I recently looked through almost 80 years worth of photos to do my husband’s grandparents’ heritage album. Let me tell you, it was a LOT easier to look through the first 30-40 years of pictures, because there just weren’t as many! Then, starting in the 1980s or 1990s, there were TONS of pictures. (I think this had to do with all the grandkids being born then!) Boxes and boxes and boxes of snapshots.
And I’m sure you realize, with digital cameras, we have even MORE photos now than ever before.
Many people grapple with exactly how to organize them. Many have “lost” photos somewhere on their computers. And many, MANY do not have their pictures backed up!
So today, I’m going to show you how I organize my digital photos using Creative Memories’ Memory Manager. ($23.95)
I have the same tips for organizing digital photos as printed photos, except they work a little differently.
Decide on a system. In my “printed photos” post, I said you could organize them chronologically, by holiday or vacation, or by family member. With Memory Manager, you can do all 3 (or more!) but the picture is only saved on your harddrive once. It’s kind of like “tagging” on facebook.
This is my actual Memory Manager screen. At the bottom, it shows the date the picture was taken. Then, on the left side, you can create as many sort boxes and folders as you want, and put each photo in multiple folders! On the lower left, you see the stars…I rate my pictures, and then can sort by “3 stars and above,” for example. So, you don’t have to decide on only ONE way to organize – you can search for photos in many different ways!
One of my favorite things is that I can look for photos that are in the Bart (hubby) folder AND the Adam folder, AND are 3 stars or above AND are from 2008. Observe:
Adam pictures from 2008…(200 some)
Adam AND Bart pictures from 2008 (48 of them.)
Pictures of Adam AND Bart from 2008 that are 3 stars or higher…(17 photos) and now I can easily pick one for a Father’s Day card or something!
You have to admit…that’s pretty cool!
On to the next tip…
Tip #2: Start with the MOST RECENT photos. This is exactly the same as with printed photos. I know, that seems a little backwards, but it works much better. If you start with the oldest photos, you may NEVER get caught up. The task seems too large and overwhelming that way. But if you start with the “freshest” photos, it doesn’t seem quite so impossible!
Tip #3: Label the pictures
with a PHOTO SAFE pen or pencil. Sure, it might be obvious to you who the baby is, but in 20 years, no one will remember. And those family reunion pics? Your kids won’t know who all those people are, either. Trust me, I know.
Another cool Memory Manager trick – You can type notes over on the right hand side for each picture (or multiple pictures at once by pressing control when you select them!) and if you print your photos through the Creative Memories Digital Center, the “story” will be printed on the back!
Tip #4: THROW AWAY the bad pictures! Yes, I’m serious! You can do it!!! You don’t need to keep them all! If they are super blurry or otherwise “bad” just get rid of them! Do it! (I bet my mom is dying right now reading this. She thinks I purge too much.)
With the kazillions of digital pictures we take, it is IMPERATIVE that you trash the bad ones! There’s NO REASON to keep them!
Tip #5: THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART!
Choose a quality, acid free album or storage box for your photos! You don’t want to go through all this work just to have your photos rot anyway!
Okay, that one doesn’t really apply – but this does – BACK UP YOUR PHOTOS! (Memory Manager will remind you to, and can back them up AUTOMATICALLY to a “shadow copy” if you have an external harddrive hooked up!
Okay, I admit. I’m trying to sell this program to you. But I’m also doing you a favor – ending the days of digital pictures floating around somewhere on your computer!
And this program has amazing (EASY) editing capabilities, too, which I’ll be featuring on another post SOON.
AND….it’s 40% off in February. Did you hear me? FORTY PERCENT OFF!
which brings the grand total to…..
Seriously. Less than $24 for a program that will help you organize and edit your digital photos. Seriously.
Order it now. (Unless you have a Mac. It’s not available for Macs.)