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Digital Photo Organisation

Updated: Nov 4, 2021

Is your phone full of photos that use up all your memory? Are you able to easily share and look back at your memories with family and friends? Do you have all of your photographs backed up?

Organising photographs can be an overwhelming project if not done on a regular basis. Setting aside a little bit of time each day will get you back on track.

When starting out with photo organisation I would suggest you begin with your current photos and work backwards.

Here are the steps I use below:

Step 1: Set up folders on your computer, one named Photo Transfer and separate folders for each year. 2021, 2020 etc.

Step 2: With-in those folders create sub-folders for each month; 2021-01, 2021-02, 2021-03 etc.

Step 3: Gather your current digital photos from your phone, SD cards etc. and transfer them into the Photo Transfer folder on your computer. After transferring your photos, make a copy of this folder in case you make any mistakes while organising. You can rename this folder Photo Transfer Copy.

Step 4: In the Photo Transfer folder, use the details/list view so you can see the dates and then transfer them into the year they belong. Once they are in the year folder you can move them into the appropriate months.

Sometimes files may have the same name. 001, 002 etc. When transferring be VERY careful if it asks you to replace the files. You do not want to do this! It will over-ride your files and you will lose photos. I can only speak for Windows as I own a PC, it will ask if you want to replace or decide for each file. This is why you made a copy of the Photo Transfer folder in case of mishaps. Decide for each file and it will rename them.

Step 5: Once they are in the folders by month I rename them YYYYMOEvent. For example 202101Bday, 202103London, 202102VDay, 2021Garden etc.

Step 6: Once this is done you need to create a back up. I use two external hard drives, one being a back-up in case one of the hard drives fails, which has happened to me before! Hard drives have a life expectancy of 3-5 years, so if your photos are sitting on an old hard drive you might consider transferring them to a newer drive.

I also use a photo storage site for back up as well but do not solely rely on them as they can go out of business, be bought over, change their terms etc. Also, most photo storage sites store a compressed version of your file. Some are even reduced down to web based only quality so make sure to do your research.

Getting into the habit of backing up photos regularly can save you the heartache of loosing your precious memories. If you commit yourself to a time block, 30 minutes a day or an hour every weekend you will slowly chip away at your backlog enabling you to enjoy the benefits of having an organised photo collection.

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