I hate to admit it – but photo organization is something that I have procrastinated on for a long time.
In my search for the best photo organizing method out there, I have left a digital trail that twists and winds and is nearly impossible to follow.
My current situation is a result of these missteps and circumstances:
- Using too many apps, services, cloud storage options, and hard drive options,
- Upgrading old computers and devices but not removing my photos,
- Scanning old photographs and scrapbooks but not filing them correctly,
- Combining personal photos with photos for my blog,
- Not having a system in place to deal with new photos.
It really is a mess.
Typically, once I got everything sorted, I would write a nice article on this blog about how to organize photos and give you the run down on what worked for me.
But this project is really big.
And I figure that you probably have a photo mess of your own that you are trying to make sense of.
So, I decided to do a series on photo organization instead.
This way, you can follow along with what I am doing and maybe get some ideas to help you sort your own collection.
In this post I will start with the problem and move onto my goals.
The Problem: Photos Everywhere
In an attempt to organize my photos, I have tried so many different services, cloud storage options, and hard drive options.
These included things like:
- Apple Photos
- Google Drive and Google Photos
- Amazon Photos (included with Amazon Prime)
- a MyCloud storage device (NAS) – you can read my review of an older WD model here.
- and a mix of external hard drives like this Samsung SSD, old CD's, and so much more.
As a result, I ended up with photos all over the place!
You see, I didn't make a clean break from one service to another (that would have been too easy!).
Noooo. Instead I would begin the project of transferring photos, get distracted, and forget where I left off when I came back to it.
Because I didn't want to mistakenly delete any precious photos that I had stored away, I would end up with partial catalogs of pictures in so many different locations.
And I haven't even touched on the boxes of physical photographs and albums that are taking up valuable closet space in my home.
I finally decided that enough was enough.
Right now I am paying for a few different cloud services just to house pictures that I don't know what to do with.
So starting today, I am diving into my photos and coming up with systems that I can rely on for both my personal family photographs and the photos that I take for my blog.
It's going to be a long road but it begins with the first step.
That first step is to set some goals.
Photo Organization Goals
When it comes to organizing photos, everyone's goals are going to be different.
My goals are pretty straightforward:
1. I want one central location where I could easily access ALL of my family photographs.
2. I want to make sure that my photos are backed up to both an onsite and offsite location – just in case.
3. Since I take photos for my blog, I wanted these to be separate from my family photos.
4. I would like to pare down the cloud services that I use.
5. Finally, I need to create a system and a process to deal with new photos that I take for both family and business.
Some of the things that I plan to explore are the way different services work and options for old photos and creating physical photo albums so we can enjoy our pictures offline too.
I hope you will follow along with my photo organization journey and that it will help you with yours.