uploading and organizing currently?