The tutorials below represent a loose grouping of articles I have written over the last 14 years since I have started They show you various aspects of the system I use for organizing my photos.

I call my system: STORE because it stands for Shoot & Scan, Transfer, Organize, Retrieve and Export. The STORE system is comprehensive, simple and efficient. However it’s not simplistic since the problem of organizing your photos is not trivial. The rewards for learning and implementing the STORE system are great! You can actually be free to enjoy your pictures !

Understand the Big Picture

The best place to start thinking about organizing your digital media collection, is to see the big picture before digging into the details. I have put together a high level view of the process I use for my own media organization.
See how I organize digital photos

1: Understand the Problems

  1. Understand the problem – Learn the fundamental problem with organizing your picture.
  2. Understand the solution for organizing your pictures – Learn the fundamental solution to organizing your pictures.
  3. Tags vs. Folders – the great debate. A comparison of the two available methods for organizing your pictures.
  4. How to use folders and tags the right way. Understanding what folders and tags are intended for you can learn how to take advantage of each method’s strength and avoid their weaknesses.

2. Efficient Photography Workflow

  1. Is there a perfect photography workflow? – Fundamental questions and answers about your photography workflow.
  2. How to define an efficient photography workflow – Make your photography workflow more efficient.
  3. Is your photography workflow good enough? – Analyze your photography workflow and make it more efficient.
  4. The ABCs of an efficient photography workflow – Best questions to ask about your photography workflow.
  5. One simple strategy to optimize your photography workflow – How to have an efficient photography workflow.

3. Efficient Folder Structure

  1. Easy steps to create efficient folder names – Learn how to use your pictures folders efficiently.
  2. Build a strong foundation. How to build an extensible folder structure that will support your growing picture collection for years to come.
  3. Organize your pictures in 5 easy steps…no kidding. Step by step instructions on organizing your pictures with folders.
  4. Learn how to organize baby pictures. Having a baby always means taking tons of pictures. They are not necessarily tied to a particular event, so how to you organize them?
  5. How to organize old scanned photos. Ideas for organizing the old pictures you scan and transfer to your computer.

4. Efficient Image Metadata

  1. Understand and manage your image metadata. Understand what all the image metadata terms mean.
  2. The road frequently traveled by image metadata. Understand how image metadata gets created and how it is being used.
  3. When folders are not enough. How to know when you need to add keywords to your pictures.
  4. 5 steps to create precise keywords for tagging your pictures. What you need to know before creating and applying keywords to your digital pictures.
  5. How to create a controlled vocabulary. Great tips for starting a controlled vocabulary for your image keywords.
  6. Adobe Lightroom – an exercise in keywording. An example of creating and applying precise keywords to your digital pictures using Adobe Lightroom.

5. Image Geo-Tags

  1. 2 simple methods for geotagging your pictures. What is image geotagging and how to use it.
  2. Geotagging and Geocoding are friends forever. What you need to know about the relationship between image Geotagging and Geocoding.
  3. Examples of using image geotags.. Two examples of my own galleries of pictures containing geotags.

6. Retrieve/Find Your photos

  1. 3 easy steps to optimize your pictures folders – Optimize your folders so you can find your pictures quicker.
  2. Find and organize lost pictures in 2 easy steps – How to find and organize lost pictures.
  3. 3 easy steps to find your pictures using the Windows Search Utility – How to find your pictures quickly in Windows

7. Backup Digital Photos

  1. 5 Reasons I backup my digital pictures – Why do you need to protect your pictures?
  2. 3 things you need for backing up your pictures – Simple explanation of things you need for backing up your pictures.
  3. Backup your pictures in 6 easy steps – Simple backup method using SyncBack Free software.
  4. Should you backup your computer in the cloud – Analysis of online backup with a recommendation.

8. Share Photos Online

  1. Questions you need to ask before publishing pictures online – Things to consider before publishing pictures online.
  2. Use an online image sharing library to publish your pictures online – Understand online image sharing libraries.
  3. Host your photo galleries on your own web site. – How to publish your pictures on your own website.
  4. Generate your image galleries for web publishing. – How to create online image galleries automatically.

These tutorials will take you from the beginning where you can understand the issues, all the way to the end where you can backup your pictures. By the end of these tutorials you will understand how to keep your digital photo collection organized.