Now that every cell phone has a camera, our memories have never been better. Never again are we likely to miss the opportunity to photograph an incredible moment like a baby’s first steps. As wonderful as our tech-assisted photographic memory is, we have to admit there can be a downside. With many different cameras, and as many ways to transfer them to our computers, how do you organize your digital photos?
If your digital photo collection has gotten out of control, we’re here to help!
Bring them all together
The first step in making your photos easy to access, organize, and preserve is to bring them all into one place. Sadly, there’s no secret trick to this one; depending on how shutter-happy you are, you may have to set aside an hour or a weekend to locate all of the photos you’ve stored on various computers, CDs/DVDs, and flash drives through the years!
First, you’ll want to create a new folder to hold all your photos. Then, place it in an easy-to-find place on your computer (like your desktop). Now, start hunting! Every time you find a new store of photos, you’ll want to move those photos into your new folder. We recommend that you avoid keeping subfolders at this point. However, if you’d like to keep an existing structure, feel free!
Tagging your images
Now that you have everything in one place, there will be no better time to go through your photos (feel free to reminisce!) and delete any duplicate images. This is also a great time to tag your photos, so you can find them more easily in the future!
Did you think picture-tagging started with Facebook? Think again! Every time you take a digital photo, your camera or cell phone will tag it with a great deal of information about the picture, including the time, date, location, camera model, whether flash was used, and more.
As you’re browsing through all of your old photos, take the time to tag them with information about where you were, who you were with, and the occasion. Once you’ve done that, searching for pictures of a particular friend, holiday gatherings, or family vacations will be a breeze!
If you’d rather not spend the time tagging people in your photos, there are a number of programs that will help automate the process with face-recognition.
Now that your collection has been trimmed & tagged, you’ll want to organize your digital photos into folders to make staying organized easy. It’s also much easier for your computer to load 30 pictures than 700!
We recommend you start with a folder for each year, and subfolders for each month. Again, if you’d rather not do this manually, you have options.
Keeping your memories safe
Congratulations! All of your photos are now in one place, organized, non-repetitive, and easily searched! The last step you should take to ensure you will always have access to those precious memories is to back them up, regularly.
For regular, automatic backups, we can’t recommend Carbonite highly enough. For as little as $60 a year, Carbonite automatically backs up all of your photos and other files with unlimited cloud storage. And you won’t have to lift a finger!