ORGANIZING MY ENTIRE MAKEUP COLLECTION
The Best Ways to Sort Out All Your Digital Photos
1. Delete, Delete, Delete
It's hard to admit, but true: Not every photo is precious. Taking loads of shots in the moment ensures you'll end up with a good one, but make time to wipe out the duds later, says Elizabeth Dominicci, productivity consultant and president of Innovatively Organized. One device at a time, transfer the images to your desktop, edit them down and ditch the ones that are flawed or blurry, she says. You won't miss them.
2. Set Up a Folder System on Your Computer
Most experts agree that photos should be organized by date instead of event. Start with monthly folders—you can always add event subfolders, such as "Florida Vacation," within them. For new photos going forward, install photo organization software like Google's Picasa (free). It sorts photos chronologically, so be sure your camera's date is correct, says Aimee Baldridge, author of.
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3. Make the Best Shots Easy to Find
Most types of photo-organization software allow you to highlight individual pictures or groups of photos and add keywords, also known as tags (such as "birthday" or "Uncle Jerry"). The software will remember these words so you can search with them later. These programs often also let you star your favorites or tag them "to print" (if not, set up a "to print" folder).
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4. Back Up Everything
High-quality photo files are so large these days that they can bog down your computer's hard drive, so you're probably better off keeping your photos on a plug-in external hard drive, says Mike Hagen, owner of Visual Adventures and author ofThousands of Images, Now What?Then, save them all to the "cloud" (a site such as Microsoft's OneDrive or the website Flickr) as a second backup. "But don't rely solely on the cloud, as even big companies can go out of business and leave you in the lurch," says Hagen.
5. Print straight from your phone!
The GrooveBook app (.99 a month; free to download) lets you select 100 of your favorite phone photos per month, then mails you 4½" x 6½" perforated albums.
If you never get around to plugging in your point-and-shoot camera to get the photos off (or you can never find the darn cord!), consider a Wi-Fi memory card (such as the brand Eye-Fi, from ;), Hagen says. The card's built-in signal lets you download photos to your computer wirelessly. Many new cameras even come with this function built in.
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