It’s hard to beat free, right?
As I sat down to write this post, I almost launched into the importance of backing up your photos, or the best backup strategy, or backing up versus syncing, and then I had a little chat with myself. I said, “Self, back it up a bit. Start with free and easy!”
We’ll get to other backup topics later, but first I want to talk about my favorite FREE easy-to-use tool for organizing your phone photos. No downloads, no signups, no trial periods. Best of all, it’s a tool you already have handy (pun intended).
Introducing … drum roll, please … your finger. Any finger. Works for both lefties and righties. Totally wireless and no charging required.
If you’re like me (or billions of other inhabitants of this planet), you use your phone for all sorts of photos. Not just adorable first day of school photos or vacation sunsets, but every single thing we want to remember and keep track of. So then what? Our phones are bursting with thousands of photos, we can’t find important or favorite photos when we need them, and we have to pay for more storage. That’s crazy.
Here are the three things you can do right this minute to organize your photos with your finger of choice:
1. Delete “informational” photos and screenshots you no longer need
Earlier this year we painted the exterior of our home. It was a substantial investment, and choosing colors makes me hyperventilate. I met with a color consultant who pulled paint chips and provided lots of options. Too many options. Overwhelming options. How was I supposed to keep track of all the combinations? Click, click, click.
Thankfully, the house is painted (none of those options, by the way), and we are all set for a while. Bye-bye paint chip photos.
2. Delete duplicates and duds
During the pandemic that shall rename nameless, we finally bought an Instant Pot (I know, I know … we’re late to the party). My daughter and I went a little crazy trying new recipes, and of course, we had to document the recipes with photos. Full disclosure … we tried a bunch of non-Instant Pot recipes, too, and created a spreadsheet of all the dishes we tried, complete with recipe links, comments, ratings, and things to do differently next time. Because we’re nerds. But I digress …
We weren’t particularly careful about plating, and the photos weren’t styled. We just wanted to remember what the dish looked like. Why on earth did we need to take multiple photos of the same food from the same angle? It’s not like anything was moving (thank goodness!) to spoil the shot.
One photo of each dish will suffice (plus maybe a closeup if we really want to remember the details). Goodbye to five different photos of rotini pasta in the same recipe.
3. Mark your favorites
How many times have you scrolled endlessly to find the photo you’re looking for? You know it’s in there. Maybe it’s one you want to keep going back to, but each time you search, it’s the same frustration and you start to feel a bit like Bill Murray’s character in Groundhog Day.
Earlier this year I decided to pick up my long-lost habit of counted cross stitch. My first project was a lovely purple flower, and I was thrilled to take a photo when it was done.
Just a quick tap on the heart at the bottom of the screen turns it into a favorite and adds it to the Favorites album. Now I can find it quickly and easily.
I use the heart to mark favorite family photos and crucial need-to-know information, like how to reassemble the coffee bean grinder after cleaning it. I just can’t risk a coffee emergency.
Using the free tools at hand, you can begin organizing your photos whenever you have a few spare minutes.
So there you have it. Start deleting the images that are just cluttering things up and mark your favorites for easy viewing.
Oh, and if you get carried away and delete something you meant to keep, just head over to the Recently Deleted album where you can recover it within the next 30 days.
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