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3 Ways to Organize Your Endless Stream of Digital and Print Photos

by Mehera Bonner
photo & video

Illustrated Chart for Organizing TechnologyI love taking photos of my friends and family. In fact, I’m slightly obsessed. The number of pictures I take on a weekly basis is overwhelming to say the least — and don’t even get me started on what happens when I go on vacation. But photos can be hard to organize, and if you aren’t careful, your pictographic memories will become a cluttered jumble of jpegs.

Don’t fall into the trap of sticking your pictures in some random desktop file that says “Family Snapshots” (or something equally vague) — instead, follow these three easy steps for photo organization!

Scrapbooking
Scrapbooking is great because you end up with a tangible collection of images to look back on, which you can decorate to your heart’s desire. Scrapbooks can encompass an entire year of family pictures, or just a specific event, and the best part is that you get to write down your memories. It’s a hybrid of journaling and memory-making that can become completely addictive! If you’re like me and take too many photos to fit into one album, scrapbooking will help you separate the wheat from the chaff. Only print and paste the best pictures from your tropical family vacation, and you wont have to deal with a bunch of overexposed images of conch shells that you took after one too many pina coladas.

Organize Your Files By Name — Not Number!
With photo programs like iTunes, it isn’t that hard to organize your images by date. But who remembers the exact events from some random month three years ago? Sure, you can title a folder “January 2013,” but in a few years you’ll have no recollection of what’s in that folder. Instead of going through a million files in the hopes of finding a specific one, jog your memory by titling folders based on events. It seems pretty obvious, but file titles like “That Time I Gave My Husband A Terrible Haircut”  are much more helpful than “1.15.08.”

Use Instagram To Your Advantage
Instagram is so much more than an excuse for your hipster friends to filter their ironic mustaches. It’s a way to store all your most attractive photos on the internet, and access them at any time! I take way more photos than I actually upload to Instagram, but I like to think of the app as an opportunity to curate my photo collection and showcase the best of the best. My friends don’t need to see five million photos of the pie I ate for breakfast –– one great photo (not in Toaster…shudder) will definitely suffice! When my photostream gets too long, I use an app like Printstagram to print them, then delete the whole batch and start the process all over again!

If you want to learn simple, guilt-free ways to organize your photos, check out Becky Higgins’ upcoming creativeLIVE course, Scrapbooking with Project Life.

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Mehera Bonner

Mehera Bonner is a freelance lifestyle and entertainment writer. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband and two children.