Friday, January 29, 2016

Boot Camp - Lesson 8 Let's Get Organized (Photos)

Lesson 8 - Let's Get Organized!
It's a new year and time to clean up and organize. We often use this time of year to go through our house and chuck out old and unused items - to clean up and get organized. Today we will discuss organizing photos - mainly digital photos. If you are like me, you have collected thousands of photos and now don't know what to do with them. This method can work for physical pictures also.

If we are very lucky, we have a few pictures of our ancestors. How grateful we are for them. In the days of our ancestors, most did not have a camera and relied on one or two professional pictures of themselves and their family. In today's world, the digital world, we snap pictures of absolutely everything and everyone wherever we go. In a matter of seconds, we can collect hundreds of pictures - some treasures, some silly and worthless, and hundreds of places, animals, and people we don't really care about. The interesting thing about pictures is that we have a very hard time getting rid of even the worst pictures. I also have had the bad habit of "saving" my pictures to all kinds of devices so that I won't lose them (knowing how computers can crash or cameras break) only to now have 20 duplicates of all those meaningless photos. So what do we do? How do we decide what to keep and what to discard? Well, let's get organized! We will be sorting our photos. Just like our house, we will keep the good and chuck out the waste.

Step 1 - Make a file on your computer (or external storage if you need something with a lot of space). Give this file a name like MASTER FILE (under the Pictures section).

Step 2 - Divide the Master file by setting up two files under the master file
     KEEP  - Most pictures that you like and want to keep will go into this file. You will want to make sub folders in this file to help organize your pictures even more.
     TRASH - All pictures that have no meaning to you, duplicates, poor quality, etc. BE STRONG! This may be hard to do but get rid of all of those extra pictures that have little or no meaning to you or to the next generation.

Make sub folders if you wish to sort more thoroughly. For instance, under my Keep file, I have my pictures in years. As I am sorting out pictures in years, I might add more folders for particular events like Family Reunion, trip to Alaska, etc. I will place those sub folders under the year it applies to. (2014 - sub folder Alaska Trip)

Make one of the folders a TREASURE folder. - Limit to "treasure" pictures - ones that you would like to print out and pass down. Think about the photos you treasure of your ancestors to help guide you for this group. For photos in this group, copy from the keep file the ones that you really want as a treasure then paste the copy into the treasure folder.

Step 3 - Go through all of your pictures and make the decision to put each picture into one of these two folders. Be sure to trash all photos that would not look good if printed (blurry, people you don't know, places that mean nothing to you, etc.) Also trash all duplicates. Be strong with yourself. You know what pictures mean nothing to you or that would look bad printed. Remember, you are housecleaning your photos. To do a quick sort, just put all of your pictures in one of the two folders then when you are done, go back and divide the Keep folder into sub folders. This is a double step but it will go faster if you have tons to sort through.

Step 4 - Do a quick look through your trash folder to make sure that these are pictures that you can part with and then DELETE THESE PICTURES. Get rid of them. Don't let them clutter your computer for another minute! (You will be surprised how you won't miss these at all.)

Step 5 - Now go through your Treasure pictures. This is the group you are going to carefully name and organize. Try to identify and date if possible. It would be good to print these pictures and put in a book that can be shared.

Step 6 - Save this Keep folder in more than one place. Copy and paste this Master folder onto an external drive or to the cloud. Be sure to share these pictures with your extended family.

Step 7 - All new pictures will need to be treated immediately. If downloading from a camera or phone, make sure to drop them into a "temporary" folder. Now delete all "trash" related pictures, put your new pictures into the Keep file under the year (and group)or however you have chosen to set up your folders. If you have pictures to add to your Treasure folder, be sure to label them carefully and put them into your Master File Treasure folder. Every so often, update your files that you have kept in other locations by deleting the old file and replacing it with the new. (The reason for deleting the old is that it no longer contains all of the pictures you have collected as you have since added new pictures. Since the old files are not complete, delete them and replace them with this new complete folder)

Share your pictures with your family by printing out picture books or displaying them in a digital picture frame. Pictures help us remember memories of events in our lives. Make sure that your family will remember these events in their lives through the pictures you have organized!

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