April 14, 2019 – Latest Update
IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO BE OVERWHELMING TO ORGANIZE PHOTOS. YOU WILL NEVER AGAIN HAVE TO SEARCH FOR HOURS FOR A PICTURE IF YOU FOLLOW THIS PLAN TO ORGANIZE ALL OF YOUR FAMILY PHOTOS!
Do you have a decent strategy in place for organizing your photos?
Let me venture a guess. 8000 old images are put in a box with no rhyme or reason and no way to find the one you’re searching for right away. There are many copies. However, the person you’re looking for is never easy to find.
Your approach for organizing digital photos isn’t much better in the interim. Every photo you’ve ever shot since you bought your first iPhone is on your phone in an unending stream.
All across your PC are pictures. Some of them are organized into folders, but many more are simply thrown together in one big pile, perhaps in My Documents or even on your desktop. There are no labels.
Am I near?
I definitely say no. I’d never be able to function like that!
I’m Lory from Designthusiasm , and it’s an honor for me to be a guest blogger on Designer Trapped today as I discuss how I built my crazily organized photo storage system.
Let me begin by mentioning that I typically have an obsession with organization in all facets of my life. My clothing are neatly folded into color-coordinated stacks, and my earrings are kept in separate bead box chambers that are also color-coordinated. But regardless of how motivated you are to maintain organization, I believe the tips I’ll be sharing with you today will be helpful.
TACTICS FOR ORGANIZING PHOTOS IN PERSON Let’s start with where old images are physically kept. The ideal system, in my opinion, is the one that is easiest to follow since you are more inclined to do so. I also believe that having the appropriate storage bins and a simple maintenance system in place is essential for maintaining organization. It’s simple to put something back if it has its proper location. You won’t follow through if your photo categorization method is very complicated.
I figured out years ago that this means storing printed photos in their original envelopes so you always had the negatives with them and organizing them chronologically in photo boxes. To file them in chronological order, I simply put the date and the event on the TOP of the envelope (the part that folds over) so I can see it when I open the box. Finding what you’re looking for is made easy and with the least amount of work by doing this.
I also maintain the boxes in date order and identify the outside of the box with the year (on the end that will be facing outward). Don’t undervalue the impact of having standardized containers. Although it’s not absolutely necessary for your file system, it creates a visual sense of order and makes it simpler to find what you’re looking for quickly. The kraft boxes I used are the ideal size and are still widely available for purchase. They were created specifically for photo storage. Purchase more than you require. People still print their digital pictures, and having additional is convenient to handle an expanding collection.
An important piece of advice is that almost every box contains an envelope marked “assorted photos” from that year. This envelope is crucial for storing those unique images that you received, removed from an old frame, or just can’t find in the original folder. Even though you might in some cases have to estimate the year when looking for the photo, the one-offs nevertheless have a place to live. If you used them, they were probably some of your favorites.
In order to encourage upkeep, I like to keep the boxes in an area that is easily accessible. Ours are located next to a table and chairs in a bookcase in our finished basement. I’ve looked through these bins several times in search of photos, and I always appreciate finding them quickly.
Let’s speak about how to show images first, and then I’ll get to my technique for organizing digital photos. What use is it to take images if you can only view them on a little phone screen?
Since they take up more space than the small photographs merit, I’ve never been a fan of large, thick photo albums. But what about picture books produced by digital websites? That is a system I can genuinely support. Although I’ve made a lot in iPhoto, there are several services that can accomplish the same thing.
These make wonderful gifts, and I love to make them around a specific theme, vacation, or special event. You can customize the book however you wish using the online tool after uploading your images. Although most businesses offer a selection of pre-made layouts, if you’re particularly tech-savvy you can usually alter them quite a bit.
As a consequence, you will receive a hardcover book in the mail. These books look stunning when they are exhibited on a coffee table or shelf.
You can trim or expand your photos with the editing software. I prefer including language that not only describes the subject but also quotes that provide context and additional significance.
I usually write a book about each of my favorite vacation spots, but I’ve also produced memory books for our children to receive at school graduations, gift books for grandparents of their grandchildren, and even a cookbook for a friend whose mother had passed away, complete with pictures of food and family.
