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3 Small steps to get your photos organized this year.

What do you take photos with?

Each year people make New Year’s resolutions.  Losing weight and getting organized are big ones that many people start the year with and then lose their way.  I’ve been hearing many motivational speakers talk about the need for resolve in making simple changes that will have more lasting results in our lives.  Looking back at the year just finished is one way of seeing what worked, what didn’t, and how you might make one change to help you achieve your goal.  I can’t help you with losing pounds, but I can help with getting one area organized – your photos.  Today we’ll focus on the digital images you take.


Let’s start with some questions about how you’re taking pictures:

What camera(s) or device(s) are you using to shoot pictures? 

Do you have one place you gather your digital images? 

If you do, how do you transfer them? 

Are you consistent in moving the photos off the various devices onto your computer?

Do you clear your camera card and other devices once you’ve moved the images to your central location?


With today’s technology people are taking photos with smart phones and tablets more than with cameras.  The problem is that we are not in the habit of moving the photos off our phone or tablet onto our computer as we are from our camera.  (I have known people who collect SD Cards for their camera as they fill them up with photos.  Not a good idea! )  This is why I start with what you are taking photos with!  Too many moms have forgotten to move the precious photos of their children when they changed phones or when a phone was fried by dropping it or putting it through the laundry. (Don’t laugh, my wife did this!)  Then they discover that all the pictures of baby’s first year are gone… with no way to retrieve them!


Here is your first small change: If you don’t already have one computer that you put all your photos on, pick one!  Make a folder or use the My Photos folder that’s there.  As you add images you will add subfolders.  We will talk about organizing programs later.


Second small change: After an event where you took photos move them from all the devices and cameras to one computer!  You want to get into the habit of moving those images over as soon as you can.  Make a folder with the date, place, and event in the name so you remember what’s inside and put all the photos in that folder.   Hint for computer sorting: use a Year-Month-Day format (yyyy-mm-dd) at the beginning of the folder name so they sort chronologically.


Set yourself a schedule if you have to.  Even if you do it once a week, or at least once a month, you can keep the images together that go together.  This will make it easier to deal with a small number of photos rather than trying to tackle hundreds or thousands of images at a time.


Third small change: Clearing your camera card, cell phone, or tablet will cut down on duplicates.  I know many people want to have their photos on their phone so they can share the pictures with people.  That’s what various sharing sites are for.  You use an app to save the best photos and have them available on all your devices, without having multiple copies that you then need to deal with.  We’ll review some of those sites later.  For now, just remember that once you have moved the pictures to your computer, delete those images off your devices and reformat the camera SD card.


If you can at least make these small changes now, it will help you tremendously in the coming year to find and enjoy your pictures when you want them.  Which of these small changes will help you?  What other issues to you face in organizing your photos?

About Philip Griffith

I am a Certified Personal Photo Organizer. I love helping people tell their stories using photos and memorabilia. I grew up with photos and home movies always being shown and shared as part of normal family life. When we adopted our first son, I wanted to make a lifebook for him. I've been telling our family stories with photos ever since.

  1. date idea good. I put names and then can’t remember them.

  2. Good tips! Especially the single computer for all photos. I use my laptop and backup to an external hard drive. When I go on vacation, at least one of those drives goes with me.

  3. I have heard countless stories of young mothers who have lost their phone or dropped it and then lost all their photos. So sad.
    And I love your comment about the SD cards. Too many people see this as an opportunity to back up their photos – but if they ever go to find one it will take them forever because there are thousands of them and they are not organized. Better to back up your organized photos!


Thumbtack Best Pro of 2015

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