Sunday, December 7, 2014

Day 8


Ooooh, I was fuming on my walk today. My sister in-law is planning a really special gift for my mom that takes time, so she needed me to send over pictures of the boys and my niece as soon as possible. She asked me for this a week ago. For a week I kept forgetting, then I would remember and do a quick search of my 10,000 photos and come up dry. Every day I put it off until the next day. Yesterday was the very last day, and again I couldn't find anything. She gave me a 24 hour stay of execution and I sat down this morning again to search my digital storm of pictures. It was like trying to search for a pin in the middle of a hurricane.

I was so upset with myself that the Mister finally told me to get out of the house and go for a walk. I did, and when I came back I was calm enough to search for the last and final time. I was finally able to find 4 pictures--two from Easter and two from Christmas.

Four pictures. FOUR. I have 11,959 photos on my hard drive alone. I have several thousand in dropbox and I don't even know how many backed up on disks and external drives. This doesn't even count my iphone pictures, of which I have far too many.

I've had enough! I must organize these pictures. I must find a way to organize them into some sort of album. From this point forward I should be okay, especially with the way I'm blogging. But for the last, oh, 15 YEARS? I'm pretty much screwed. So, so so very much screwed.



For years I've been debating a proper album solution. I've looked at Project Life. It seems good, but expensive. I should be able to avoid the cost by buying supplies with Michael's and JoAnn's near constant 40% off coupons. The 4th grade teacher--my boss--is a scrapbooker. She even holds scrapbooking weekends. I know of almost every online book making thing (technical term). Even Project Life has gone digital, but I hear you need to use photoshop or some such program.

Every time I find a solution, I find a reason to talk myself out of committing. The thing is, most systems look so...scrappy. Or crafty. Or, I don't know, glittery. I want a return of the days where your album was acid free paper, picture corners, and a few words.

 Too many choices! Too many years! Too many much this is me freaking out oh my goodness gracious FOR THE LOVE OF PETE.

29 comments:

  1. This is my bossy big sister taking over. Completely ignore me if you'd like. I promise not to be offended.

    You absolutely can buy albums that are acid free paper and picture corners. If that is what you want to do…DO IT. I can even email you links if you'd like.

    The easiest way to start is by organizing all those pictures on your phone/hard drive. My pictures are organized by year and then month. And then each month has a folder for phone pictures. Here's the other thing…we take WAY more pictures than people used to (thank you digital age) but are scared to purge. PURGE. I have a dump file for bad pictures because those are always family favorites and I have plans to some day make it into an album but if it's just a "eh" picture and I have 20 like it already - trash can. When I want to scrapbook, I print out a couple of current months and then a couple of months on the scrapbooks I'm working backward on (I work back by year from when it got out of control). When I get those done, I order more.

    Okay, done with the pushy, overbearing thing. I just know how easy it is to get caught up in analysis paralysis before a project like this when really the best thing is to just start.

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    1. Clapping for Katie! I was going to say the same thing - WHO SAYS you have to do anything besides acid free pages, picture corners and a few words? Where is it written that is the only way to handle your pictures?! I'm going to be starting this same project in January and will be taking such a simplified approach because I want it DONE and no one is grading me. You can do this!

      Also, the one thing I'm focusing on is my true intention for this. It isn't to hand down a bazillion perfect albums for my kids ~ its to hand down something that jogs their memories of their childhood and documents their names for posterity. I'm so amazed at how much our recently departed great-great aunt could tell us about their family ancestry with just a small album of photos (not a speck of glitter, fancy scissor or card stock in site!)

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    2. Thank you, Katie. Your advice is fabulous. I'm going to start organizing my pictures this way. It's just getting started that overwhelms me, but I like April's advice. I can do 20 minutes!

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    3. +1 for purging - as the daughter of a hoarder I'm all to aware of the need to never let things go, especially when it "doesn't take up any space" like digital files. So I've instituted a strict policy to self-police my digital hoard. EVERY time I flip through pictures, for any reason, on my camera as I'm taking/reviewing them, or showing them to friends/family, or later when I'm looking at them to decide which to put on facebook, or even when I go back into an album to find certain images, I make decisions about which image best captured the moment or the memory or the person, and DELETE the others. I do the same with other kinds of digital items. I think I started doing this as a conscious decision when I heard the term "digital hoarder" and thought it cut a little too close to the bone.

