Get Your Images Organized

I've been asked from time to time how I organize my personal images. I thought there's no better time than a new year to share how to organize your digital photographs!

When I first got my digital camera some years ago, I thought managing photographs would be so much easier. But at first things were a bit of a mess. I couldn't figure out a way of organizing my images that made complete sense. And I took way more pictures than I did before when I had to pay for film. Not only that, but now my images stayed on my hard drive and I rarely printed them.

It took me a while, but I finally developed a system that worked for me. As we start a fresh new year of picture-taking, I thought it may be useful to some of my readers.

Organize folders by year and month

A simple, but brilliant, plan of attack I discovered by reading other people's blog. When I first started saving digital images on my computer, I'd organize by event or topic. But soon you end up with miscellaneous images that get stuck in weird places and I still had a hard time find them. Now I organize by year, and within each year's folder by month. I rarely have a hard time finding my images now.

Delete

I know, it's hard to push that delete button. But I've gotten much better at it myself. If an image is blurry or if I just have 10 shots of the same basic image, I pick my favorites and delete the rest. That means more room on your hard drive and easier searching for that perfect photo when you don't have to wade through a bunch of "missed" shots.

Display

If you love a picture, display it. There are so many creative ways to do so. Whether you frame it and hang it on the wall, tuck it on a bookshelf, or attach it to a string hung across your wall, there are so many options. Pinterest is a great source for finding those creative display ideas.

Create an Album

One of the great things about digital images is it makes creating albums so much easier than it used to be. Not only that, but the albums are printed like real books, taking up much less shelf space than bulky scrapbooks. Also, the books are usually backed up in an online account. So if your toddler takes a Sharpie to it, you can just purchase it again. All is not lost!

I've been using Blurb to create an annual photo book for the past four years. And this year I tried out Kodak Gallery to create one with a linen cover. I like taking the time once a year to create one album that contains all of my favorite images from the year. It's simple and means I just sit down once a year to do this project.

The images in this post are from a Blurb book I created a few years ago. I'm eagerly awaiting the 2011 album!

How about you? Do you have any suggestions or resources for getting your images organized or off of your hard drive and displayed in some way?