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5 Digital Photo Organizing Tips to Help You Take Control of Your Digital Life

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How organized are your digital photo files? Can you find a photo quickly when you need it? If not, you’re not alone.

With digital photography, we’re taking more photos than ever.  Holidays, birthday parties, family events, vacations…in the days of film, maybe we would have taken a roll or two. Now we might take hundreds of pictures at an event! It’s easy to do because there’s no cost involved (no film, no developing), and we know we can delete the ones we don’t need with a click of a button.

But when it comes down to deleting those extra pictures, we’re not doing it, which results in cluttered hard drives, and difficulty finding a photo when we need it. I’ve guest blogged for others on this topic, but never written about it on my own blog. So I thought it was time I wrote about it in my own space. Here’s some digital photo organizing strategies to help you take control of your digital photo files!

Digital Photo Tips

Make sure your date and time stamp is set properly.

First things first. If it’s not set correctly, it’s a simple fix. Your camera manual will have directions. If you don’t have your camera manual, look for it online. Having an accurate date and time stamp is a really big deal because it’s attached to your photo when you download your pictures…it keeps your photos in chronological order!

For events where there are multiple people taking photos (like a wedding) where you’re planning to upload them to the same place so that everyone has access to them, you may want to synchronize your date and time stamps. It’s nice to have everything in the proper sequence.

Choose a software or filing system.

The key is to find an organizing system that will allow you to organize in a way that makes sense to you. You’ll want to be able to sort your photos into categories and tag them in a way that helps you find a photo quickly when need it. Features to look for include star ratings, keywords, and tags. Facial recognition is also nice to have! You should also be able to edit, back up and share your photos easily.

If you don’t take many pictures and don’t edit, you may find all you need is file folders on your computer. If you do this, you will want to make sure you use a consistent naming structure. I’d suggest listing the year, month, then day as the first part of your file name. This way your photos will stay in chronological order. Also consider including information such as the subject and location in your file name so you know what’s in your photo file.

Put a system in place.

The biggest problem that I see people run into is digital clutter. The best way to avoid clutter in your home is to have a system. The same goes for your photos…having a good download system is key. If you consistently do the same thing over and over again, it creates a habit.

I always download as soon as I can after an event and make sure I delete those pictures from the card immediately afterwards. If you don’t do that, what’s likely to happen is the next time you go to download, you’ll be thinking to yourself…”Hmmm…did I download those last time? Maybe I didn’t, so I better download them again.” Now you have 2 sets of pictures of the same thing!

If you do have duplicates already, I recently learned of a program that you can use on your PC to locate duplicate photos called the Awesome Duplicate Photo Finder, but I’ve never used it. If you decide to try it, as with anything you download, make sure you read through the reviews and do your own research.

Get ready to delete!

Once you’ve downloaded, sit down with your pictures and quickly go through them. Get rid of all the duplicates and bad pictures right away. You don’t need 20 photos of your child learning how to ride his bike. Pick the best ones and move on. No need to keep them all. They’re taking up space on your computer, and too many photo files will slow it down. Plus if you keep everything, it makes it harder for you to find a photo when you need it as well because there is so much more to look through!Use this same process for the pictures on your cell phone and tablet. You may also want to consider a second run through to delete.

If you take pictures of sports or school events, you probably have a lot of pictures of kids other than your own. Once you’ve shared and created any projects you plan to create with the photos, transfer the photos you want to keep into a separate file, and delete the rest. You’ve already shared them with the parents, so they (and you) have access to them should you ever need them again.

Have multiple backup systems.

In order to make sure your digital photos survive for generations to come, you need a backup plan. Keep 2-3 backups of your photos. Just like your computer, backups can fail too. Think of how you’d feel if you lost your pictures…they’re a record of your life stories. Keep them safe! Options include external hard drives, Picture Keeper, CDs and DVDs, cloud storage, and printing your photos.

When you start the digital photo organizing process, start with your current photos and work backwards from there. It can be overwhelming to start from the beginning. But using these tips should give you a good foundation to help you keep track of your digital photo files going forward!

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Do you have a digital photo organizing tip that works for you? Please share it in the comments below!



Monday 13th of April 2015

This post is full of useful tips. I have such a hard time with deleting the poor photos. Thank you for the reminder to sit down and do that! Thanks so much for sharing this post with us at #PureBlogLove link Party! the party starts every Thursday Evening at 8 p.m. EST. I’m hosting over at Can’t wait to see what you bring next week!


Friday 10th of April 2015

I love these suggestions. Keeping track of pictures often feels overwhelming. My husband takes care of it, but he doesn't do all of these things! Thanks for sharing with the Home Matters Linky Party! We hope to see you again next week!

All that's Jas

Friday 10th of April 2015

I hear ya! By the time I finally go through a section of them and delete I already have tons of new ones. It is a never ending battle, lol. Thanks for linking up with Thursday Favorite Things!


Friday 10th of April 2015

I'm very particular about my photo organization, but I'm horribly scared of deleting the file.


Thursday 9th of April 2015

Great Tips!! Found you on artsy fartsy mama- Link Party! I would love for you to stop by and share your stuff on my Link Party - My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday!! I would love to have you!!