Looking back at pictures that I didn’t keep organized is overwhelming and I always think I’ll make time to sort through them, but that time never comes. Instead of continually resolving to organize your past, this year it might be beneficial to resolve to find a solution for all the future pictures you take. This way, at a minimum you aren’t adding to your disorganization.
I have found that organizing my pictures my month and year works the best for me. It takes a couple minutes each month to upload my pictures from my phone to my OneDrive account where it stays safely in the cloud. I use OneDrive because I have a lot of free space available for free, but if you use Google Drive or Dropbox or anything else that is great; whatever works for you.
If I have an event that spans between two months, I put it in whatever month it started in. For example, if I was on a trip from September 29 to October 3, I would put it in the September folder. I put pictures from certain events (like vacations) in a separate folder within that month’s folder just to keep it more organized.
I don’t have children, and I’m not in school so my years are dictated primarily by the calendar year. If your years are marked by the “school year” instead of the calendar, it might make sense for you to have different labels.
Once a month, do an upload of all your photos from your phone and cameras to the cloud and to a backup hard drive. Sort through the photos at this time (it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes). You can delete all the screen shots, pictures of food, multiple pictures of the same thing so you only keep the best photos and delete the rest. Only keep pictures that add to your memory and help tell the story.
Just uploading the pictures to the cloud isn’t enough to make sure your photos are safe though, they should be backed up so they are available in at least 2 places. Typically this means they are on your computer and in the cloud; but they could be backed up onto a flash drive that you keep in a fireproof safe or onto another hard drive that you keep safe somewhere, or onto two different cloud systems.
When choosing a back-up solution you might consider: do you want it just for photos or for everything on your computer/phone? What systems do you use? If you use an Apple phone and computer, maybe storing them in iCloud is good for you. If you use Microsoft computer and any phone, you can use Evernote, Dropbox, OneDrive, etc. Many will connect with your computer and do periodic updates for you. They all also have apps for your phone where uploading pics to the cloud is easy.
I also like to print off pictures to put in an album that I do once a year. I keep small mementos (playbills, tickets, etc) to put in envelope pages that will be placed with the corresponding scrapbook pages. I don’t bother with fancy crafting of pages; when I look at scrapbooks, I like to reminisce, not admire the crafting ability of the creator.
Keeping up with organization is fairly easy because all my photos are digital, and right now they are all taken on my phone. I have my husband send me any pictures that he’s taken if we went somewhere together and I manage the organization of all our photos.