There are quite a few software programs that allow you to mark your favorite pictures through some kind of sign (a star, a colored square). Then this kind of software allows you to locate your favorite pictures by adding labels to these groups of pictures. The problem with this approach is lack of portability. If you want to give a whole folder of pictures to your friend but he’s not using the same software then all your favorite pictures will not appear on as favorite on his software.
The simple solution is to use folders
One solution is to use folders. For example, I need to three categories of favorites for each one of my pictures folder. I need to select some pictures for printing and others for putting them on my travel website (TouristBee.com). The pictures that go in these categories are quite different because I mostly print pictures with my family in them, while on my website I post pictures with places and buildings.
So, here’s how I fit this breakdown in my folder structure.
My Pictures Family 2007 2007_11_17-Malibu_Adamson_house selected - favorite pictures print - formatted for printing web - formatted for the web 2007_12_08-Camarillo_Christmas_Parade selected - favorite pictures print - formatted for printing web - formatted for the web
It’s not perfect but it works
My approach to digital pictures is not to delete any originals (except the really bad ones) and then copy the selected ones in the appropriate sub folder according to the structure described above. The only drawback to this approach is that I have two or three copies of some pictures. However, with today’s prices on hard drives this is no longer a problem. I only have to make sure I backup my pictures regularly.
Essentials for organizing your digital photosOver 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.