I’m going to make an assumption about you, and I hope you’ll forgive me. Here goes: You have digital photos everywhere!
We have cameras in our pockets most of our lives right now, and we’re quick to snap pictures when the mood strikes. Right?
And your spouse, significant other and/or friends, sisters, brothers, parents and more are probably snapping photos, too — and sharing them with you.
So, it’s probably safe to say that you have digital photos that you treasure that currently live in a minimum of two locations — probably more!
- Your cell phone (camera/photos apps, SnapChat text messages from other people and maybe other locations)
- Your spouse’s cell phone
- Your kids’ cell phones (Note: I said they probably have photos you treasure on them. I’m not saying they’ll be willing to share them with you!)
- Your laptop or desktop computer
- Your tablet
- Your social media feeds (esp. photos others have tagged you in)
- And other sources (maybe your parents’ cell phones, your work computer, old laptops, etc.)
Have you gathered all of those photos into a single location recently?
If not, make a plan to do so within the next week!
Here’s the challenge, though: Gathering them all into a single location, such as an external hard drive, and organizing them is easier said than done — if not the first time you do it, definitely the second.
Why isn’t it as easy as it sounds?
Let’s say you sit down on Dec. 1, 2020, and gather all of your digital photos into a single location. That’s AMAZING. It’s such a great feeling!
After you download them to your one location, you painstakingly go through all of the images, organizing them into folders that are dated and identified with names of events, people who are in them and potentially other details.
You even back up those photos onto a separate hard drive or a cloud service.
You breathe a sigh of relief, and then you go about living your life.
A little more than a year later, you realize you haven’t gathered all of your photos recently. It’s now Jan. 1, 2022. You sit down to start the process all over again.
The trouble is, you aren’t 100% sure which photos you’ve already downloaded and which ones you haven’t. You might not remember when you sat down last. (“When did I do that download? Has it been a year yet? Or has it been more like a year and a half?”)
Or, you might not remember if you got the photos off of your spouse’s phone at the same time. What about the computer? The iPad? Darn. You can’t remember.
Or, you might not remember how far back you went to collect the photos. (“Did I get 2018 photos, too? Or just 2019? What about 2017? 2016?”)
To be safe, you think, you’ll download all of 2021’s photos — plus the last five years’ worth of photos — from all of the devices. That should cover it. You gather photos from 2016 through 2021.
Now you need to organize them. You start the process and spend hours going through each photo, placing them into folders, renaming files to something useful to help you find them later (2019 11 28 Thanksgiving at Erin’s) and then backing them up onto a secondary hard drive or the cloud.
When you begin to sort the photos into folders in your photo filing system, you realize you already had folders for many (but not all) of these photos — because you had already downloaded and organized the photos from Jan. 1, 2018, through Nov. 30, 2020.
“Are you kidding me?” you think to yourself? “I just did a heck of a lot of work for almost nothing. I could have just downloaded and organized photos from all of 2016, 2017 and 2021. That would have saved me hours and hours of work — not to mention the space on my hard drive for all of these duplicate photos!”
You vow never to be so disorganized again!
Can you relate?
Do you want to avoid the frustration of downloading and organizing duplicate photos?
So do I.
That’s why I created a worksheet that I’m sharing with you today. This worksheet will help you keep track of the photos you have already downloaded.
How to use it
If you would like to type into the form and save it in your digital files, be sure to open the form in Adobe Acrobat Reader or the full version of Adobe Acrobat.
Then, simply click on a blue box to make the field active, and type your notes.
When you’re ready to mark off which months or years you’re downloading, you have two options: Mark each month individually (for example, if you are collecting photos mid-year), or marking an entire year witha single checkmark.
To mark a single month, simply hover your mouse over the number of the month you want to mark, and click once. A checkmark will appear over that single month.
To mark a full year with a single checkmark, hover over the thin black line that frames the 12 months of that year. You will see a bold frame appear around the 12 small squares. Click once on the frame.
I have added the red frame in the screen shot above to draw attention to the darker square around the 12 month squares.
In the far-right column, make a note of where you saved your originals and back-ups. I use the top line for the originals and the bottom line for the back-ups. It might help you to note “S:” for saved (originals) and “BU:” for back-ups.
Print your log. Save it with your other scrapbooking and photo-booking organization notes, journaling, etc. I keep all of my related stuff together in a disc-bound notebook and LOVE it! I highly recommend it!
Enjoy having organized photos! And spend more time scrapbooking or making photo books!
If you print and use the download log, I would love to see it in use! Take a pic and post it in the comments below, or send it to me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org! Enjoy!