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Do you keep your digital photos organized?

By Jos · 32 replies
Sep 23, 2016
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  1. There used to be a time when I kept all my digital images neatly organized into a folder structure by date and event — all this was done manually, of course. But as smartphones became capable cameras and storage became cheaper, it’s increasingly easy to just snap away multiple shots at a time, and haphazardly storing all your photos in your camera roll or downloading them to a folder on your computer. The truth is, tracking and organizing a lifetime of digital photos is just too much work to do without some sort of system in place.

    In this weekend open forum we want to now: what do you use to keep your digital photo collection organized? Do you use a cloud based solution like Google Photos or iCloud Photos? Do you take the time to keep them organized on local storage? Or perhaps you just throw them in a folder naively thinking that you’ll get around to organizing them later?

    Permalink to story.

  2. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,041   +316

    By Month and year. Some are named.
    Muntic0re likes this.
  3. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,159   +829

    Google photos, by far the easiest I have had the pleasure of knowing and it doesn't matter if you go on a shoot-a-ton with your phone becuase you can then just turn on the computer, delete whatever you don't like.

    My only wish, is that it had an option to show the "un-categorized" pictures in my drive. Also being a google service is a real plus because of the security and option to 2step-it.
    Reehahs likes this.
  4. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,862   +1,182

    Copy off phone
    2.) place in folder named with brief description of photos and date copied
    4.) organized
    Reehahs likes this.
  5. CortyDK

    CortyDK TS Booster Posts: 93   +48

    Sorted by Year, then dated folders for each event/place I've taken photos at.

    A few non specific photos are saved in a general folder, say a photo taken of an item I wanted to sell online.

    Stored locally on external hdd and backed up on another safely kept external hdd as well.
    EClyde likes this.
  6. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Guru Posts: 293   +448

    Yes. Same with music. Renaming a folder hasn't been particularly difficult since Windows 95...

    No really it isn't. I know it's the cool in-thing to pretend to be constantly stupid to "need" more 'smart' apps to 'survive' the digital world, but when it comes to looking for your data later on, nothing beats common sense.

    In fact this question reminds me of a guy I knew back in college. He must have spent hundreds on over a dozen pieces of different PIM / note-taker software and various gadgets, constantly going back and forth trying to find that peak device that will do everything for him. Eventually, the lecturer took him aside one day and gave him a £5 book called something like "How to get yourself organized" (can't remember the exact title). It changed his life more than 1,000 smart apps ever will.

    A decent organisation system is as much about developing positive psychological habits as it is using technology as a crutch.
    Reehahs likes this.
  7. Tuxie

    Tuxie TS Rookie

    I use Lightroom, with tags and smart folders. I just wish it could be better integrated with non-Adobe cloud services like Google Photos with automatic/transparent sync.
  8. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,135   +624

    I don't organize much and I don't have many pictures at all. Nor do I understand people who constantly take pictures. :)
    Versutus likes this.
  9. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 7,979   +2,870

    I'm definitely no shutterbug but on the occasion I take photos. they upload to Google Photo's on WiFi then delete them from my device... That's it. I seldom look at the photos again so albums etc. are meaningless to me.
  10. I also take very few pictures, I should likely take more, might regret not having done so later.
  11. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,041   +316

    Take pictures of everything. Following that theorem I have delighted people 40 years later.
  12. TitoBXNY

    TitoBXNY TS Addict Posts: 235   +50

    Not anymore, Google does it for me.
  13. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,432   +801

    Well I disdain Selfies and posed shots. Pics around and about town can be boring too. But having gone to Europe three times and traveled domestically several times, I have to organize - - even on my iPad which I use for presentations.

    My scheme is like an outline: broad, intermediate, to specific, eg: 2006, Italy, Rome, Vatican. The efficacy can be seen when I describe the 2006 trip as six week, nine cities and two opera performances. Oh yeah - - came home with some 1800 pictures.

    Finding, view and slide shows becomes far pleasurable.

    The iPad app I use is Photo Manager Pro
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2016
  14. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,159   +829

    Pics around and about town are the best, you can show places to people that have lived in that same spot and never ever looked at it for more than a couple of seconds and suddenly it's beautiful
  15. nismo91

    nismo91 TS Evangelist Posts: 915   +24

    Most of my photos are taken from my cellphones, and then I categorize them by the model of the phone. A new folder will be created then for a specific trip or event.

    For the naming of the file it is basically random until I change to another device. I used faststone to do batch rename so the pictures in my older phones do have sequential filenames.
  16. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe TS Guru Posts: 638   +345

    I've been using ACDSee software for years ... for everything including organization.
  17. davislane1

    davislane1 Inquisitor Posts: 4,489   +3,485

    Sure. In fact, I have a simple six-step process that will organize ANY number of photos of ANY size....and I'm going to give it to you for FREE.

    Step 1: Import photos.

    Step 2: Open photo folder.

    Step 3: Select all.

    Step 4: Rename all photos '1-'

    Step 5: Confirm rename to automatically add numbers to resolve file name conflicts.

    Step 6: Close folder.
  18. SpectateSwamp

    SpectateSwamp TS Rookie

    No need to organize photos if you don't have many or few with any history.

    My app can randomly display pics and videos. When you have as much as I do, this is the only way to view / watch them.

    Shoot and shoot. That is the only way to get good content.

    Keep the camcorder / camera at hand and be ready...
  19. mosu

    mosu TS Guru Posts: 465   +77

    Not really, only by date.
  20. Skjetne

    Skjetne TS Enthusiast Posts: 29   +10

    Does organized by date count? Google photos and iCloud got me covered.
  21. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,432   +801

    For the PC, I use Picasa 3. Camera has it's own upload to the pc and creates folders by either upload or picture date and Picasa3 is neat for reorg and slideshows.

    Separate camera is used for low light or no-flash shots, aka museums.

    PS: HATE iPhone pics.
  22. kissx

    kissx TS Enthusiast Posts: 64

    Yes I do. have about 20 folders I keep in check to put new photo's in them.
  23. ArdvarkMaster

    ArdvarkMaster TS Member Posts: 24   +13

    Yes. I have a folder called "Pictures". End of organization.
    Reehahs likes this.
  24. Wizwill

    Wizwill TS Enthusiast Posts: 49   +12

    I periodically move all photos to a dated 'camera dump' folder in my general 'Images' folder. When I have a bit of time, I go through the raw pictures,delete obviously flawed ones and store the remaining ones in existing or new dated/named folders (in my case collated by projects I've done for clients).
    Most of my photos are for web use and a few are retained on the phone to show clients as work progresses or to prospective clients as portfolio images.

    I used to own a Note 3 and needed to take LOTS of shots to get a few good ones. Since I upgraded to a Noet 4 with stabalized imaging, my photo volume had decreased and their quality has improved greatly.
    BTW, I still use the Gallery app to store pictures in named volumes vs a general mix.
  25. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 653   +284

    Unless you're shooting professionally, most don't nee beyond the old 'by date' method - maybe also by camera, if you're super organized.

    If you're shooting professionally or as a serious hobby, you're probably already using something like Lightroom or Bridge to organize and tag your photos.

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