Monday, July 20, 2009

Organizing Digital Photos

I like to be organized. Am I that good at it? Perhaps not. Sometimes at night I dream that I'm "Martha Stewart" organized. If I won the lottery, one of the first things I would buy would be the services of a professional organizer and every single organization gadget/bin/device on the market. I get silly happy thinking this. I have dreamed of a playroom that would make Pottery Barn jealous. In reality, I'm doing good to know where a pair of scissors are when I need them. There is a screwdriver in every room of my house I think. Yes, I even have dreams that one day, my garage will rival Bob Villa.

One place that I am successful at this whole organized thing is in my computer files. I think I finally found a system that works for storing all of my photos. I used to take 5-10 photos a month. For a special event, I might take an extra 20 or so that month. I never used to worry about photo orginzation. Since having the twins, I take on average 400-500 digital images a month. I kid you not. My girls can not complain that there is not enough captured memories of them. From day one, I freaked out. I was having identical girls. I did NOT want them to grow up with a complex "That Mommy took pictures and then couldn't tell us apart in the photos". I needed a SYSTEM. So far my system has not let me down. I was asked tonight what it was, so I'll share.

I have a folder on my desktop called PHOTOS. In that folder are folders labeled 2007, 2008 and 2009. (Like I said, before twins, no need to organize, one day I'll perhaps catch up on the old photos) In each of those folders there is a folder for each month. I label the months 01-09, 02-09, 03-09 ect. The Zero in front of months 1-9 are important. Don't label them Jan, Feb, Mar. I can hit "Sort by: Name" and my folders will march themselves in order. IF you use the Jan, Feb method you will have: April, Aug, Dec. Which isn't nice. If you use the numbers and don't put the Zero you get 10, 11 and 12 first. Believe me.

So then you click in the 01-09 folder and you have all of the photos for that month. I label each and every single photo that comes off of my camera. This takes discipline, but then remember, I have the well being of my girls future in mind here. I don't want them in therapy staring at a photo and not knowing if it is them or their sister. I label each photo TheYearTheMonthTheDay_ThePeopleLeftToRight. If there is more than one picture that day that has the same people in it (pretty much happens every single day) then it's TheYarTheMonthTheDay-ThePeopleLeftToRight (#). Even though you have the pictures in month and year folders, it is still important to put the year with them, because that way if you send it to someone or it gets separated you will have all the information about that photo. Putting the year first allows you to sort by year if you ever have more than one year's photos together in a folder. If you don't take as many photos as I do, the day isn't as important.

Example for today (July 20, 2009) would look like this: 090720_MaddieIzzie or 090720_MaddieIzzie (2)

This comes in handy for that Sort feature. Sort by name and my photos all line up nice and neatly. It makes it so easy to find a photo that I'm looking for. I rarely describe what is going on in the photo (that is what this daily blog is about; that I'm turning into a book.) So, to summerize: PHOTOS > 2009 > 01-09 > 090124_AmandaMaddieIzzie (4) is what a path would like on my computer. I sure hope this helps anyone who is desperately trying to figure out what to do with all the photos they have. Now if only my real desktop was a neat as my virtual one!

1 comment:

Julie said...

I do almost the exact same thing. My syntax is ever so slightly different, but really we're on the same wavelength. I'd never find my picutres again if I didn't do this. Don't forget to back up (says the woman who survived the Great Crash of 2004)!