This post is part of a series – “5 weeks to an Organized Home.” You can see all the posts in this series by clicking here. And to make sure you don’t miss any posts you can sign up to have every post sent to your email or follow me on facebook.
Maybe I am the only one that does this… you are at a loss on how to organize something or don’t know where to start to clean/organize a particular area so you just DON’T. You don’t clean it, or organize it, and just try not to deal with it.. Anyone else been there? I think I am a little OCD – if things can’t be perfectly organized and cleaned, than I just want to shut the door and not deal with it.
That is where I was with organizing digital photos over a year ago.
I was overwhelmed with having hundreds/even thousands of personal family photos, scenery photos, and then with blogging having all kinds of photos that I took of projects/before+ after’s of rooms/yard sale finds, etc. And then edited and unedited copies of all of those too. I had been just keeping them saved on my SD card. And would just pull a copy off to put on facebook or on my blog – never saving them to my computer. Smart right? I mean, if I lost the SD card, hundreds of pictures would have been gone. Not to mention that before photos would be a hundred photos back, then some family event, then in process shots, then pictures of the cat, then finally I would take after pictures to blog the project and have to sift through all of those random photos on my SD card to find the ones I needed for that blog post.
I finally decided to find a system that would work and I think I browsed Pinterest, google, and found some ideas. And I LOVE this system now and can’t imagine going back.
First you need to find the location on your computer that is designated for photos. I have an HP laptop and am not running Windows 7 yet, so if you have an Apple computer or are running Windows 7 yours may look different than mine. But you need your picture directory on your computer – I even make a shortcut to the picture folder on my desktop so I can even more easily find it.
Click on that to open it and this is how mine looks. Yours may have random pictures in it – or however you have been saving pictures.
I organize all my family/event pictures in folders by year, I have separate folder for each year of blog photos/projects, and I have a few other folders like one specifically for our cat that contains pictures from the last 5 years, a folder that I save inspirational sayings or pictures that I want to share with you on facebook, etc.
If I double click to open the 2013 folder, inside of that folder are more folders categorized by month. You can also see that I have 2 additional folders – 1 of cakes I did throughout the year so they aren’t scattered throughout all 12 months folder and 1 of our family pictures we had done for our 10th anniversary.
If I double click on April, there are more sub-folders inside of that folder. Most of the time if you have a birthday party, a holiday, a trip, a sightseeing tour, or whatever, you are going to take multiple pictures of that one event. So you will probably want to put all the pictures from say “Susie’s birthday party” into 1 folder, then Easter is later that month so you would put all your pictures of Easter activities into another folder.
Here’s what the inside of my “flowers” folder looks like. I took a bunch of pictures of spring trees and flowers – some to later use as art, some to enjoy or use on facebook… and they are all right here in this folder easy to find. I can edit them, and then save them right back to to this folder, and even change the file name of each picture too.
Now if you are a blogger or an etsy shop owner or have a business that requires you to take a lot of pictures for your job, you may want to make separate yearly folders for that. I have a folder for each year labeled “Blog + Home projects”
Inside of that folder are many individual files of each blog post/project. So if I am working on a longer project such as a room re-do, as I take the pictures and pull them off my SD card, I can go ahead and be putting them in my “guest room re-do folder” and when the project is complete weeks later, all my photos are there from day one.
If I was to click on the “Burlap wreath roundup folder”, this is what you would see inside. I saved pictures from other blogs right into this folder to create my graphic and then shared each photo on my blog with links back to the original tutorial. (By the way this is THE way you should be sharing other people’s blog photos on your blog – DON’T right click on the photo, copy and then paste it into your blog writer. You steal some of the bloggers hosting bandwith by doing that and usually months later will end up with a blank picture on your blog too. And you should only be saving ONE photo from that blogger and then linking back to THEIR post so people can click over and see the entire project on the original site.)
This may be super simple to some of you and yet some of you may not be very computer savvvy… I happen to LOVE all things computer and enjoy learning more.
I still keep the original copies of each photo on my SD card. It is my way of having a second backup of each picture. BUT along with having that copy, I need to be burning a cd of my entire picture folder or saving my hard drive to an external hard drive or using an offsite backup provider as well to back up all my pictures and work.
Just in case you were wondering how I get the photos in those folders or even create the folders… here is how to do that.
I inserted my SD card into my computer (or you could plug your camera into your computer) and usually a box will pop up that gives lots of options like import your pictures, view your photos, copy your photos, or open file to view photos.
I select open file to view photos. And I also open my picture folder at the same time and have them side by side on my screen. To create a new folder, just click on “New folder”.
You can click on the title and edit to name it whatever you want. I then select the photos I want from my SD card (highlighted in blue). To select multiple photos at once, hold down the “ctrl” key while clicking on the photos. OR if you want to select a group of continuous photos you can hold down the “ctrl” key, click on the first picture you want, then hold down the “shift” key too and click on the last picture in the series of pictures and it will select all the pictures of files from the first one to the last one.
Then click and hold on any of the pictures that are highlighted and you can drag all the photos into your folder.
I hope all of that is as clear as mud! If not… leave a comment and I will try to explain it better.
How do you organize your digital photos on your computer?