We all want to say YES to that question! But managing our digital photos is completely different and certainly more complicated that managing our printed photos. Most of us have seen printed photos that are more than 100 years old, right. Because a print is always a print. Provided it is kept safe, you can view it easily and pass it from one generation to the next.
Digital images however, require regular attention and ongoing management to ensure they are visible 100 years from now.
There are mainly 4 steps to get your digital life in order.
Step 1: Hunt & Gather
Find your old camera cards, look for picture CDs and DVDs. Think about if you have any old phones lying around with phots on them. You can buy cables if you've lost the originals. Think of USB drives (flash drives, thumb drives are other names) Also, External Hard Drives. If you don't have one now, you will want to get one ASAP. Make sure it's compatible with your computer.
Once you have everything together, you are reading to go to Step 2.
Step 2: Plug in your External Hard Drive (EHD) Create a folder and name it Photos. Insert every one of the camera cards, flash drives, CDs, etc. and copy EVERYTHING over to the EHD. Make separate folders on the EHD IF you have have the devices labeled. For example, if you have a camera card that's labeled Disney Cruise 1995, then create a folder with the same name and put all the pictures from that camera card into that folder. Continue with this until all your photos from all your devices are copied over to your EHD, your digital Photo Hub, INCLUDING the more recent photos on your computer or your phone.
Now, we need to organize the digital photos. Continue to make folders and place your photos where they belong. While you are doing this, you can eliminate duplicates and blurry photos. There is software that can help you with this. Just Google Photo Organizing Software or click HERE. I sometimes use Photo Mechanic. But you don't really need software to organize your photos, you can do it yourself. That being said. duplicate finding software can be a real time saver. Photo Sweeper for Mac and there are quite a few choices for PCs.
Backup, backup, backup. Now your photos are organized on your EHD. But you have to upgrade your EHD every few years. Cloud storage is another option.
There are many different types with lots of different features, so do your homework. Some are free, but most you have to pay a fee or an annual subscription. Dropbox, Google Drive and Amazon (which is free if you are a Prime member) are good choices, as is Backblaze.
Click to listen to podcasts about Organizing Your Digital Life with Sherita