Day to Day Adventures

How to organize Digital Photos on your computer

Kim Brush1 Comment

I have two stories to tell you.  Don’t be like the first family.  Choose today to organize, preserve and protect your digital photographs on your computer. 

How to organize digital photos -

Once upon a time . . . .

there was a family who’s beloved grandmother passed away.  They wanted to honor her at a memorial service by showing photos from her life.

Story #1

Time was short before the service.  As they worked to locate the photos, it was a nightmare because many of photo’s of the grandmother’s life were scattered in boxes and on various computers.  The family had to abandon this project because it was too big for them to do quickly as they grieved their loss.


Story #2

Another time this same family threw a surprise birthday party for Dad’s 40th birthday. 

They had made a habit to organize their physical and digital photos so they were easy to locate.  Using a small scanner, they digitized many paper photos for use in the slide show at the birthday party. 

Wouldn't you rather be prepared like in the second story?

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Photo Organizing Challenge

In the past few weeks I shared my #1 Problem with Organizing Photos and how I plan to fix it.  If you own a camera or a smart phone then I bet that you have this problem too!  

In week #1, we explored why we should be organizing our photos and I shared how to start organizing.  Then in week #2 we focused on methods for organizing.  This post also included helpful hints on how to tackle this big job in bite size chunks.  Last in week #3, we continued our homework from the previous two weeks.  Such a big job takes time!

Need to catch up? 

Digital Photo Organization

Disclaimer of sorts.  I work on a PC not a Mac and I have NO knowledge of that type of system.  My laptop has Windows on it so my directions may not be exact for your computer.  The concepts are the same but your screen may look different.

How to begin

What is your situation?  Do you know where your photos are on your computer?  Are they categorized by date or events?  The answers to these questions will guide you as you start to organize.

Locate your existing Photo Destination Folders

Where your photos are downloaded is often determined automatically by your computer(or camera) when you connect your phone, camera, memory card or scanner to your computer to download photos. Spend some time looking around on your hard drive for this location. 

How to organize digital photos -

Often they are found in a folder on your C: drive called My Pictures.  Within that folder there will be sub-folders labeled with dates that correspond to the dates you downloaded or took photos.  If you have an Iphone, then there will be a sub-folder inside of My Pictures labeled Photo Stream.

How to organize digital photos -

Organize your Photo Destination Folders

The automatic downloading of your photos only provides a small amount of organization.  When you start to look for one specific photo then it may prove difficult to locate.  This is why you should customize your own method of organizing photos.

How to organize digital photos -

Folders & Sub Folders

Within each year, I like to create monthly folders.  If you don't know how to do this, then don't miss next weeks post!  I will do a step by step tutorial on creating folders and moving photos into those folders and sub-folders

Another option is to have folders within each year for events or name of people in the photos. 

Camera Photos

When I download from my memory card in my "real" camera, I place photos in each month's folder.

Phone & Ipad Photos

All my photos from my phone and Ipad go in to the photo stream.  They are not divided by month right now but I am thinking about changing that.

Your method should work for you.  It doesn't have to be like mine. 

Be creative but make a method that you will remember and understand.  Go now & get started or check your calendar to block out some time to dedicate to this task.  I like to work on this while we watch movies over the weekend.  I often fall asleep during movies(don't laugh) so this keeps me awake!

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