Photos: How to Keep Your Digital Photos Organized

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I was never big on taking photos until I had my first child. Then I wanted a photo of my baby doing everything: him sleeping, him awake, in each new outfit, with each visitor, and the list grew as he grew.

At first, I used a camera with film, not a digital camera, so the photos I took actually were printed out and I did my best to put them in photo albums. When my second child came around, it was harder to find the time to arrange the photo albums, so my photos stayed in the envelopes they came in.

Soon after that, I was given my first digital camera. I loved being able to see what the image looked like before I decided to print but, like what seems to happen with a lot of us once we switch to digital, I ended up not printing as many photos.

online photo storage

Instead, I simply stored them on my computer. Until my computer crashed and I lost a bunch and realized that wasn't the smartest plan for preserving my children's memories.

I started a blog, added some of my photos to Picasa, some to Shutterfly, and, of course, used Facebook as well. But when I wanted to find a certain photo, I had to dig through all those sites and go through multiple folders; it took too much time and I couldn't always find the photo that I wanted.

Almost a year ago, I found ThisLife and it helped solve my storage and search problems with my photos. I downloaded their desktop uploader and connected my Picasa, Shutterfly, Facebook, and even Instagram accounts and had all of my photos automatically added to my account and organized by date. You can add from other sites, as well, along with photos from your SD cards and phone. You can also share your ThisLife account with other people, so all those photos your spouse takes on his phone can still end up stored with the rest of your family photos.

photo storage

My ThisLife timeline on my iPad

ThisLife has a great search feature. You can search for photos by person, place, and activity. So I can search for that photo of Jack at the beach, building a sandcastle. It's amazing to me that ThisLife's facial recognition actually works on my kids, who look remarkably alike. I can choose what photos I'd like to share with others, too. Everything is private unless you choose to share.

With a ThisLife account, all of your photos and videos are stored safely in the Cloud, powered by Amazon. You can also take your photos with you on the go with their free iPhone and iPad apps.

You can request a free ThisLife invite to try it out for yourself!

Do you have photos scattered throughout blogs and social media profiles? How do you organize and preserve your photos?

Shell—known as @shellthings on Twitter—wrangles chaos and mayhem on a daily basis (otherwise known as raising three boys). When she’s not breaking up wrestling matches or ducking Legos, she spills her thoughts on her blog, Things I Can’t Say. Featuring the popular weekly link-up “Pour Your Heart Out” and a guest post series titled “Things They Can’t Say,” Shell’s blog is all about encouraging community and support among bloggers. In her free time (ha!), Shell is cofounder of Other Half Media, which takes on blogging and social media projects for bloggers and companies alike, including ThisLife.

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