photos – how to organize your photos


What’s the best way to organize my photos on my computer?


John here – I do 2 things that I think help.

First – I rename all my photo files to the format yyyy-mm-dd description ####.jpg. On my Windows PC I do this with a program called Better File Rename. Better Rename 10 looks like an equivalent for the Mac. The yyyy-mm-dd is the date the photo was taken. This date is stored right in the file so any rename program ought to be able to access it Note thought that the date and time of your camera has to be set correctly. The description is just something to help me find the photos – so something like “California” if that’s where we were travelling. The #### is the original sequence number from the camera’s default file name – it’s just to keep them in sequence. If I’m using 2 cameras, or a camera and my smartphone, I might add hh-mm after the date so I can merge the photos from multiple cameras into a chronological sequence.

Second – I have a very structured series of folders. The image to the left shows my high-level folder structure. The “Other Pictures” and “Smaller Pictures” folders are mostly places to keep pictures I don’t really care about, but have had to create for a specific use – like posting to forums. The “Family Pictures” is what I consider the most important.

I noticed the Picasa folder in the image on the left It was an awesome program for organizing photos. It even had face recognition and could be taught to find all pictures with a certain person in them. I used it for years, then Google bought it, then they cancelled it and instead offered their Google Photos. It’s not near as good as Picasa was but it is getting better all the time.


This image shows some of the subfolders within my “Barb’s & John’s Pictures” folder. First – I have a folder for each year, or decade from the days when I didn’t have may photos. I create a folder in the year folder for trips in that year. I expanded 2017 to show an example of this.

This is all subjective with the aim being having a manageable number of photos in each folder. If the number gets to be awkward, I find a way to split the folder. This allows me to drill down and find just about any picture I want.and my personal pictures – showing the separate folder for most years. I expanded 2017 so you can see how I add folders for trips.

A Google search for “What’s the best way to organize my photos on my computer?” found lots of great articles. Here are links to 2 of them…

10 Tips To Keep Your Digital Photos Organized

10 Ways To Improve Your Messy Photo Collection

If there’s something you do that helps you keep your photos organized send me an email and I’ll add it here.