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  2. I like this simplified version of project life:

    http://pinkronnie.com/memory-keeping/
    http://pinkronnie.com/tag/project-life-tips/

    I haven't done it personally or read all her posts (only browsed her blog a few times), but like you said above, probably simpler and cheaper to produce with office supply stores. Only the printing might feel cost prohibitive, but then it forces you to get them off the hard drive.

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    1. Yes! this is exactly what I was looking for. I followed her years ago but then lost track. I may have deleted her in a purge episode. Thank you!!!

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  3. No photoshop needed for the Project Life App (but it is iphone/ipad only for now - android apps are in the works). It's super simple and you can load pictures from your phone or dropbox. It prints in 8x8 or 12x12. Just another option.

    It is overwhelming! Do what you are comfortable with and if that's simple, do it. I love to paper scrap for a creative outlet but my family loves photo books (think shutterfly, etc) so I do that too. A mix of both meets my needs. Clearly yours are different so do what works. Is it more important to have it organized or in the hands of your family? That should help guide your decision.

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    1. I think the art of scrapping is wasted on someone like me. I like my pages so simple that it would be pointless to buy any kits. Also, I'm such a word person. That's another sticking point. Finding a system that can accommodate both stories and images. I guess that's why I've stuck with blogging for so long! I think something like Artefact Uprising is the way to go for me.

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  4. I can sing the praises of Project Life all day long, but I'll just mention that they have an app, it's very easy to use, and you can print the pages at Costco/Walgreens/what have you.

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    1. OK, that's good to know. This is why I ask! I guess I'll just have to put all my pictures on the cloud to access them from my ipad.

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  5. Re-reading my comment and needed to clarify. The project life app has the same pocket style areas for your photos (or journaling cards) and you can drag and drop into each slot. The layout gets saved on your phone/ipad and then you can print as individual pages or make a photo book. There are lots of great videos and examples for it. I like the ease of it but if your photos aren't all digital then the physical product is more your speed. Just no need to print out digital photos if you don't want too.

    Also, organizing by month/year is a great start. And not every photo needs to be on a page. I have huge gaps in my scrapbooks and I'm thinking of just starting with a year and making a yearbook of just that year. Not much journaling, just getting the photos off my computer in some form so my kids can see pictures of themselves as babies before they have babies of their own. Curling up with a photo book is easier than with a computer.

    I could go on and on ... I love everything about photos except for the overwhelm of my disorganized mess. You're not alone - good on you for wanting to tackle it!

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    1. Thanks Beckylinn. Excellent point about putting some pictures in a book just to have something tangible. I'm going to remember that when I'm working on years from so long ago that piecing things together chronologically will be challenging.

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  6. Um, artefact uprising. Simple, albums, beautiful printed, beautiful paper. SIMPLE.

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    1. I checked them out and they are perfection. I just ordered my Christmas cards from them! Thank you for the recommendation. I feel MUCH better now.

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  7. The online photobooks that you seem leery of (Blurb, Shutterfly, MyPublisher, etc.) are SUPER easy and don't require any special software. They are the best thing that ever happened to this wanna-be-but-never-found-the-time scrapbooker. They're just like scrapbooks except they take loads less time. You can either choose each design element and place each photo in yourself, or you can say, "Build it for me" and it will, putting the photos in chronological order in a design theme of your choice. It's so simple and so easy. Build it now for free and save it, and then wait until they mail you a good coupon to buy.

    Even if that's not your thing, you can start organizing your photos just by sorting them by year and month. That alone will help you SO MUCH. If you want, after that point you can sort down further by day or by event as is your preference, but just start with year and month.

    Also, PURGE! Be ruthless. If you have two (or twenty) photos that are similar, delete all but one. Force yourself to pick the single winner, even if several of them are worthy contenders. And for the love of all things good, even if it's a cute moment, if it's blurry DELETE IT. If you would never print it out to keep or post it on your personal Facebook for friends/family to see, it should not be taking up digital storage either.

