How to Organize Your Photos

Do you take a lot of photos? Do you feel overwhelmed by keeping track of them all?  Just after L was born, I realized that if I was going to keep taking photos of her at the average count of 10-15 a day, I probably definitely needed to get a photo management plan in place.  So, I took some time, did a little brainstorming, and came up with a plan that works for me.

I'm going to share that plan with all of my overwhelmed readers today and even talk about the editing software I use, printing options, and saving those photos for the long-term.


1.  Once a month photo dump.  I take photos with my iPhone 5 only.  At the end of the month, I sit down and pull everything off of my phone that I have taken that month and upload them to my computer into a designated folder.

2.  Organized folders.   My folders are labeled with L's name, the month, and the year.  I upload photos once a month to their designated folder.

If there is a special occasion in the month, such as Christmas or Easter-those photos get their own designated folder and it is labeled, for example, "L Christmas 2012".  If The Hubbs and I have gone somewhere without the kiddo and I took pictures, that gets labeled its own separate folder, too.  For example:  We took a trip to the Lake of the Ozarks in October of 2012.  Can you guess what I named that folder?

I have one other folder that I have created and it is called "Favorites".  These are photos that are my absolute favorite.  Once a month, when I do my photo dump, I COPY any favorite photos from their designated monthly folder into the favorites folder after uploading.  There are some months that there are one or two, other months  there are more, and there have been some months that there haven't been any.  Remember this folder!  We will talk more about this later!

3. Upload photos to an online photo server.  DO NOT EVER TRUST YOUR COMPUTER TO SAVE YOUR PRECIOUS MEMORIES!  Once you have uploaded your photos to your computer, upload them somewhere online.  I upload a monthly folder to Facebook and a monthly folder to (I use WM to print.) I organize these photos online the same way I do on my computer.  They each are titled with the month and the year.


That's a scary word, isn't it?  Yea, it was for me too, until I found....

Seriously, this is the best online editing place I have ever used.  I used to use Picnik, but they are no longer working.  I was sad to see Picnik go, but PicMonkey has become my new favorite.  It is constantly open in my browser since that is what I use to work on the blog, too. 

I do not sit down and edit a whole months worth of photos.  If something needs to be lightened, darkened, tinted, cropped, I will do that.  If I take a photo and think, "Oh that would look cooler in black and white!", I upload it to PicMonkey and change it to black and white.  I also make collages in PicMonkey.  Those can be really fun.  If you need a tutorial on how to use PicMonkey, please go visit Danielle over at Blissful and Domestic and she give's a wonderful basic tutorial on how to use PicMonkey.  


The coolest thing about adding some special touches to your photos?  They can be printed that way! Yes, you read that right!  If you add text, change a color, add a boarder; most of the time that stuff can be printed exactly how you have edited it.  A lot of people don't realize that.  I used to work in a photo lab and would see so many cool shots and I finally started asking the customers how they did it and usually it was a plain 'ole editing software or online photo editing page!  BRILLIANT!! Make sure you ask your photo printer first to be sure.  I know Wal-Mart does it, but I am unsure of others.  

Here are some photos I have edited using PicMonkey and have had printed:

Don't be scared to play with your photos!  You never know what you might uncover in a regular 'ole snapshot! If you follow Danielle's tutorial, you will be editing like a pro in no time!

1.  Printing every three months.  I do a major print order every three months from  I go back through the last three months of photos and the favorites folder that I have previously uploaded to their on-line photo storage (this includes any edited photos I may have done) and I select what I want to print. I always hit the favorites folder first, select what I want out of there, then I go and check out the other folders.  I get my cart full, make sure I have the number of copies I need (sometimes I print extras for others, frames, etc.), and I hit submit.  Sometimes I have them shipped to the house or I go and pick them up later, it just depends on what is going on that day, week, etc.

2. Photo albums, frames, etc. Everything I print either goes in a photo album, L's baby book, a frame, or my awesome Hobby Lobby photo boxes.  Frames are reserved for very special photos.  For example, the one above where L is wearing the pink headband, was printed out immediately and several copies made.  It is one of my favorite photos of her.  Documented milestones go in the baby book, of course.  Then I decide what I want to put in an album.  The rest go in a photo box.  Those photos are kept in the sleeves they come in and are labeled with the month and the year they were taken.  


I use flash drives to save my photos. Every six months I go in and pull my folders off of my computer and move them to a flash drive.  Once that is finished, I delete the photos from the computer to clear up some space.  I then start all over again with uploading photos to the computer. The flash drives are kept in our fireproof safe.  


*Be consistent.  Upload your photos the same time every month.  Whether you do it the last few days of the month of the first few beginning days of the following month, be consistent.  Set an alarm on your phone to do it, use Google Calendar to send you an e-mail alert; whatever you have to do to remind yourself, just do it.  

*There is no need to do all of the above in one day.  We are busy people.  We have jobs, kids, extracurricular activities, and emergencies that all need our attention.  Break the steps up into two or three days'.  Heck, sometimes, I take a week!  Whatever works for you, do it.

*You do not have to print every photo you take.  Be selective.  I love my daughter and I think everything  (well, most everything) she does is pretty darn cute and I take pictures of those cute moments, but I don't print all of them.  You will overwhelm yourself by printing hundreds of photos at a time.  Don't do it.  That's why there is a favorites folder!

I hope some of these tips help you feel less overwhelmed.  I have been  using this system for a little over a year now and I am definitely not as overwhelmed as I was when I first started trying to figure out how to manage it all.  Feel free to share, tweet, or pin this post so that others can feel less overwhelmed, too! 


  1. Great tips on that! I try to do a weekly dump only because I take way too many photos and I won't have enough room on my cards.

    1. Thanks Dina! Weekly photo dumps are good too, that way if you have had an exciting weekend, you can dump it all off your phone to start fresh on Monday. Thanks for stopping by! Have a great rest of the week!


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