Flex your folders

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Folders I have written last week that it is very important to learn how to use your operating system and your folder structure to organize your pictures, instead of relying on some software that tries to do it automatically. This week I will describe how to name your folders so that you would be able to find your pictures quickly. My method is based on the names you give to your folders. Yes, it takes a little more time but the payoff will be great in the long run.

Use clues that help you remember things.

What helps you remember events? If you think about it, most of the times you need three things: approximate date, place and a short description of the event. So, this is what you need to have in each of your folder’s description.

A simple example of naming your image folders: 07_07_04-church_picnic_beach_july4th will quickly identify the pictures in this folder. Or: 07_07_01-baby_shower_smiths_house will also identify the event and the place together with the date. If you remember to place these three pieces of information in each folder description you will be able to identify them very quickly.

Use the date as an automatic sorting mechanism.

You’ve probably noticed that the beginning of each folder name contains the date in this format: YY-MM-DD. Sometimes you don’t know the day of the event or the event span multiple days. In those cases you don’t have to include the day. The year and the month will be enough to allow your operating system to automatically keep your folders in order. The only catch is that you have to use the same format for each of your folders.

Read more about organizing your digital photos in 5 easy steps.

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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