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Tips for Organizing Digital Photos

Learn How to Keep Track of Special Baby Pictures

By

Woman taking picture of mother and baby.
Jamie Grill/Iconica/Getty Images

A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but baby photos that are lost on your computer won't be telling stories anytime soon. Coming up with a system for organizing digital photos is an important part of saving memories from your baby's first year.

Organizing Digital Photos With Folders

What is the best way to organize digital photos? The answer to that question depends upon how much time and money you want to invest in the task. However, the simplest and least expensive way to organize your baby photos is to take advantage of your computer's ability to create folders.

The following is an example of a very basic method of organizing digital photos.

  1. Make a folder for the current year.
  2. Inside the folder, create subfolders for each month. Label them using 01 to 12. (Since your computer sorts folders alphabetically, writing out the names of each month will result in a list that's not in the correct order.)
  3. Inside your monthly folders, make additional folders for organizing digital pictures from events such as baby's first birthday or your family vacation to the zoo.
  4. Add photos from your digital camera or camera phone to the appropriate folder.

To add a bit more detail to this method, you can rename individual files with information about when or where the photo was taken. Microsoft offers easy instructions for how to rename a batch of photos and add sequential numbering to each file.

Digital Photo Organizer Software

If you don't mind spending a little more time organizing your digital photos and want to try advanced organizational tools like image tagging, consider downloading digital photo organizer software. Popular free options for organizing digital pictures include:

Digital scrapbooking is becoming an increasingly popular way of sharing baby photos. Adobe Photoshop Elements is one of the most common programs used for digital scrapbooking. In addition to having a variety of image editing and graphic design tools, this software also includes a digital photo organizer that lets you tag photos with the names of people, places, and events.

Don't Save Every Baby Photo

Although you can theoretically save every picture you take with your digital camera or camera phone, doing so just makes it harder to find the pictures that are truly special. Whenever you're organizing digital photos, your first step should be to decide which photos aren't worth saving.

Generally, you should delete photos that fit any of the following criteria:

  • Blurry
  • Overexposed
  • Underexposed
  • Subject's eyes are closed
  • Subject has an unflattering expression
  • Subject has red eye that can't be fixed
  • Photo is poorly composed
  • Photo is similar to other shots you took

Even though you think your baby is the most adorable child on the planet, you don't really need to have 50 pictures of her modeling her new "I love Mommy!" bib.

Have a Backup Plan for Storing Baby Pictures

Storing all of your precious baby photos on your computer's hard drive is certainly convenient, but you're setting yourself up for disaster if your computer ever crashes. To make sure your memories are protected, you need to have a backup plan for your photos. Options available include:

  • Burning baby photos to a CD
  • Copying them to a flash drive
  • Purchasing an external hard drive
  • Using a photo sharing site like Flickr to create an online backup of your baby pictures

Typically, it's a good idea to backup your baby photos on a monthly basis. Try to get in the habit of always backing up your pictures on the first of the month, so it becomes a part of your regular routine.

Learn more about digital scrapbooking software.

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