Organizing Old Photos – The Next Step

Let’s get back to the business of organizing our photos, shall we?  I left you with a few questions last week that need to be addressed before you can start to organize your photos.  If you don’t examine WHY you are saving, WHAT you are saving, HOW you are saving and the ultimate GOAL of saving your photos, then your system will eventually fall apart because it just won’t work for YOU.  So here are the questions again;

  1. Do you look at the photos often, or do they just stay tucked away?
  2. Who are you saving them for?  Children?  Siblings?  Your 90’s?
  3. What is your system for saving digital photos?
  4. What would you do with your old photos if you had easy access?

If you are someone who looks at your photos frequently and likes to show them off via an album, then you may need a combination of both digital and display storage.  You might consider a photo book or album in addition to some digital storage.  If you only look at your photos when they are accessible on your computer, then going ALL DIGITAL is probably your best approach.

The goal of saving your photos is ultimately to share them.  Who are you saving them for?  If it is your children, then think long and hard about how to organize them for your kids. By the time you are ready to hand off the photos to your children, everything will be digitized.  Will they really want a scrapbook or will they want them online somewhere.  How will you save them?  Will each child receive their own collection or will you organize one collection?

If you currently have a system for digital photos that works well, then it will probably be easy to incorporate all of the old photos that are still in boxes.  Stay consistent with your current system so that photos remain easy to find.  If you do not have a good system for your digital files, or if you have no idea what digital photos are, then I highly suggest you organize what you have first, before taking the giant leap of organizing your old photos.  Have a strong system with backup in place before you introduce more.

Once you have easy access to all your old photos, what will you do?  If the answer includes saving copies for family members or making gifts from them, you might want to factor that in as you save and organize the photos.  For example, if your intention is to make some sort of memory book from your newly digitized photos, then it might be easiest to save the photos you want all together in one file.  Do the organizing up front to save time creating your project down the road.

Next week we will talk about different methods for digitizing photos.

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