How to get your photos organized

organized work spaceSome people love getting organized. Some people dread it. Either way, it’s important to finding what you need when you need it. A survey by Office Depot and National Association of Professional Organizers shows a disorganized workspace can lead to decreased productivity and unprofessional behavior. Your digital photographs and videos should be no exception.

Collect all of your photographs

Before you can start organizing your photographs, it’s good to know what you have. Gather your photographs from your cameras, mobile devices, and desktops. Collecting all your photographs takes even more coordination if you’re working to organize photographs for a team or business. If you’re collecting photographs from multiple people or devices we recommend using a cloud-based app, like Smartimage to make it easy. This allows you to collect photographs into one place without requiring all of your team or devices in the same physical location.

Organize your photographs into collections or folders

Now that you’ve got all your photographs in one place, it’s time to organize them into groups. The goal of organizing your files is to make it easy to drill down to what you want in an organic, logical, and easy-to-understand manner. This organization might be folders if you’re using your desktop or other files sharing apps. If you’re using Smartimage, we call them collections.

How you structure your photo library varies case by case. For Smartimage we recommend keeping your structure to two levels and then using tags for further searching.

Apply tags to make files searchable

Tags are a huge time saver when you’re looking for files. Instead of drilling down through multiple levels of folders, you can simple search the keyword(s) of the file. The key is using the same vocabulary in your tags as what’s going to be searched. If you’re organizing photographs for a team or organization, do some research on what people are searching for. For example, do people search for an event by the event’s name, location, date, or all of these?

To save yourself time applying tags, we recommend applying in batches. Select multiple files with a common theme and then apply a tag to all of the files at once. Go through applying in batches to start, then apply tags to files individually that make each file unique. We recommend applying three to five tags to a file. This range of tags allows you to apply important keywords without it becoming unmanageable.

File name

A good file name is concise, consistent with other structures, and will help you know the contents of the file. You can include the theme, event, project, or other information that uniquely identifies that file. If you’re including dates in your filename, YYYYMMDD is a good format.

Photo organization tips

Keep it simple

Keeping your organization and tags simple are important to a manageable photograph library. A complex system takes more time to maintain and will not be as intuitive for others you share your photos with.

Have a “do it now” attitude

It’s easy to say you don’t have time right now to properly organize the photos you’re uploading. Don’t fall into this trap. Spend the time up-front to keep your image library organized and searchable.

Let go of photographs that aren’t valuable

With digital photography, we typically have a take as many as we want mentality, thinking we’ll later delete duplicate photographs and poor quality images. Don’t be afraid to delete photographs that aren’t valuable.

Be consistent

Consistency is critical for a well organized and searchable asset library. Having guidelines for tags, organizing, and sharing enhances the experience for everyone.

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