Are you able to retrieve an image a family member requests within a minute of being asked?
A collection of images that is not organised is like a book without an index, virtually useless if you need to retrieve something efficiently. There are evangelists around who spruik about the advantages and disadvantages of different methods of organisation; some people even part with good money to purchase books on organising ones images. You just need to find a method that suits you and stick to it.
So how do I do it?
WARNING: this may not be the best or most efficient method but it works for me.
I treat photos and images of documents separately. There are three places where I store images:
Photos are organised using free Picasa software from Google. Stored on a portable hard drive (and backed up on another) are my 90,000+ photos. These are arranged chronologically in folders by date; earlier ones just by year, from the 1990s by year and month and from the 2000s by day. Each photo is tagged with one or more tags that describe the when, where, what and who of the image. Typical tags for a photo might be Rootstech, Salt, Lake City, 2012, Thomas MacEntee, Amy Coffin or Jill Patricia Curry, 1956, First Communion, St Vincents College Chapel, Potts Point or Restaurants, 2010, Sydney Opera House, Food and Drink (for one of my many photos of food).
When I travel the hard drive goes with me so that I can organise and tag on the go. Now that Qantas has power outlets on planes used for international journeys I am able to use my time in the air fruitfully and arrive home with some of my stuff already organised.
Images of documents as described above are stored in folders according to my very simple Fling it in the Folder method. These are stored on the same portable hard drive as my photos (and backed up on another). Screendumps that I use in presentations are stored there in the folders I make for each presentation I prepare. Having the hard drive with me when I travel allows me to save images of new documents straight into one of my folders once I have entered details gleaned into my Family Historian database,
Bits and Pieces found during web wandering Those images that I find interesting like genealogy cartoons I clip using the Evernote web clipper, tag them and file them away in Evernote. They may at a later date find their way into Picasa or a folder but, in the first instance, they are saved into Evernote where I can easily retrieve them.
Use whatever pleases you but if you can't put you hands on an image within a minute it's time to ponder a method that allow you to do so.
|1920s images in Picasa