25,523. That’s how many photos I have on my phone 😯 and that’s only from August 2016 – now.

The norm is to feel Photowhelmed. You are the exception if you have a plan in place that keeps everything organized.

The key to not being overwhelmed with anything is to break it down into do-able tasks.

If I told you, “go through 25,000 photos and start organizing” that’s just not going to happen.

If you break it down into stages, it can happen. Depending how far buried you feel in pictures will determine your course of action. If you are years in, it may be best to use a more general approach just to catch up to present day and then you can choose a different route from there. You may have a family WhatsApp group or a photo stream – you can use those photos and make a book with those and then start at present day.

OR just start from today. And maybe once you’re in the groove you can go back and pick some favorites over the years. Or not, which is totally fine too. My point is – just because you’re currently Photowhelmed, doing nothing about it because you feel you are too many years in, doesn’t help. You can start from today and start to feel organized, you don’t need to continue feeling overwhelmed just because you already are.

 

Last year I shared a tutorial of what I do at the end of every month. This can also be done at the end of each day, or week.

In short, I go through the pictures on my phone and favorite the ones I want to use for a photo book, or for whatever you want to do with the photos.

For the sake of this post and tutorial videos I’m using Shutterfly because that’s what I use – but the same methods of organizing can be applied to other services, or to printing actual photos for an album.

At the end of the month, I upload all the pictures I chose to “Favorite” from that month to a photo album using the Shutterfly app – this way they are sitting there ready to be used.

This is what I mean by breaking it down into steps so it’s not so overwhelming. Favoriting pictures at the end of a day, week or month can be done anywhere – lying in bed when you’re looking at your pictures, spend an extra minute to favorite your best pictures. If you get to an appointment early, use the time on your phone instead of scrolling Instagram to scroll your photos and favorite them.

The reality is we take so many photos, often many of the same moment. Taking the time to pick your favourite ones and have them organized by month is a small thing to do but will be super helpful to feeling on top of your pictures.

The next step is to decide how often you want to do something with your pictures. Every 6 months? Seasons? Up to you.

Whichever you decide, you can still break it down and work on something at the end of each month or you can wait until you’re ready and do all the months together. Regardless, when you get into the website, you’ll have organized photos by month and because of that the process will be much easier.

I make books every 2 months, so I made video tutorials showing some options.

Option 1) The fastest option. You choose to have the website place the photos for you – they will do it in chronological order.

Pros: FAST, can be done in less than 5 minutes.

Cons: They tend to spread the pictures out and the books are very big which makes it more expensive.

Option 2) Make me a book service – you send in the pictures and they have a person curate the book for you.

Pros: a professional makes your book

Cons: $10 fee on top of price of book

Video tutorial showing Option 1 and 2.

Option 3) Place the photos yourself using their storyboard tool. You choose which pictures go in each page. They will then pick layouts.

Pros: More control, can have many pictures on one page resulting in a more normal size book.

With this option you can choose to do the minimum and still have a beautiful book. You can also choose to take time and add text and stickers. (Can also do this with option 1)

Cons: I don’t really see any cons because you have control over how simple to how complex you want it to be. The con is it can be time consuming. Although the more you do it, the faster you get at it.

Option 4) I essentially do option 3, but because I make books every 2 months and things repeat over the years, (think annual superbowl party – football stickers. Holidays – stickers that symbolize those) I like having all my stickers and backgrounds already there so I make a copy of my previous monthly book, delete the pictures and start again.

I’ve been doing it for so long that this is what I’m used to and feel comfortable with, but it’s easier to do Option 3 and save some steps. I felt for transparency I needed to show what I actually do. You could “favorite” on Shutterfly the stickers you like and the backgrounds you like, and then you would have fast and easy access to them as well. I didn’t include that in the tutorial, but you just click the heart on the sticker and/or background and it will save them for you in your favorites.

***The time Option 4 makes more sense, is when you are making a book with a specific layout and you want the pages to stay the same but just to swap out the pictures. For example, a Baby 1st year book. In that case, you make a copy, remove the pictures and then add new pictures. Don’t delete the pages, just drag in the new pictures. That could save you a lot of time!!

Video tutorial showing Options 3 and 4 and includes a tutorial how to make a custom photobook.

I hope this post and the tutorials can help you feel empowered to do something with your pictures and feel less Photowhelmed. Please feel free to ask any questions, I’m here to help!

 

Step 1) Favorite pictures in phone

Step 2) Upload those photos to albums on the service you will use

Step 3) Use any of their options to use the photos to create a book or print your favorites

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