Computer Clean Out and Photo Organization

Hey Guys. Nothing like a little jury duty to get me moving forward on the grueling task of cleaning out my computer. Yesterday was my very first jury duty experience! I can't believe I have dodged that bullet for so long. I know that sounds terrible. It is our civic duty and according to the judge yesterday "it is a privilege as well as an amazing experience" to serve on a jury. I'm sure it is, but luckily for us we got released around 1:00 PM. So while many people were grumbling about the long wait, I made my way into the overflow room that had a nice desk area for me to plug in my computer. For three hours straight I worked on cleaning out my computer. I started with all of the files and deleted anything unnecessary. I moved some files around to make it easier to find them. It is amazing how many things I had downloaded that I wasn't using. The files were pretty easy to organize.

The photos on the other hand have been a weight on my shoulders for awhile now. I've spent so much time thinking about how I need to get this done. Of course it is an expectation I'm putting on myself. No one else cares if I have an organized computer or photos. I guess it bothers me because I always feel better and more productive when everything has a place and everything is in its place. In reality I spent three hours yesterday and probably got half of the organizing done. Another three hours and I will likely get caught up. So if I would've just done this months or even years ago it wouldn't be something lingering over me. Woulda coulda shoulda right? Well thankfully being trapped in a room with nothing to do for three hours forced me to dive in and make a good dent in it! However I don't want to wait another three years for my next jury duty obligation to finish it up. So I'm giving myself a deadline of two weeks from today to get it finished! (December 1st)

I do have a system for organizing and saving photos but a lot of time I upload photos from my camera and phone and just put them in a folder to be "organized" at a later time. I have made several attempts to really get up to date with it but never put enough time in to get it all done. The thing with this is it is an ongoing process. You are never done. However I do believe that if you can have a good system in place and at least get up to date then any photos moving forward can be put in the appropriate places much easier.

If you are looking for a way to organize your photos this system is working well for me. (see chart below) I started saving photos digitally in 2004 - (yes I’m a late bloomer in terms of technology!) I have a folder for every year up to the present. The years my children were born I made a folder for each month and a separate one for their births in that year. After the first year of their lives I went back to doing four seasons. If there is a particular event that doesn’t fit into any other folder then I create another folder within that season. Example (zoo trip - under 2014 - Spring)

Besides organizing by years I have broken down different events, celebrations, and categories to make it easier to find pictures. I always think in twenty years if I am looking for a particular photo how am I going to know where to find it?? So I try to make it as easy as possible by creating detailed folders. Obviously this will be different for everyone and you can tailor it to your photos and events.

My goal is to get all of my photos into the appropriate folders. Then if I can upload them more frequently it won't seem so daunting to put them where they need to be right away. If you have any suggestions how I could do this more efficiently please leave a comment. I would love to hear how other people are organizing their photos.

Don't forget to delete the bad ones. I found that I've taken a bunch of the same thing but never went back to pick the best ones. This is time consuming but it will make looking through photos more enjoyable in the future.

Don't forget to back up your photos on a regular basis. We use an external hard drive and try to do it every few months.

I'm off to finish my built in shelves in my Dining Room. Hope to post about that next week. Have a great weekend!

:) Bernadette

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