6 secrets to digital photo bliss

One of the things I tackled this week was sorting out our photos from our Cape Town trip nearly 3 weeks ago. You can see the results on our travel blog.

Photos are one of those things that can quickly overwhelm you if you don’t have a system. Before you know it, you have thousands of photos on your computer and no idea where to start.

If this is you, make one folder titled Before _____ (today’s date) and start working backwards, just 15 minutes a day. Once you start, the momentum will easily carry you forward.

Then, from now onwards, do the following steps and you’ll never be behind again.

1. Download after every major photo-taking session
It’s far easier to sort through 50 rather than 500 photos. However, if you take photos daily, you might want to do this once a week.

2. Name the folder
For our trip, I named it Cape Town – Nov 2007. Because of the Organising Queen blog, I also have folders called Paper, Kitchen, Baskets, etc.

It is easy to do a search and find what you’re looking for later if you describe the photos first.

3. Delete the duds immediately
Scroll through each photo and delete any blurry, non-flattering or “iffy” photos immediately.

When you postpone making decisions, it leads to clutter.

4. Select the photos you want to print
Make a new folder and call it TO PRINT. When you come across GORGEOUS photos, copy them to this separate folder. Note I said COPY – you don’t want to accidentally delete the good ones. I only print the GORGEOUS photos, which means I don’t even print 10% of the photos we take.

At least once a month when you run errands, cut and paste the photos from your TO PRINT folder onto a disc and drop it off at your nearest photo developing store. I’m not sure if I’m just old-fashioned but I don’t hear of too many South Africans using online photo facilities 😉 (Let me know if I’m wrong!)

This works really well for us as the amounts of money we have to spend are smaller because I’m printing monthly and I’m also not overwhelmed sorting out hundreds of photos for us, family and friends.

5. Compress and crop photos
If you want to send some photos to friends and family, it is good manners to compress them first (to around 50KB) before emailing them.

Bonus for bloggers
Take a few minutes to compress and crop any photos you intend to blog. If you want to really save time, you could then upload the photos to your blog and save the drafts. Then all you have to do is type the text and publish! This explains why I have so many items in drafts!

6. Back up your photos to a disc every so often
I do a back-up every month (or sooner if I feel the computer slowing down).

You definitely don’t want to lose any precious memories so back up regularly.

Hopefully these tips will help all my US friends with Thanksgiving photos tomorrow and the rest of us over the next month with all the other holidays.

Have an organised week.

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Marcia Francois is a time management and organising coach who empowers small business owners and other busy professionals who want to make the most of their time. You’ll get simple, practical organising and time management secrets to help you work less and enjoy life more! Visit http://marciafrancois.com for your free Organising Success Pack.