Here are 3 ways to consider:
1) Use Facebook or Instagram for a "Yearbook" for your family.
Now you've got a dated outline with pictures that you can quickly pull up and refer to. These are always online, so no matter where you are, you can find an event or person and have a time reference for it. I refer to this as a Yearbook of sorts for your family, not a lot of detail, but a great overview.
If you don't do social media--no worries. Just skip this first step.
Want to keep your photos super simple and do just this? Great. Just skip the rest of this article! If Facebook or Instagram ever shut down, I'm sure they will give you enough warning to download all of your pictures.
2) Limit the pictures/videos on your phone so they are easier to manage.
You can do this in a few ways:
- Only take pictures that you know that you will want. Yes--Mr. Obvious.
- When you have some free time or when you are looking through the pictures, eliminate the duplicates and the bad ones.
- Use short videos and only when a video will be better than a great photo. You probably won't want an entire soccer game, for example. Feel free to shoot the whole game, but edit it down to just a minute of a few key shots. If you think an event is something that you'll want to keep all or large portions of on video, then have a separate folder specifically for John's Soccer Season 2017 or Allison's Violin recitals 2010-2017. Be intentional. Think about what you want to save.
3) Download pictures/videos from your phone once a month in a single file onto your computer, external hard drive, AND online photo storage site. (Yes--Three different places!)
- On your computer, have a folder labeled with the date for this month. I label by year and month as shown above. This October is 2017-10. This keeps all of the folders in numerical order. Since it is now November, I also have a folder for November already created. This way, whenever I download a picture from Facebook that someone else took, someone emails me some photos, or I save them from the school or other website, I have some place to store (and find) these photos.
- First step-- I upload my photos from my phone to Shutterfly. Each month's is on an online "album" labeled the same way they are on the computer. You could use other online storage sites, as well. Shutterfly and usually the others are free and another nice way to share multiple pictures with others. You also can easily make some prints. Some other print options are their photo books, calendars, or photo albums. If my house would burn down, I will have this online backup of all of my photos. The app makes it very easy to do this. It can do this automatically for you, but if you are watching your data, you will want to do it manually when you have internet access. Yes, I could use icloud for this--but it cost money, every month, but it's basically the same idea. Google has a cloud that I've used for pictures. It's free, but I didn't think it was as easy to use. Oh, and Shutterfly doesn't store videos for free--darn.
- After the month's pictures are in an online album on Shutterfly, I upload (or download?) the pictures from my phone right into that file folder on my computer for the month--"2017-10." I just use a USB cord and plug my phone into my computer, a PC, to do this.
- Before deleting them off my phone, I copy this entire monthly folder, 2017-10, onto my portable hard drive. This is my back-up drive for every file on my computer. These are so simple to use. If you haven't done this safety precaution for your files for your computer, order one today. They range is price from around $50-$100 for the size most of us would need. Here is the one I've got. (I did put an Amazon Affiliate Link on this picture but bought mine way before I even thought about telling ya'll about it.) It's not much bigger than a phone.
I am ready for another month of intentional--and meaningful picture taking. The perfect "Smart Martha" combination.