Organizing is one of my favorite words. Nothing clears my anxiety more than seeing things in their place or knowing I have tackled a disaster of a situation.
Control freak? Maybe.
But let me tell you, I have found it hard to keep up on my OWN digital file organizing and it is pretty much my job as a photographer and small business owner. I have let things get out of hand a time or two and so I can completely relate to your overwhelming feelings of digital organizing.
First and foremost, you HAVE to have offsite backups. You don't know how many times clients reach out to me for their digitals years later because they have lost everything on a failed hard drive. Don't let this happen to you!
Here are a few quick tips for managing the task.
Offsite storage - I use Crashplan.com which is for small businesses. For only $10 all of my drives are covered, even my external hard drives but there are a lot of options out there. Even Amazon prime offers unlimited photo storage. To me, I prefer something automatically backing up from multiple drives that way, I am 100% covered. As mentioned above, you need to make sure your data is being backed up. It really is the #1 priority. Don't forget to back up your iPhone photos too!
Organize by year - Every year (ehhhmm... it's first quarter still so it's a great day to start!) I make it my goal to start fresh at the first of the year. I wrap up organizing the year before and head into the new year with a fresh slate. I prefer to name all files by Year, Month, Day, and then Subject. For example, "2021-01-25 Jasperson Family" that way, no matter what, all of the files will always be in date order.
Organize by subject - I keep photos and documents separate because I prefer it that way.
Use Dropbox for Document Scanning - Dropbox offers 2 gigs for free and they have a pretty nifty document scanning option. Using the camera on your phone, you can quickly scan mail, bills, paid invoices, or anything with text in seconds. It then saves to your dropbox which you can sync with your computer. I name the document similar to the naming convention mentioned above so they are all in date order. The scanning quality is great too! Every once in a while when dropbox is getting full, I drag and drop the files onto my Documents on my computer. It is SO EASY. I HATE stacks of paper and this is the only way I have found to reduce them.
Give yourself some grace - Last year's digital files a mess? No worries, take small steps to make this year better, and if you get around to it work on years prior.
Did I miss anything that helps you stay on top of digital photos and docs? I'd love to hear it!
Until next time,