Digital cameras have made taking pictures more convenient and cost effective then ever. However, the downside of this is that with the growing number of photos in people’s picture folders, many people are finding it hard to keep their thousands of pictures organized. So here are a few tips to help keep your photo folders organized and up to date.
If you are one of those people who drops all of their downloaded photos into one single folder, this needs to be a practice that stops today. You will never get any of your pictures organized if you have thousands of mixed up photos in a single folder. A good rule of thumb is to create a few broad folders such as, “Vacations,” or, “Birthdays”; then each time you upload new photos from your digital camera, create subfolders specific to a certain occasion within these broad categories. This will create broadly organized folders such as, “Vacation Pictures,” which contain more specific subfolders of pictures such as, “Disneyland 2008,” or, “Hawaii 2005”. Note that it is also a good practice to include a date (or at least a year) in the subfolder’s name. This will be of much use when searching though hundreds of different folder names within your library of photos. Creating a new folder and titling it appropriately initially takes a mere few seconds, but in the end will save you much time and effort when looking for specific photos.
If you want to go one step further, create a folder named, “Pictures to Order”. Any time you upload pictures that you would like to have framed or just want a hard copy of, paste a copy of the picture into this folder. Every few months you can upload the pictures accumulated in this folder and have them ordered to be printed or print them at home. Or you can create a folder named, “Photos for Digital Picture Frame,” so that every so often you can switch out the photos on your digital picture frame with new ones. If you don’t currently have a digital photo frame I would highly recommend buying one because they are a cost effective alternative to having photos printed. Also, if space is an issue for you in your home, digital photo frames have the ability to display many photos in one single frame. ViewSonic digital picture frames are a popular brand among consumers because of their trusted brand name and their reasonable prices.
Another good tip is to upload your photos often. This will make the task of organizing all of your pictures into neat organized folders less daunting. Uploading photos after each specific event or trip will decrease the number of folders you have to create each time, decreasing the chances for confusion over organization. Also, remember that each time you upload photos onto your computer you should backup the pictures onto an external hard drive or copy them onto a CD to ensure their longevity. It is important to prepare yourself beforehand for disaster, instead of whishing you had after the fact. After this is done you should clear your photo card and erase the pictures you just uploaded onto your computer. This will help to ensure that you don’t duplicate uploading your photos the next time you upload pictures.
If uploading duplicate photos seems to be a chronic problem for you, there is a freeware utility called VisiPics that can help ease your troubles. The user chooses which folders and/or drives to have VisiPics scan. Because VisiPics actually looks at the content of each photo searching for similarities in each image (instead of just sorting by file name) you can choose how precisely the filter searches for duplicates- anywhere between strict, basic, and loose can be selected. After the scan has been completed the duplicate pictures are displayed in a column on the left hand side of the VisiPics window. Duplicate photos can then be selected for deletion or be moved into a, “Duplicates Folder,” if you do not want to risk erasing any pictures.
Hopefully these tips will be of some use- even if you are not motivated to apply all of the concepts, just try to apply one. Having some sort of organization system over your growing library of photos will make enjoying your pictures much more pleasurable in the future.