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Blog: Fear Your Computer No More!
Organizing Your Pictures - What Makes Sense?

Don't you just love digital cameras and the ability to download, email and save pictures to your computer?  No mess, no awkward envelopes full of pictures, and no trying to figure out what to do with the negatives; it is amazing!  Although, now you have a hard drive that is bulging at the seams with picture upon picture upon picture.  You can't find the photos you took of your son's first birthday and when you do, you also see pictures from your husbands hockey game mixed with random nose shots your daughter took of herself.  You may not have the physical clutter of photos any more, but you do have a virtual nightmare on your computer.

Let's see if we can't figure something out before the holiday picture orgy commences.  We're going to take a quick tip of how I manage my digital photos and if it works for you, fantastic!  If not, oh well, we tried!  Smile
Let's start with the basics, shall we?  There is an automatic picture file called My Pictures for a reason.  This is the default place your computer will take you to when you click anything remotely resembling "Insert Photo", so you may as well use it.
My Pictures
Now that we know where the pictures are going to go, how about we go and find all of your pictures that scattered on your C: Drive and put them in the proper place.  The easiest way to do this is by using the "Search" function in your control panel.
If you are using a Mac, you are on your own, because I haven't a clue as to how to do this with your operating system.  If you are using a PC, you are in luck!
  1. Click "Start"
  2. Click "Search"
  3. Now select the option for "Search for Pictures, Music or Videos"
  4. Check mark the "Pictures and Photos" option
  5. Watch how all of the pictures on your computer magically appear, including those you had hoped you had lost!
Now that you have all of the pictures from your computer in front of you, go ahead and click, Ctrl-A.  This is going to select all of the pictures on your computer.  Don't worry if there are pictures you don't want, we will clean those out later.  Now go up to "Edit" and then "Copy to Folder".  Make sure you click the "Copy to Folder" and not "Move to Folder".  Go ahead and select the folder My Pictures in the My Documents file. 
If you have a ton of pictures in there as it is, go ahead and create a new file to copy the pictures into.  Label it "Operation Organize".  These are going to be all of the pictures you are going to be going through and organizing!
Now that we have your pictures all in one spot we can now move on to the hard part, actually filing and organizing the actual photos.
I like to organize my pictures by "Year" and then by "Occasion".  So, my files look something like this:
  • My Pictures
    • 2007
      • Grand Canyon Pictures
      • Jordyn's Birthday Pictures
      • Summer BBQ
      • Wedding Pictures
    • 2006
      • Engagement Photos
      • Christmas Pictures
    • 2005
      • Reido's Last Night
      • Canada Trip

It is so much easier for me to find pictures that I am looking for when they are segmented out by year.  I can remember the year I did something, but if I went on several trips up to Canada then it may be a pain in the butt to try and find the right folder if they were just all splattered amongst themselves.

The great part is, sorting your pictures by year is going to be a piece of cake!  Go ahead and before we start sorting pictures by year, let's create you some folders under My Pictures.
  1. Go to "File"
  2. "New"
  3. "Folder"
  4. Label folder 2007
  5. Repeat until you have enough file folders for each year

Now, go back to your big long list of pictures and go to "View" and select to view by "Details".  I then want you to click on the Date Modified label.  This is going to sort all of your pictures by the date they were uploaded or modified by you.  This is a good indicator as to when the pictures were actually taken although it is not 100% so you will come up with some minor discrepencies.

Next, go through and select the pictures you want to move into 2007 and drag them over to the 2007 file folder.  It's as simple as that!
From there, you can go ahead and make some new folders for holidays, special occasions, etc.  The actual process of sorting your pictures by year will only take you approximately 10 minutes depending on how many pictures you have.  The actual sorting by event will take you quite a bit longer, but it can be done!
Now how nice will it be for you to find pictures for photo gifts and albums to create?  Just don't forget to create a new folder for 2008.
Happy Organizing!
Suzanne McLoone
Let's Talk Organizing

posted on: 11/25/2007 8:30:00 AM by Suzanne McLoone
category: Business

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Fear Your Computer No More!

by Suzanne McLoone

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About Suzanne:

As an organizational consultant, public speaker, and former radio talk show host, Suzanne helps individuals and businesses find their own Organizational Perfection! With a Coke in hand, she thrives on making the most of her time and tries to encourage those around her to do the same. Whether it is writing a "How To" book, traveling to Scotland to get her yearly dose of sexy Scotsmen, or speaking to a group of overwhelmed business owners, Suzanne offers the solutions you need to regain control of your life.

Suzanne's Website:


Suzanne's Other Blogs:

My Favorite Organizing Goodies

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    My goal in life is to have an entire office that is primarily Levenger!
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    How can you NOT love See Jane Work? With loads of personality, fun products, and down right gorgeous supplies it is hard to pass up!

My Favorite Blogs

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Suzanne's Other Blogs and Podcast

  • Let's Talk Organizing Blog
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Office Solutions

  • Virtual Office
  • Service Office
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