How I Organise My Digital Photos

There’s no point in trying to hide that fact that I’m a bit obsessive when it comes to particular ‘things’. Taking, organising, dating and naming photographs is one of those things.

I take such pride in both my organisational skills and my hoard of photographs from over the years, so I thought it would be nice to show you a snippet of how I store the hundreds and thousands of photographs I take each year!

Image used in header image found here.

Organise and store photographs by year:

Images Folder

Folders sorted by years

2015, 2014, 2013, 2012… There aren’t many things that make me as proud as seeing the number of yearly folders increase over time, all filled with amazing memories that I’ll be able to look back on in the days to come! My folders begin from ‘2008 and below’ (because I didn’t take many photos as a child), rising yearly til 2015. We’re nearly onto a 2016 folder, too! One of my favourite things to do on New Years Day is sit down and right click ‘New’, ‘Folder’ and create a whole new space for the year to come.

In my main ‘Images’ folder where I store the yearly folders, I also have a folder for snapshots of interesting code (that I haven’t got around to type up and saving elsewhere), a folder for my photography which I use as desktop backgrounds and a folder dedicated solely to the cats – otherwise, the other folders would be huge and 50% animals instead of all the wonderful memories of me and Matt!

Date and title each event:

Images Folder

An example snapshot of the dated and titled folders

Within the year folders, I categorise each set of photographs as an event, even if it’s as simple as ‘that time we took photos on the day I got my selfie stick’. Without the dates, it would be a lot more inefficient and difficult to look back on ‘last summer’ or ‘near Christmas’ if you were looking for specific set of photographs. I also give each ‘event’ specific titles that would jog my memory when I browse through the folders.

Sometimes when I’m bored or feeling nostalgic, it’s easy to find myself mooching through the years looking back on all the simple days that we’d forgotten!
If a photograph, or set of photos, doesn’t belong in an ‘event’, I simply add them to the 2015 folder so they appear below the categorised folders.

Keep on top of the process:

Major advice time: if you don’t, but would like to start organising your photos like this, I highly suggest you don’t leave it months and months before you begin transferring and organising all the photographs you have saved on your phone and camera. If you do, it could take hours.

A few days after a major event like a holiday or a birthday, I set aside an hour or two to collect all the photographs off all devices me and Matt own – both phones, both iPads and cameras. After transferring, I begin the process of organising, renaming and dating the events.

Back-up your photographs:

Can you imagine going through this hassle and then having your laptop stolen or it suddenly breaks? I don’t know what I’d do, personally. My entire life is held within this folder structure. In the pre-2008 folder, there are hundreds of scanned baby photos of me and my brother, family photos from days out as children, childhood friends, pets that are no longer with us. In later folders there is a record of mine and Matthew’s entire relationship. I’d hate to lose it. I’m terrified of losing my memory, so I guess this is my way of over compensating.

I have several back-ups. They are stored on an external hard drive, a copy on Matt’s laptop and most of them are also stored on DropBox.

Think about physically printing them:

Although digital images are wonderfully easy to store, space saving and cheaper, it’s still nice to hold your favourite images in a physical copy. This could be in photo albums or in photo frames. Either way, after storing all of the photographs away it’s lovely to make sure some of your favourites are on display!

Do you take many photographs? Do you store your photographs digitally? Do you use a similar folder structure as me?

Thanks for reading,



23 thoughts on “How I Organise My Digital Photos

  1. I do almost exactly the same thing you do – except I’m a software developer, so I do things a little bit differently (and this will drive you nuts once you figure it out) – I write the dates on the subfolders yyyy-mm-dd. You want to know why? Because then the folders sort correctly.


  2. You’re well organised. How do you find dropbox, I hated it because it was easy to upload onto dropbox but downloading in mass seems to be a problem. I like Googles drive becasue you get 15Gb free and it’s like a like a folder strutcure and it’s easy to share from within the drive platform.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are very very organised. My husband will love you.. because he thinks I am such a slob on my laptop. I never tidy up my desktop and it forever stays messy. I am cleaner and neater in other aspects of my life. He wonders how I ever find something and I’ll replied with “Finder and Spotlight, duh!”

    Liked by 1 person

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