Digital Photo Organizing Idea

Today when I checked my photo software on my computer, I had 29,083 photos. The first problem here is that I need to get many of them off my computer & onto a hard drive so my computer doesn't go kaput on me, but that's a post for another day. The second deal here is,

"How in the world will I ever organize that many photos?!?"

Well, I'll be honest here, I don't plan to go back & organize all 29,083. Thankfully my software does organize them by date so that helps. Over the years, the digital photo world has made gift ideas, especially for grandparents, much easier. I can always go back, by date, & find just the photos I need for a calendar, a mug, a mouse pad, a photo book or a framed photo. Just to be able to do that has been great. But so many times I was just making gifts for other households & not my own. How was I to get these photos into books in my own house?

Many years ago, I took a scrapbooking class from a friend who talked about the importance of our handwriting in a photo book. Now the online books are great, don't get me wrong. They're quicker than making a scrapbook, colorful, & fairly easy to make. However, you don't get to write in them like you do scrapbook that you place photos in by hand.

About 8 years ago, when my oldest turned 5, I had an idea. (Of course, this is before Pinterest when I still had my own ideas.) I had my son make his own scrapbook of the his favorite photos from his first 5 years. I had him write captions in it, add stickers he liked at that age & just let go of any expectations I had for how it would look. It turned out great! At that point, I decided that I would encourage each of my kids to create their own book every 5 years. So far, we've gotten 4 books done & my middle child turns 10 in a couple weeks & we're already gathering photos on a file with her name on it to get printed to make the 5th book.

So, no there are not thousands of photos printed in dozens of books or frames. In fact, we've missed a bunch, but there are these treasures that will be with them forever. And my kids each have books that remind them who they are. They see their own handwriting at 5, 10 & eventually 15. They have looked at those books more than any other book in our house. They show them to their friends, laugh out loud, tell stories about the photos & enjoy them thoroughly. It wouldn't be the same if I had made them or had them done online.

This would also work for us big people too. Take the pressure off yourself of trying to organize all of them. The next time you're inspired, pick a year or three or five or maybe one event & start a file labeled "photos for book," start pulling in your favorites, get them printed & have at it. It doesn't have to be fancy with all the stickers & such, just your photos, your handwriting, your story. Trust me, that's the best one to tell.

"Organize your what?"

"Twiggy" Artist unknown

Help You Dwell received a strange request a few weeks ago...

"Can you all do what you do in people's houses with my head?"

At the time it seemed a little bizarre but mostly intriguing. We began meeting with this lovely lady and started a journey that has been inspiring to say the least.

In the process, HYD realized that most everyone can benefit from some brain organization.

In America today, most of us are over-committed, drained, tired, and too busy to do things as well as we would like to.


One thing that we have found to be helpful in life organization / time management is to make a list of your commitments:  Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly. Do you feel over committed? What in your life is draining and what is life giving? Writing things down helps us compartmentalize and simplify.  However, list making is not for everyone.

Anna Rusakova

Anna Rusakova

For HYD, the unique challenge of life organization and time management is that each person connects with different ways of thinking.  For some, a list makes everything clear and manageable but for others, like the client we spoke of earlier, a list is more overwhelming than helpful.  Learning how to help a creative, imaginative, passionate artist & photographer make a plan that she can tackle, one step at a time has been really fun. We are realizing that using visualization of the tasks, talking through the scenarios, making clear action plans are some of the key ingredients for getting the brain in order for our dear client. Sometimes it's just more fun to make a mood board or an art journal for your life than to write a list.

Through our research on this journey, we also came across a fantastic resource for artists who seek organization.

Zachary Smith

Zachary Smith

The brains behind "the organized artist";Ms. Bennett, gives simple, clear guidelines to help entrepreneurs, artists and the like get their projects on the road to fruition.  We learned so much from her experience with many creative folks over the years.  She also has a couple of great books available on her website HYD enjoyed reading through for more specific tools to success.

Once again HYD's cup runeth over as we walk this journey with our client.  Her passion for living life fully is contagious and her commitment to tell the stories of those she walks with will inspire anyone who gets to hear them.  We are learning everyday here at HYD and loving every minute.