Last Updated on May 23, 2020 by Ellen
Have you been wondering how to organize digital photos? As a blogger, I find that I have so many digital photographs that I get disorganized. I forget which images I’ve used, which I want to use, and which I no longer need. Worst of all, I have accidentally deleted images that I wanted to keep. All this leads to more work and lost time.
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Organize Digital Photos
Before you start to organize digital photos, you need to get them all together in one place. I know, you’re like … what? There is no way to organize photographs if they are in 5 different location. You have no way of knowing where the duplicates are or if they even exist.
So, grab all your USB sticks, your thumb drives, your smartphone, your computer and get everything in one place. It will probably be easiest to throw it up in the cloud unless you have a lot of room on a physical device. If you have a lot of photographs, don’t try to do this all in one day.
Best folder structure for photos
I find that the best folder structure for photos is the year it was taken. The year is a constant that will not change. I used to try to organize by topic but photos can have more than one topic. For example, if you take an amazing photo of a rosebush on your trip to New York, do you file it under travel, the trip or nature? So, the next step is to create folders by year and start to organize digital photos into the correct folders. If you find that you have far too many for one year, you can organize by month and year.
Eliminate to organize digital photos
You can delete duplicates or photos that are truly awful rather than store them. If you know it’s a photograph you’ll never use, why hold onto it unless it has some type of sentimental connection. This will make it easier to find what you do need.
Rename your photos
You’ll have a hard time finding a photo if you name your images IMG_05432. Instead, rename each using the keywords you will want to search for them later. Begin with the year for organizing and then continue. You could use this structure: 2018-NY-Botanical-Garden-Red-Rose. Just be sure to use the same format every time you name a photograph. You won’t get disorganized again if you are consistent.
Organizing thousands of photos
You didn’t get disorganized overnight. So, don’t expect to organize five years worth of digital photos in one weekend. It will take time. Now, if you are truly overwhelmed, you can use an app or software program to make the process a little bit easier. Just make sure that you choose one that can handle your computer and your smartphone.
Google Photos has an app that does an automatic backup, offers unlimited cloud storage, and allows you to create slideshows and file folders for your photographs. You can also use image recognition to add tags to certain photographs which can make it easier to organize digital photos.
How can I organize my photos?
To keep your photos from getting disorganized in the future, it’s helpful to have one location for them. This might be a USB stick, a memory card, an external backup drive, or a cloud storage system like DropBox. You need to remember to add your photographs to your final location each time you take them. Make sure that you are putting them into the correct date folder and naming them when you put them there. You need to keep up with organizing or your photos will get disorganized again.
Back up regularly
After all of this work trying to figure out how to organize digital photographs wouldn’t it be awful to wake up one day and them all gone? Make sure that you back up your digital photographs regularly in case of a disaster. I prefer an offsite or cloud storage system. That way, if my computer or iPhone are damaged, I always have a secure location I can find my photographs.
If your goal is to get organized this year, why not learn how to use an editorial calendar. You won’t believe how easy it is to get organized using one.
Ellen is a serial entrepreneur who owns 9 profitable blogs, two printable stores, an online vintage jewelry business, and a variety of other work at home endeavors. She shares tips for working at home successfully.