Keeping photos and videos organized

We all know the challenge of keeping photos and videos organized. After all we take hundreds of photos every year. They go into the cloud (Google, MS) or stay on our phone. Maybe your cloud provider modifies those photos (effects, resolution) and you never know which photo is the original and where it is stored.

The following chapters describe how I keep my photos/videos organized.

The Phone

First of all I turn off the automatic backup that is built into Google Photos.

Turn Off Automatic Backup

Next I install FolderSync and setup it to move my photos from my phone to my PC. FolderSync supports lot of protocols and cloud providers. I’m using simple password protected network share.

Folder Pair in FolderSync

The PC

I usually let FolderSync to move the files according to schedule. I don’t use other app to schedule it since FolderSync’s every day/every x hours scheduling suits my needs. I have configured it to create timestamped folders so the end result looks something like this on my PC.

Timestamped folders on my PC

After photos are on my PC I go through them to see which ones I want to keep. I usually do that at least partially with my phone but this is kind of a final acceptance. Also sometimes I take tens of pictures/videos and I don’t want to suffle through them while on the go.

Next I use Total Commander with Exif Plugin to rename the files based on the EXIF date.

Renaming pictures

As you can see in the picture (“New name” column) this gives you file naming scheme YYY-MM-DD_hh-mm-ss which is good for sorting. The rename mask I’m using is as follows:

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[=exif.DateOriginal.Y-M-D]_[=exif.TimeOriginal.h]-
[=exif.TimeOriginal.m]-[=exif.TimeOriginal.s]

As video files don’t have EXIF tags I’m using either created or modified timestamp for the file name.

Renaming videos

The rename mask is as follows:

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[=tc.writedate.Y-M-D]_[=tc.writetime.h]-
[=tc.writetime.m]-[=tc.writetime.s]

The Cloud

Finally I’ll move my new photos to their final place on the hard drive. From there Google Desktop Uploader uploads them to the cloud and I can browse them on my phone.

Google Photos on my Phone

As Google gives me unlimited space I can upload all my photos there. I know Google resizes photos/videos but that doesn’t bother me because I treat Google Photos as an online photo album and not as a permanent storage. Currently I have ~35 gigabytes of photos/videos in Google Photos completely free of charge and I can browse them on any device.

So far I’ve been happy with the solution. I could automate renaming and moving of files but I haven’t got to it yet. Hopefully this post gives you some ideas how to keep your photos and videos organized so that you can enjoy them for years to come!