How to Organize Photos: Avoiding Project Burnout

by Sally J.

in * How to ORGANIZE Your Photos, Free Articles / Blog

The curse of the half-finished project.


Photo by Ben Kelly, pope24, some rights reserved


You made your New Year’s Resolutions. You started your photo organizing project with tons of enthusiasm. Oh, yes, you told yourself. This year is going to be different.

But now it’s February, Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and…well…


Here are some tips to keep your photo organizing project from fizzling out before you finish.


1. Set realistic goals.

If you place the bar too high, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Pick realistic goals. Remember the baby steps. I’ve talked about this in more detail before. Here’s a link to that article.

2. Make photo organizing as fun as possible.

This technique not only works, it makes the whole project more fun. I call that a win-win situation. One of the simplest ways to increase the fun factor is to play your favorite music. Even better if the music goes with the photos you’re working on.

Another win-win is to invite someone to join you. Make it a regular date and you’ve added an extra layer of “get it done.” Just think of it as a quilting bee for photos. You know, like a photo bee! ::grin::

Miriam Midkiff’s awesome Scanfest uses this same idea to help folks complete large scanning projects. This completely free event happens once a month. Follow this link to learn more about Scanfest.

3. Hire a photo coach.

I don’t talk about this often, but you can hire The Practical Archivist for coaching via phone or email. If you live within driving distance of Madison, Wisconsin, we can arrange one-on-one help in the comfort of your own home. Email me if you’d like to set something up: sally -at- jacobsarchival -dot- com.

But, really…as long as you’ve got a solid preservation plan for your family photos, any personal organizer or coach can help you stay on track. Just don’t rely on a “clutter buster” for safe photo storage boxes, OK?

4. Use tech tools as your personal trainer.

If all you need is a regular reminder to stay on track, there are plenty of free tools to choose from. Here are three to get you started:

Future Me – write yourself a letter to be delivered at a later date.

GottaKeepUp.com – Get reminders at work, home, or on the go.

rminder.com – Enter your reminder and receive a voice or text message to your phone to remind you. You can sync these reminders with iCal, Google Calendar, Yahoo Calendar and more.

But be careful! Technology can just as easily enable bad procrastination habits, as I warned you earlier.

Good luck.

Keep at it.

You can do this!

“Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps.”

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{ 2 comments }

Phil May 19, 2008 at 6:39 pm

the other thing you can do is have somebody else do it! there’s a website that’ll put your pictures on dvd for you. they call it video photo albums.

Miriam February 17, 2008 at 10:06 pm

This was a great post, Sally, and not just because you mentioned Scanfest (grin)! It was timely for me, because I think once mid-February hits, so do the doldrums in lots of areas of our lives. Here in the northern latitudes, we’re tired of snow and just want to get on to something new. It’s hard to keep going on a project that may have lost its newness.

Your tech tools look great…I’m going to have to check them out! I use Google’s Calendar e-mail reminders, but sometimes having new tools and gadgets can help spark interest in old projects, too!

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