    It is hard and will take a lot of time, but if you do just 20 minutes a day, you will make good progress and be so thankful later that you took the time today. Just 20 minutes. You can do 20 min! :)

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    1. I did a Shutterfly book years ago for the choir and it took me so long! I suspect that I deliberate too long as I'm making the books.

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    2. I'm going to check out My Publisher. I haven't checked them out.

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  8. I'll second April who mentioned MyPublisher. There was one project from 2008 that I'd put off until this year. I finally decided to make the photo album on MP and it turned out amazing; some have mistaken it for a professional coffee table book. I'm not a scrapbooker though, so MP may or may not be what you're looking for (though they do have scrapbook-themed designs as an option), but their software is very user-friendly if you decide to just test it out! Otherwise... best of luck! I know how tedious and overwhelming organizing digital pictures is... that's why I decided to just call everything pre-2013 a loss and vowed to be more organized from now on. ;)

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  9. I love digital scrapbooking. May I also recommend Paislee Press: http://paisleepress.com/ ? Minimalist and beautiful. I used her Blurb book templates to make a photobook of my son's first year and I'm working on the second one. The hardest part is picking which photos to include!

    Is it the sorting the photos or doing something with the photos that drives you bonkers?

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    1. Doing something with the photos is what overwhelms me. I can organize all day long without a problem. It's deciding on a display system that's killing me.

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  10. At least you know where your digital pictures are. I think I may have lost a few years. I'm a horrible mother.

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    1. Oh, I've lost pictures. Most of Nico's studio pictures, in fact. The digital ones are safe, at least.

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    2. I agree! I have a few photos of my life growing up. Most times it was a great moment, not every single moment. Like building a cardboard house with my cousins in our bathing suits caught on camera. Someone mentioned about being a horrible mother about not knowing where photos are. There are a few 'horrible' mothers out there, but losing photos or having unorganized photos or having no photos at all a bad mother does not make. Just means you are in the moment capturing photos with your mind and heart. Let us all hit the 'take the pressure off' button. You are all good mothers! :)

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    3. That's weird I meant to reply to 'oldschoolmom's comment. Which makes more sense on the "I agree part" but for some reason my comment jumped up here. Hmmmm

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  11. I'm looking forward to you solving this problem, as I have the exact same problem.

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  12. Ive been making an album yearly since my eldest was born. Two key points: i don't strive for perfect even very well designed. Pictures are what matter, and then some words to accompany them.
    I'm using a site similar to blurb/shutterfly ( i don't live in US so the specific one is irrelevant) but the key thing is HARD DEADLINE: my preferred site runs promotions where one can pre-pays for an album and get a very good discount ( sort of a groupon deal ) but it has a non negotiable expiry date to be used by. Since i usually print out 3 copies - one for grandparents on each side and one for us, I have an easier time making the deadline ( see point 1 for "it doesn't have to be perfect " ,'cause, it really isnt'.) as it would be wasting a non negligible sum of money otherwise. The deadline makes it easier also not to spend an eternity picking the pics and then same for making the album. Because,time pressure. So good for making the internal perfectionist just STFU.

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  13. Doesn't your blog count as picture documentation? Too much pressure on yourself, Mrs. Kendall. Whenever I freak out about my lack of photo organization, I remember the pictures of my childhood. Like all 10 or 20 of them. That's about it. As an adult, how many pictures of your childhood do you have displayed or kept? It's really not that many. Or at least not in my family. Besides that, think of your future daughter in laws who will thank you for not creating shrines and encyclopedia like documentation of your sons.

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  14. For the volume of pictures that you have, I think Project Life would be the best. Wait for sales/coupons to buy the supplies and put those pictures in the sleeves. You don't have to use a lot of cards that you can buy for the project. Just get the gridded or lined cards to jot down notes about the pictures. The bare basics. You don't have to be fancy. You also don't have to go chronologically. That will get you in trouble. Find pictures that you're in the mood to work with and go from there.

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  15. I spent the better part of this year (off and on for weeks) organizing about 20,000 digital photos. They still aren't perfectly sorted, (I'm gonna have to do another sweep soon) but they are so much better than before. I normally love to organize, but digital photos are my nightmare. I think it's because they aren't tangible. I can organize 'things' all day long, but not being able to physically put something where I want it is the worst.

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