Get SORTED: tips on how to organize your digital photos

"Now is the time to get SORTED!"

I remember saying this to myself two years ago while I was going through my 56,000++ of digital photographs just to look for a nice picture to put on my new scrapbooking layout. What can I say? I am a mom and I love taking pictures!!! Family vacations, trips to the mall, a day at the park, chillin' out in the backyard, playing wii, you name it... I got it!

Having a digital camera is a blessing but it can be your curse when you just simply don't know how to organize your photographs.

or·gan·ize [awr-guh-nahyz] v. arrange, systematize, catalogue,classify, combine, coordinate, create, group, harmonize, line up, look after, methodize, put in order, put together, range, see to, standardize, straighten, straighten out, tabulate.

How ever you define it, one thing we can certainly agree on -- that it is not an easy task. But the reality is, somebody's got to do it and do it now!

If you were like me two years ago, in the middle of 56,000++ unsorted photographs to go through, don't despair and don't be overwhelmed as there is a solution to this problem. As the author of Time Management from the Inside Out and Organizing from the Inside Out, Julie Morgenstern suggest that we should adapt the S.P.A.C.E. Organizing Formula in sorting out tangible things. However, what I will be discussing below pertains to intangible things such as photographs (and if you are a digital scapper as I am), digital kit, elements and etc.

Sort - Group together your digital photographs in a folder. It would depend on how you would like to sort out your pictures (e.g. date taken, place, event)

Purge - Remove those photographs that you cannot use such as blurry, badly angled photographs, random pictures that doesn't make sense at all. Just use your best judgement before deleting any of these badly taken photos since there are a lot of software programs right now has the capacity to correct common photograph mishaps such as removal of red eye, straighten pictures, sharpen, adjust contrast, crop unwanted objects, just to name a few.

Assign - Make sure you know where in your computer or what drive it will be saved in. Will these photos go to your external hard drive or will you burn this into your CD? Just remember to make it logical, accessible for you to use it anytime and safe just in case your hard drive crashes. 

Containerize - Always put your pictures in folders and label them properly according to the date, event or place taken. Make use of the sub folders. Let us say, you went for a European vacation, here are samples on how you can organize. 

The France folder was organized according to places visited. The Italy folder was sorted out according to the dates the pictures were taken. And the Spain folder has sub folders according to name of events. And since the Fiesta de Moros y Cristianos is a 3-day event, sub  folders were created according to the date that the pictures were taken.

TIP: Always remember to tag your pictures properly. Like for this photo below, I will tag this as: [Name of the person], park, green, blue, mountains. Tagging is relative depending on how do you think is the best way for you to locate your pictures easily. For a digital scrapper like me, I would like to tag it by color as well.

Equalize - If you have so much pictures to organize, don't stress yourself out trying to finish it all in one day. Set a goal everyday to spend at least 15-20 minutes of your time organizing your photos. And you will just be surprised on how much you have progressed as the days go along. 

Once you have done all these, the next time you upload your photos in your computer, make sure to organize it right away. Don't wait until later or else you will find yourself again in the same situation you were in before... in the middle of thousands of unsorted photos. And you know, that ain't a pretty picture.

Happy sorting everyone!!!


Kate said...

Thanks for the tip!

LifeAsDinkers said...

thanks for the post! im off to part 2...