You take approximately one million family photos with your phone until you reach your phone limit. And then when you’re forced to clean your phone off you probably back them up to a random file on your computer or cloud. But most of us probably never get around to organizing or displaying those memories. It’s a shame, and definitely one of the downsides to our phones being our primary memory recorder. Yes, it’s super convenient and we have way more photos of our kids now then when you had to dig out the old point-and-shoot or DSLR, but because there are so many we often neglect organizing and actually printing them. So I thought I’d share a few easy tips for keeping your family photos organized so you can access, print, and display them — so you can stop only documenting your memories, but actually preserving them as well.
1. Create a family photo stream.
One of my favorite ways to share and keep track of our favorite family photos is by creating a family photo stream. My husband and I have one so we can share the best photos that we take on each of our phones whenever we’re out and about or home with our kids. Sometimes I would never see the adorable little gems my husband would take on his phone — with the photo stream we are always sharing and never miss seeing them. It is also an easy way to find and save our favorites instead of sorting through a camera roll with 2000 photos, half of which are blurry, duplicates, or just random pics.
If you have an iPhone and don’t know how to set up a photo stream, go to your “photos” icon on your phone. Then tap the cloud icon where it says “shared”. Next hit the + sign to set up a new shared stream. Invite whoever you want! I have one with my husband and one with the moms from my playgroup where we’ve shared photos of our kids for 5+ years!
2. Delete as you go.
If you are taking 25 photos of your kids in a row hoping to get just one usable image (I know my kids never stop moving so there are so many blurry photos in my camera roll or the endless photo bursts!) try to go back and delete the bad and blurry ones. I often “favorite” the best one, edit it and rotate it the opposite direction so it stands apart from the rest, and then go back and quickly select and delete the bad ones. It is a fast and easy way to remove unwanted photos from your phone, that way you aren’t backing up all of those unwanted images when you back up to your computer.
3. Backup to your computer monthly.
An easy way to keep your images organized is to do a monthly phone backup to your computer. That way, instead of dumping 2000 photos to a general “phone backup” folder where all of those images get jumbled and lost, you have your memories organized monthly. If you haven’t been doing this, just go back and create monthly folders and then sort the photos by date taken and drag and drop them into each month’s folder — it will take a little time but is so worth it in the long run.
4. Use Dropbox as a backup.
My favorite way to be able to access and backup all of my images across all of my devices is with Dropbox. That way whether I’m on my desktop or laptop, I can find what I’m looking for. And if anything were ever to happen to those devices, all of our memories are backed up online to our Dropbox account. It’s also a fun and easy way to share folders with family and friends.
5. Do something with your favorite photos.
We don’t have to print out a roll of images anymore, which is way more convenient. But we should print or display our favorites. For vacations, special occasions, and yearly documentation of my kids I like to create coffee table books or memory books. I’ve made them for our engagement photos, wedding photos I loved that didn’t fit into our official album, our honeymoon, and other family vacations. I made one for the first three years of Charlie’s life, but once we had a second baby my time and ability to make albums myself went downhill. In fact, the last album I made myself was back in 2013. But then I discovered a way to make those family albums without actually having to do them myself…
The solution? Shortcake Albums! They design the albums for you and they are such wonderful quality! They are very similar to the wedding album we paid a lot of money for years ago but cost much less. All you do is give them access to your photos either through uploads or your social media accounts and a professional album designer does all the work, including sorting and selecting the best photos. They will send you a proof for approval and you can make edits. And then they send you a beautiful album that you can display and look at for years to come. They are truly beautiful heirlooms. You can order here and get 10% off your first book with code LOVELY10 and get a peek of mine below.
Our Shortcake albums are beautifully styled, laid out, and organized. I love the simple but pretty linen covers and gold foil titles. They are memory books you want to display and the pages are thick and sturdy so my kids can take them off the shelf and look through them and I’m not worried about any damage. I can’t recommend them enough.
I hope these tips help you get your photos off of your phone and organized so that you can preserve and enjoy them for years to come. Do you have any other tips or favorite ways you keep your family memories organized?
Albums c/o Shortcake, Inc.