Find and organize lost pictures in 2 easy steps

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This article outlines the steps for identifying pictures that have been misplaced on your hard drive. Many times I get pictures through our emails or from the web. It happens very often that I place these pictures in My Documents just because I want to look at them quickly and I don’t want to file them in the proper folder. After a while however, I end up with quite a few pictures being “lost” in the wrong places. This article will help you find them and identify them so you can move them to the appropriate folders. It is assumed that you are able to see the Date Picture Taken in your file browser. If not read the article Find Pictures.

Many times I talk to people that are overwhelmed by how many digital pictures they have on their computer and how frustrated they are when they can’t find the pictures they’re looking for. I sympathize because, I was frustrated as well until I started learning how to organize my pictures. One great benefit of being organized is knowing where things are. But what do you do when you want to start to get organized? How do you find lost pictures and organize them?

STEP 1: Sort by “Date Picture Taken”.

This is the easiest way to identify all “floating” image groups. Use what you have done in Step 1 in order to sort and group all “floating” images. By clicking on the Date Picture Taken column header, you will group all the pictures according to the date when each picture was taken. Now you can easily spot the pictures taken during the same day.
Step 1

STEP 2: Create a folder for each group.

Let’s take a look at Group 1. Upon double clicking a few pictures of that group Mary quickly realizes that that was a church function that they attended way back in 2004. It was a church picnic at Freedom Park. The date when picture was taken value indicates it was on March 7, 2004. While the day is sometimes not very important the month certainly is. So, this folder will be called 04-03-07-church-picnic-freedom-park.

Step 2

When it comes to Groups 2 and 3 we notice that Date Picture Taken indicates that pictures were taken during two consecutive days. Actually, group 2 pictures show that they were taken very early in the morning which is usually highly unlikely. Most people don’t set the time on their camera when they buy it, and this is what happens when the camera was shipped with the wrong time zone set by default. When John double clicks on pictures from Group 2 and 3 he realizes that these pictures were taken at the company’s award ceremony that took place and Tony’s Restaurant. So, he creates a new folder and names it: 04-10-10-company-awards-tonys-rest

You MUST name your folders
as follows:
» 4 digits for the year
» 2 digits for the month
» 2 digits for the day(optional)
» event & place descriptions
  YYYY-MM-DD-description
Example:
2004-10-23-grandma-trip

Group 4 was a short trip to grandmother’s house for the weekend. So, we named that one: 04-10-23-trip-to-grandma. Group 5 turned out to be from the Internet. These were some nature pictures that Mary liked. Since these are not family pictures and don’t have a particular event or date associated with them, we called them: Internet. After all this activity, our pictures folder looks like the figure on the right. Notice that the folders we created are automatically sorted making them very easy to find and identify.

Essentials for organizing your digital photos

Over the years I have come to rely on only a few products for managing and backing up my large media collection. These are my essential products and services I have been using for many years to keep things organized and safe. Even though these are affiliate links, I wholeheartedly recommend them.

I recommend using Adobe Lightroom Classic CC via the annual Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Lightroom has excellent photo editing capabilities. Yes, Lightroom has a steeper learning curve as you have to learn to keep your catalogs in sync with your hard drive. However, Adobe Lightroom makes most sense especially when you do lots of image editing.
If you don't like the subscription, you can get also download the last standalone Adobe Lightroom 6 for Mac or Windows (while it is still available). However, the product is no longer maintained by Adobe.

Excellent Lightroom and Picasa alternative. If you're looking for a cheaper and simpler photo manager then ACDSee Photo Studio for Mac or ACDSee Pro for Windows is my preferred solution for organizing your media on your computer. It has a very fast browser, beautiful image editing capabilities and you don't work with catalogs at all.

In addition, make sure you have an inexpensive and reliable external hard drive for backing everything up. It is absolutely essential for backing up your media regularly.

If you're looking for a reliable unlimited cloud backup service, I recommend Backblaze Cloud Backup. I have used Backblaze for my online backup for more than 3 years now. All my files are safe and secure and I have never had any problems with them.

YOURS FREE! 10 crucial steps most people miss when organizing their digital photos

Most people want to just organize their digital pictures and ignore these crucial steps right at the beginning...when they are shooting and transferring their digital pictures. Then they wonder why they can't organize their digital photos! Avoid most people's mistakes and start on the right track!

Start organizing now using detailed, step-by-step instructions and videos:
Personal Coaching (closed) Independent Course Private Lessons
Reference book Basics book Picasa book

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