In my last article about Picasa I have discussed the most efficient way to transfer your pictures from your camera to your computer using Picasa. If Picasa is setup correctly, transferring your pictures with Picasa can really save you a lot of time.
Let’s continue the example I used while talking about transferring pictures with Picasa (Read Transfer your pictures with Picasa in 3 steps ). This time however, let’s see how we can quickly organize these pictures so that they will be easy to remember and find on my computer.
Get your pictures transferred efficiently with Picasa
After transferring a bunch of pictures in Picasa, your folder structure looks like this:
My Pictures TRANSFER 2010-12-01 2010-12-05 2010-12-10 FAMILY 2008 2009 2010 WORK 2009 2010
Let me just recap quickly what this folder structure represents. The TRANSFER folder is the interim holding place of my digital pictures once I transfer them from my camera to my computer. I keep piling them up separated by the date when the pictures were taken.
The FAMILY folder, which includes year folders, represents the final place for these folders of pictures. The difference between the FAMILY folder and TRANSFER folder is that each year folder under the FAMILY folder contains folders that have more details in the folder names. In fact they contain the date, the place and a short description of the event described by the picture in that folder.
Bottom line is that the TRANSFER folder is a temporary, transitional place for my picture folders, while the FAMILY folder represents the final place where my picture folders will go.
Identify the events and rename the folders
Now that your pictures have been transferred to your computer, it’s time to work on them a little bit and move them to their permanent place.
The first thing I do, I open each folder and try to identify the event or events that are described in the pictures. Then I rename the folder using my super secret naming convention (Read Organize your pictures in five easy steps). Actually it’s just the date, the place and a short description.
To rename a folder in Picasa just right-click on the folder and choose Edit Folder Description.
Just enter a new name in the Name field in the Folder Properties window.
My folder structure looks like this:
My Pictures TRANSFER 2010-12-01-park-playing 2010-12-05-mall-playground-very-cold 2010-12-10-park-ball-bicycle FAMILY 2008 2009 2010
Combine folders containing similar events
Secondly, sometimes I notice that some of my folders with pictures I just transferred have just a few pictures in them. In addition, especially when the event captured in a folder is a “continuous” event it is usually related to another folder. In my case the two folders at the park are related and I normally combine both of them into one folder.
Moving pictures from one folder to the other is very easy in Picasa. Just select the pictures by holding the CTRL key and clicking on the pictures you want to move, and just drag them in the new folder.
So, now my folder structure is as follows:
My Pictures TRANSFER 2010-12-01-10-park-playing-ball-bicycle 2010-12-05-mall-playground-very-cold FAMILY 2008 2009 2010
Next do some picture cleanup
Thirdly I clean up the pictures a little bit. So, I open for example the folder 2010-12-01 and notice a few pictures out of focus and some in really bad light. So I delete those.
In addition I also do some batch processing if there are some effects that can be applied to many pictures. The most common one I use is “Red-Eye Reduction”. I usually apply it in batch when I have a bunch of pictures taken using the flash inside the house.
Apply some picture tags
Now I do some tagging. At this stage I do mainly general tags like place. So I select all the pictures and apply tags, preferably tags that I have already used before.
Tagging pictures with Picasa is as simple as selecting the pictures and typing your tags.
Move the photo folders to their permanent location
This step is very straightforward. Now that the folders have been renamed and cleaned up they are ready to be moved to their final location. So, just move them using Picasa.
Moving a folder with Picasa is very simple. Just right click on the folder and choose Move Folder.
Then choose the target folder where you want this folder to be moved.
Finally, my folder structure will look like this:
My Pictures TRANSFER FAMILY 2008 2009 2010 2010-12-01-10-park-playing-ball-bicycle 2010-12-05-mall-playground-very-cold
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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.
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.