This post is part of Microsoft’s #WorkWonders program.
I am embarrassed to admit that I have photos stored digitally in literally dozens of different places – on my phone (plus the ones still on my old phone), on my tablet, on SD cards (I don’t like to delete my photos, just in case, so I just buy a new one), on USB stick thingys, on CDs (gosh, I even have some still on floppy discs!!), on an external back up drive, and on no less than four computers – one desktop and three laptops. There is no system, no organisation, no labelling, in fact if I had to find a specific photo of a specific event, it would most likely take me days!
It’s a mess.
Or it was! You see I am finally doing something about it. As part of my mission to live a more organised life I have started sorting out the chaos my digital photo files are in. Why? So my family can enjoy revisiting the memories we have made together.
In fact, AJ was really the catalyst for this project. The poor child is almost three years old and apart from two Santa photos with her sister, a couple of crazy Dreamworld family action shots and a few home printed photos in her bedroom, she may as well not even exist. I would say the ratio of printed photos for her and her sister would be 1:100. I kid you not!
And it’s not just AJ. We have so many gorgeous photos that I want both of my children to enjoy, looking back to see how much they’ve changed and remembering events we have enjoyed together. Plus I want them to see more of our life before kids – Immy loves looking at the photos from a trip Dad 101 and I took to Disney pre-kids back in 2002. Unfortunately even those printed photos are sitting in packets, the album I dreamed of creating for them has just never eventuated.
So something has to be done. And it is happening. In fact, I am hoping that you will join me in a challenge to organize, back up and bring your family photos to life. You will, won’t you? We will support each other and break it down into small, achievable tasks and GET IT DONE!
Right then, step one of the challenge is to gather together all of your digitally stored photograph devices, upload them all into one central location and get them sorted.
Here’s how I am doing it. I have decided to use OneDrive, Microsoft’s free online storage service. Why OneDrive? Because I can upload to OneDrive from all of my devices, even my non-Microsoft ones, via the OneDrive app. As part of my Office 365 subscription I receive one terabyte of free cloud space, even better Office 365 subscribers will actually be able to take advantage of unlimited storage in coming months which means a central store endless data for us to call on whenever and wherever we wish!
So I have started sorting all of my photos into folders in OneDrive. I have labelled my folders by year and month, which is really helpful once you are ready to print or make a photobook with your photos – which is exactly where we are heading with this challenge!
As an aside, OneDrive also makes it really easy to share photos, which is handy if you have other family members or friends who you’d like to share specific photos or folders with.
As I am uploading and sorting, I am also deleting any photos that I don’t really need to keep. Mostly, the ninety-seven duplicates of the one scene – and isn’t that truly a byproduct of this digital age! I am trying to just choose the best ones to actually keep. Trying 😉
Once all of my photos are where they need to be, my plan is to back everything up to my external hard drive. Just to be sure. It’s my safety net because I am not quite ready to let go of that physical back up. That being said, I love that I have a virtual back up with OneDrive. It means I can still access our family memories if anything catastrophic ever happens to my physical back up source. Plus having them all together in one place is making it a whole lot easier when it comes to making photo books.
Which is how I am rewarding myself for all of the somewhat boring uploading and sorting. I have started making a photobook of our 2014 memories using Blurb’s free Booksmart program. It’s really quite fun and I figure if I allocate one evening a week to photobooking rather than wasting time on social media, it will get done. I am working month by month and as I have been finding and sorting photos representing different milestones, events or occasions I have started making notes about what happened or what I want to remember in a Word document, just to be sure I don’t forget anything. With my photos sorted and my little anecdotes ready to cut and paste across, it is making the photobooking process quick and easy.
So, this month is the time to get all of your digital photos together in one place and sorted. Have a look at OneDrive if you are looking for a central storage option. Then come back next month when I’ll share some great tips for really bringing your family memories to life with photobooks. In no time at all, we are going to have this job done!
So are you with me? Leave a comment below telling me that you’ll be joining me on this challenge to bring your photos to life and I will check in with you to see how you’re doing.