Summer! A time for making magical memories with friends and family. Whether it’s camping excursions, days at the beach, or those grueling (but fun!) family road trips - you’ll be there snapping photos all summer long, preserving those moments for life. However, most of us aren’t giving much thought to the organization of the photos and the big digital mess we’re going to have by summer’s end when we’re wiped out from three long months of action. So let us help you help your depleted future self by offering a handful of tips to keep your digital life tidy as you move through your favorite time of year.
Tip #1 - Delete as You Go
Let’s face it. That beautiful, tall mimosa you had at brunch? You probably don’t need 37 shots of it from 12 different angles. We know, we know - it was delicious. But trust us - when you stumble across this spread of shots in a couple of years from now, you’ll be shaking your head at yourself. So… delete as you go. You’ll thank yourself later.
Tip #2 - Use your Phone’s Photo Folder System
If you’re an avid phone photographer, this tip is for you. Sure, it takes some time to get into your phone’s folder system and build out a series of properly-named folders to file your images in - but it’s worth the investment. We recommend keeping your folder names as specific as possible, and utilizing the tagging feature, so that you can quickly search for and find specific images, even months from now. Examples - name your folder “Cabo” for that amazing trip to Mexico you took. Or name a folder “Grandparents” and tag “grandpa” for all those awkward shots of him doing grandpa things.
Tip #3 - Set Up Folders in Your Photo Management System
Where do you put your photos when it’s time to move them off your digital camera or off your phone? This is the place where incessantly organized people really thrive. Apple Photos, Google Drive, Google Photos, Amazon Photos, OneDrive - just to name a few - are great places to not only organize your images but to get as detailed and structured as your heart desires. For some, maybe a folder named “Vacations” feels sufficient. But for others, maybe subfolders with names like “Cozumel,” “Prague,” “Istanbul,” etc., feels better. The more detailed and structured you get, the easier it’ll be to find the photos you want to find, in the future.
Tip #5 - Set a Routine
Again, this is a gift to your future self. Instead of waiting until your digital clutter is so overwhelmingly spread across your devices at the end of the summer - set aside time to make sure it’s kept organized all along. Do your cleanup monthly, or even weekly for those of us who are prone to tireless snapshot frenzies. You’ll thank yourself later.
Tip #6 - Backup!
No photo organization plan is complete without topping things off with a solid data backup component. Most of the photo management systems mentioned earlier (OneDrive, Google Photos, etc) also double as data backup platforms but our recommendation is to not take anything for granted. Systems crash, data gets corrupted, and it’s always a good practice to do a double back up to protect those precious mimosa shots you’d be heartbroken to lose. A simple external hard drive might do the trick. Or even backing up your images in two different apps - that never hurt either.
Let’s face it - summer is an amazing time of year. Fast-paced, exciting, and full of good times and adventure. It can be hard to slow down and take the time to do something like organize photos - but trust us - this is the greatest gift you can offer your ragged, end-of-summer self as you look back on the fun you had and the people you had it with. And don’t forget - you can always hire professional photo organizers to do the work for you.