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Most people want to just shoot pictures and ignore these crucial steps for organizing their collection of digital photos on their computers. Then they wonder why they are frustrated when looking for photos and trying to do fun projects with them!
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Understand and manage your hardware devices

Categories: Backup Pictures, Export Pictures, Organize Pictures    No Comments

With every complex project planning is essential to success. Organizing your pictures is a complex process, especially if there are lots of pictures and the current structure is chaotic. Therefore a good plan is essential to a good outcome when you embark on starting to organize your pictures. The first step in putting together a great plan is to understand your hardware components and their current purposes. Next you need to assess if some of your hardware devices need to be re-purposed. Read on to find out some easy questions to ask for determining where to start.

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A great plan starts with some goals

During the beginning of my online course I pursue three goals with my students. Before we go anywhere further with organizing our pictures, we start with these three goals that have to do mainly with my students’ hardware devices.

Firstly, you must identify which hardware device servers as your main photo storage area.

Most people that take my course have pictures scattered over multiple devices. So, the first exercise I have my students do is to look at their devices and identify the one device where they want to store all their pictures.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t have pictures on any other device, but rather you need one place that you can call the “gold” copy, meaning that all the pictures stored on any other device are copies of pictures from the “master” storage area.

Identifying your “master” storage area for your digital photos is a must first step for a great photo organization system.
Identifying your "master" storage area is a must for a good system.

Secondly, you must identify a backup device that will backup your “gold” or “master” storage area.

Most likely it is an external drive or maybe another computer. This device will contain an exact copy of your “master” area. For most of the people in my course, this step is pretty easy to do.

Thirdly, you need a plan for your new pictures

You need to ensure that any new pictures will end up in the “master” storage area in the appropriate place so that you do not create duplicates everywhere. This is where all my students need help, so we spend quite a bit of time during the course to get this right. Everyone’s setup is different, so the details are slightly different for everyone.

However, the goal here is the same for everyone: we need a way to make sure our “master” storage area contains all our pictures and does not contain any duplicates.

Identify primary hardware devices

Your primary hardware devices are your photo sources, your main photo storage area and your photo backup area. They are usually easy to identify but sometimes you have to think a while to figure them out.

  1. Your photo sources.  This would be your camera, your phone, your scanner or your tablet.
  2. Your main storage area. This is where you store all your pictures.your photo storage repository. It can be your laptop your desktop or an external drive. You also need to get more specific as to what drive on your computer if you have multiple.
  3. Your backup area. Most likely this is an external drive, but it can also be an internal drive. Thee main idea here is to find one device that will act as your backup. If I were to ask you where do you backup your pictures you should be able to say it right away.

Next page: Identify secondary devices

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Updated: September 9, 2014  Categories: Backup Pictures, Export Pictures, Organize Pictures
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