The books are kept in our family room on a table. They are little and attractive, and visitors frequently leaf through them.
Of course, I still enjoy placing pictures in lovely frames about our house, and I particularly enjoy grouping them for a stronger visual impact.
TIPS FOR ORGANIZING DIGITAL PHOTOS I’d want to offer my approach for storing photo files nevertheless, as the majority of us now do so. The main objective is to be able to find what you’re seeking for as quickly as possible, just like with physical images. Always keep in mind that the key to organization is having a place for everything and a container to store it. That translates into folders when it comes to organizing digital photos, thus I use them frequently!
For those using PCs, I’ll show you how I organize things without iPhoto at the conclusion of the post since I really put up this system before I switched to a Mac. But even though I forced iPhoto (now called Photos) to fit into the structure I had previously built, I do love using it because I’m a visual person.
Creating and naming folders and using albums to cross-reference images are the two key components of my file storage system.
Let’s start with my naming scheme because it’s essential to keeping my organization organized despite technological advancements and software modifications. The most important thing is that I want my images organized in the order I choose, which isn’t always according to the date they were uploaded. For instance, I prefer to scan the best copies of my old photos, and I want to file them according to the date they were taken, not the date they were scanned. Because of this, I always name my folders with the actual date of the event and select the option to “sort by title” to force them into chronological order. I always start with the year and then the month to make sure they appear in the correct order. I append a 0 in front of single-digit months so that December doesn’t end before May. (because the 1 from 12 comes before 5 in file management).
I use this naming scheme to make sure that all of my dated event images appear in the desired sequence.
What about pictures, though, that you don’t want organized by date?
That’s easy. I simply give each folder the name I would use to find it rationally, and they are organized alphabetically. As an illustration, I have folders organized by year for each of my children, and I identify them by name in the title to keep them all together. So I don’t have to comb through all of my images to attempt to identify them by date if I’m looking for a picture of my daughter because the folders are all gathered together. (See my list of cross references below.)
An extensive network of cross-referencing is the second important component of my digital photo management method. My images are originally stored in a folder that I have named and organized as previously mentioned. You can also create albums. In iPhoto, they are known as Events (and in the Photos app, they are now known as Moments). I cross-reference my images in the albums so that I can always find them using criteria more than just the event’s date. For me, that usually depends on who is in the picture, but you can create it whatever you want to look for pictures.
Therefore, let’s say I upload my images into a folder with the names of the date and event and invite relatives around for a holiday dinner. I might also browse the pictures, choose out the ones of my family members, and then drag a copy of each picture into a separate album. In this way, I always know where to look for a certain family member’s photo or any other combination that I usually look up.
In the sidebar of the picture below, you can see how particular I am when using certain combos. You might not need every choice, but if you’ve ever wasted an entire evening trying to find a picture of you and your children, you’ll understand why I take a few seconds to update these albums whenever I add a new event to my collection. Opening an album and finding ten years’ worth of images of just you and your husband together is amazing, right? or all four of you together? or just a parent and son or mother and daughter? Or…?
The screenshot below demonstrates how I put up the identical photo categorization system in my standard document files for those of you on PC who don’t have access to iPhoto or Photos.
I use a method quite similar to this, although much simpler, for the images I keep on my phone. How often have you been with someone who combed through countless years’ worth of pictures on their phone in search of a snapshot of their dog to show you? I always ask myself, “Why don’t you just place your images in albums?” as they scroll past.
My phone has a lot fewer albums than I have, but they are all organized using the same rationale. I can do this so I can download my favorite pictures to my phone and bring them with me.
So, if someone wants to view a picture of my son, they can see all the best moments from over the years in one location!
Organization of photos is ultimately all about efficiency and logic. Spending a little bit of time now will save you a lot of time later. Then you can devote more time to creating the moments you want to capture on camera!
What about the colored sweaters I organize into tidy stacks? Visit my blog Designthusiasm and read the posts on organizing and decorating below if you want to learn more about those topics and others.