I have a confession to make – I've recently become somewhat of a deal-buying junkie. And the things I buy are photo albums.
I suspect my thinking was flawed and I thought, like many of us do, that if I buy a photo book deal, like magic, my photos would organize themselves and jump into that book.
Not so, my friends.
You see, my photo organizing is probably the least organized part of my whole life. Even if it doesn't seem that way, I hate feeling like I'm always behind with a chore, a bit like laundry actually.
I had a mad scramble last month to get a photo book done on the last day.
I've since tweaked my system somewhat so that I never have the situation of processing months and months' worth of photos in a day or two.
1. Find an easy naming system
Think about how you're going to retrieve the photos at a later date. I have a folder in My Pictures called 2011, and then 01, 02, 03, and so on, plus a folder for organising and one for crafts.
2. Download straight into the monthly folder after every major photo-taking session or weekly
It's far easier to sort through 50 rather than 500 photos. If you take photos daily, you might want to do this once a week.
3. Go through each pic and be ruthless about deleting the duds
I've become a lot more relaxed since my children were born but I still aim to only keep print-worthy pictures.
Would you print that photo? No? Then delete
When you postpone making decisions, it leads to clutter.
4. Make useful subfolders in either My Pictures or the current year
I have a To Print, To blog – Organizing Queen, To blog – personal blog and some project folders like my year in review project.
I compress all my blog pics and copy really good pictures to the To Print folder.
Note I said copy – you don't want to accidentally delete the good ones.
5. Compress photos for online sharing
It's easier to share smaller pics with your friends and family via email, online web sharing or Facebook if your pics are compressed first. A lot of corporates automatically block emails of 2 MB or bigger so you may be marked as spam.
Bonus for bloggers
If you want to really save time, you could upload the photos to your blog and save them to drafts. Then all you have to do is type the text and publish! This explains why I have so many items in drafts!
One last thing – please do a back-up of your pics as often as you can.
You definitely don't want to lose any precious memories so make sure you back up regularly.
Marcia Francois is a time management coach and speaker who inspires busy women to break out of overwhelm, make the most of their time and take purposeful and focused action so they have the time and freedom to live life to the full. Visit http://purposefultimemanagement.com for your free Time Management Purpose Pack.