My Method for Organizing Digital Photos and Videos

As you keep filling up your phone with pictures and videos and then occasionally copy them to your computer, you must be thinking, I must organize my pictures. This method is also very effective for backup purposes as it leads to an easier way of getting all pictures and videos backed up. More about that in a future post.

Folders on My Hard Drive

My main computer is a laptop with a relatively small hard drive. There isn’t enough room to store all of my pictures and videos going back many years. I purchased an external hard drive, similar to this one. Within the hard drive, I set up a folder structure:

You’re probably wondering how I have folders going back to the 1920s – there were surely no digital cameras then! I use these folders not only to store pictures taken now but also scanned pictures. This simple year method allows me to keep all pictures, regardless of where they originated.

Within each year folder, there are subfolders for each month. For example, in 2017 the structure is as follows:

Then, within every month, there is a series of folders and pictures. If there is a specific event, such as a birthday party or and outing where I took a lot of pictures, I would create a folder there. If I have just a couple of pictures that were taken while out, they are put in the folder for the month. This short amount of time spent figuring out how to organize your pictures is well worth it in the long term when you want to find them!

For example, this is the folder for July 2005. There were several event where I took pictures such as a wedding, or in the cases of folders labelled like ‘weekend 15-17, it’s pictures from that weekend. The remaining pictures are others that were taken that month that didn’t warrant specific categorization.

You will also notice that the pictures are named a certain way. The method I generally use is to name the file based on who is in the picture and/or where they are. Also, when I say picture, a short video taken with my phone would also be included in the same folder where pictures are stored.

Scanned Photos

As for scanned photos, the storage method is identical. If I have a collection of pictures from August of 1962, I will scan them and create the appropriate folder structure. In some cases where I don’t know the exact year, I have created folders such as ‘1960s’ and then keep the pictures there.

Other Categories of Photos

If you look at my year photo structure from earlier, there are 2 additional folders listed:

  • Family pictures
  • scan

In any way of storing pictures and videos, there are always exceptions. In my case, as part of my genealogy research, I also have collections of old photos that I don’t want to store in the year/month/event method. For these, I keep the ‘Family Pictures’ folder where I can store pictures based on other categories.

The ‘scan’ folder is where I keep scanned photos that haven’t yet been categorized and placed in folders.

As you develop your own storage system, you will find a system that works for you. The key recommendation is to keep all photos in a common folder structure as it makes backup and copying much easier.

Next time we will talk about making backup copies of your pictures and videos.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

You don’t need antivirus software

What’s that? I can just picture the look on your face when you read the post subject line. I don’t need antivirus software!?

shocked look

Ok, I’m not being completely honest. While you don’t ‘need’ antivirus software, I still recommend it. Good antivirus software may prevent a nasty virus from hitting your computer.

For years we’ve been advised to have antivirus software on our computers to protect us from deadly viruses that can corrupt or destroy our important files. And if you properly protect your important files then it doesn’t matter if you have antivirus software or not – you can recover everything. If all of your files are backed up when disaster strikes, then you can get it all back. Even if you have both your computer software backed up (like Windows or Mac operating system) and your data, who really wants to have to do all the recovery work when an antivirus program might have neutralized the virus threat before it took hold.

Besides antivirus software, there are some thing you can do to keep your computer safe:

  • only go to sites that you know are trusted
  • when receiving email attachments, don’t open them unless you both know who it is from and you are expecting something to be sent
  • only install trusted software on your computer

virus detected computer

Even with doing the above mentioned items, you might still get a virus or some type of malware if a known site gets or even a friend gets hacked. I will have more to say in a future post about what to look for in antivirus software but if you are looking for a quick recommendation to either

  • keep your computer protected
  • neutralize malware or a virus that has infected your computer

I recommend checking out Malwarebytes

A few years ago when I was searching for software to clean up some malware on my computer, I tested a few different programs. What I liked about Malwarebytes is that it offered the full program functionality for free. This means that you can have it scan your computer to not only find malware and viruses but also it will clean things up. When it comes time to recommend software to put on my family and clients’ computers, I tell them to pay for the yearly fee to get the full version.

The full version gets you real time malware and virus scanning. What is the difference? Real time means it catches viruses as they try to infect your computer. Earlier I mentioned that you should be vigilant in what websites you visit. When you have Malwarebytes installed and you reach an infected website, it catches the problem before you even know it. Think of it like a personal security guard always waiting to protect you right on your computer!

Check out the link below to see the options for purchasing a license for Malwarebytes. I highly recommend running the free 2 week trial first and a full scan of your computer.


Malwarebytes for Home | Anti-Malware Premium | Free Trial Download

Do you have another program that you prefer to finding and catching viruses? Let me know in the comments.

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail