Organize Photos

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How to Organize Photos as a Pro (Both Digital and Printed Photos)

You may find that there are too many photos in your life. Your phone, computer, digital camera and even house are full of photos over the years. For instance, when you go out for a trip, you will take hundreds of photos to record the moment. Photos are always an important part in party, family reunion, travel and many other activities in your daily life. Those unorganized mess takes up a lot of storage space and room. Thus, you need to organize photos to delete duplicates and preserve important ones.

This article is divided into two parts. You can turn a mess of digital pictures into an organized collection. Thus, your phone and computer can regain more storage space. Moreover, you can also group the overflowing printed pictures, photo albums and other physical photo products with the detailed steps. Just read and learn how to sort through old photos as an expert photo organizer.

Organize Photos

Part 1: How to Organize Thousands of Digital Photos

Photos and videos really make your iPhone or Android run out of space, especially for those high-definition photos. To keep your phone clean, you had better move the photos to your computer or cloud storage service for backup regularly. Then you can delete those photos to make your phone run fast. Moreover, you need to upload photos to the SD memory card from your camera to the computer for further management too.

To start with, you can move all photos to your computer for the digital photo organization from the cell phone, external hard drive, CD, DVD, SD memory card, tablet, USB drive, iCloud, Dropbox, Flickr and more. Just download and put all your pictures into a new folder. Later, you can organize photo from multiple sources on your computer with ease.

How to Organize Albums on Mac

Photos is the successor of iPhoto released by Apple. Considering it is a system utility, Photos may be one of the best photo organizers for Mac computers. Its basic features include:

1. This photo organizer could help you manage photos cross multiple Apple devices, such as iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV.

2. You can switch between Photos, Memories, Shared, Albums, and Projects modes to browse photos.

3. Photos supports variety of sources, including digital cameras, iCloud Photo Library, iPhone, iPad, hard drives and more.

4. The built-in photo editor offers some basic photo editing tools as well.

Pros

1. The interface is clear and easy to find what you want.

2. It supports facial recognition technology.

3. Photos is free of charge for all Apple users.

4. Now you can expand its photo editing features with plugins.

Cons

1. The built-in photo editing tools are limited.

For organize photos on Mac, you can launch Photos app on Mac computer. Click Albums button and choose All Photos to access all stored images. Select the images you wanna to add into the album. And you can press the add button to create more albums to add photos into. Choose new album in the drop-down menu. Later, enter the name your album belongs to, and hit OK to confirm. During this period, your photo collections will be sent to new albums, and you can organize photos on Mac successfully.

Photos Transfer from iPhone

How to Sort Out Photos on Windows

Windows Live Photo Gallery is a picture toolkit included in Windows Essentials. Its key features include:

1. You can manage and organize all digital photos or search for certain photo in the gallery mode.

2. It allows you to customize multiple tags to pictures, like geotagging and people tagging.

3. In photo editing mode, you can edit, enhance or correct pictures, and create panoramic picture or photo collage.

4. This photo organizer supports most commonly used image formats, such as JPG, PNG, GIF and more.

5. You can publish, print or email the pictures within WLPG easily.

Pros

1. It is compatible with Windows 7, 8/8.1 and 10.

2. The well-designed interface makes this program easy to use.

3. WLPG is free for all Windows users.

Cons

1. Windows Live Photo Gallery runs slower than other best photo organizer.

2. It needs Windows Live sign up.

3. This photo organizer cannot deal with pictures in batch.

For organizing photos on PC, choose Windows Live Photo Gallery from the taskbar of your Windows computer. Hold the Control key to drag and drop all images, you can rename all images into the same name or different ones. Sort out them into different folders.

And you can connect your camera or smart phone to laptop through USB cable to organize photos on Windows with as well. Type the descriptive name and add tags of photos you collect.

Windows Photos

Moreover, use Google Photos to organize photos is also acceptable. Create the Gmail account if you do not own one. Choose Photos from the drop-down menu, and hit the add icon to Create Album with. Enter the name of your new album, and hit Edit on the top right side of the screen if you wan to modify the destination or photos.

Google Photos

Part 2. Top 3 Best Photo Organizers You Can Organize Photos

Manage a huge amount of pictures is not a simple job, so you may need a powerful photo organizer for your computer. We spent a few days to test popular photo organizing software on market. In this part, we are going to share the best photo organizers in details. You can learn about top 3 best tools for organizing pictures on computers besides the default photo organizer within a few minutes.

Recommend: WidsMob Viewer

If you want to organize 30 years of photos, then it is really a daunting job. There is no doubt that many people choose to delay it. Looking through all those photos is time wasting, especially for Mac users. Well, you need to open and close a photo with Preview per time. Maybe your Mac computer will crash before you organizing photos on Mac successfully. During this time, you can turn to WidsMob Viewer for help. It can be your best way to organize digital photos on Mac in 2020. Here’re some features you can get from this Mac photo organizer.

1. Folder-based image viewing experience: Once you add an image to WidsMob Viewer, you can preview all images in one window within this folder directly.

2. Various photo viewing modes: The thumbnail mode can show you all images in thumbnails. You can view photos in different folders in the library mode. If you want to preview photo in full screen, you can enter into the slideshow mode. The favorite mode allows users to get desired photos. While the EXIF mode can show you the detailed photo information.

3. Wide support of image formats and RAW format cameras.

4. Additional editing tool: You can crop photo, adjust photo effects, batch rename/resize/convert and get more features.

5. Superfast speed: View thousands of photos in a superfast photo viewing speed.

Download for Mac Version

Step 1: Launch WidsMob Viewer. You can click “+” next to “Library” on the top left corner. Add the folder that contains your messy pictures from multiple sources.

Import Photos

Step 2: You will be in the Thumbnail mode by default. Move the slider near the bottom to adjust the size of thumbnails. You can scroll up and down to quickly browse those photos before organizing digital photos on Mac computer.

View Photo with WidsMob Viewer

Step 3: To enlarge the certain picture, you can double-click on it and enter into the main interface. All unorganized photos display at the bottom. You can choose “Enter Full Screen” from the “View” drop-down list to enter into the Full screen mode. Thus, you can get the largest display screen for digital photo organization. Press “Esc” on the keyboard to exit it whenever you want.

Full Screen Mode Viewer

Step 4: There is a small five-pointed star icon on the lower right corner. Click it to add this photo into the “Favorite” folder. You can access all favorite photos by clicking the square icon on the right side of the “Favorite” icon.

Add to My Favorites Viewer

Step 5: In the “Favorite” folder, choose “Select All” from the “Edit” drop-down list. You can unfold the “Batch” list to batch rename, convert or resize photos if necessary. Then you can click the “Export” icon near the bottom to organize photos in a folder.

My Favorite Folder Viewer

Note: You can repeat the above steps to organize photos digitally on Mac into different folders. There is a quick way to sort out photos with WidsMob Viewer. You create a folder on the desktop with the certain theme. Later, you can drag any photo from Viewer’s interface to this folder directly.

Top free photo organizer

XnView MP is popular photo organizer available to Windows, Mac and Linux. According to the developer, it is free of charge for personal or educational use. Its principal features include:

1. XnView MP could read and import more than 500 photo formats. And the output formats supported by this photo organizer is about 70.

2. You can view the pictures in various modes, such as thumbnail, filmstrip, slideshow, and so on.

3. The built-in converter could help you to convert multiple pictures at once.

4. This photo organizer also offers plentiful photo editing tools for editing and enhancing pictures.

Pros

1. XnView MP has extensive features, but it is small and runs fast.

2. It is compatible with a wider array of platforms.

Cons

1. It lacks some advanced features, such as auto correction and facial recognition.

XnView

Top high-end photo organizer

Adobe is famous in visual ecosystem, especially among professionals. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is the image organizer developed by Adobe Systems. Its key features include:

1. You can browse and switch pictures quickly by scrolling screen at bottom.

2. The quick develop feature allows you to batch process and apply presets to multiple pictures at once.

3. This photo organizer could remember your presets and use it on one and another image.

4. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom integrates a lot of photo editing features from Photoshop.

5. It has extensive templates for publishing.

Pros

1. The interface is well designed and user friendly.

2. It could correct pictures based on EXIF data.

3. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom has extensive features.

Cons

1. It is expensive.

2. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom runs slower.

Lightroom

Tips: Backup Photos Online or Use External Hard Drive

After organizing digital photos on Mac, you had better move those large files into another storage space. Because too many files will make your computer run slowly. Every time you use Mac, those digital photos will produce high CPU load. What’s more, you can access those organized digital photos on other computers and devices easily.

Part 3: How to Organize Printed Photos

You may have dozens of boxes filled with old photos, albums and other printed products. Those photos can be found anywhere in your house, like closets, drawers, refrigerator, bookshelf, etc. But it “disappeared” when you really want to find the certain picture. Furthermore, before you moving into a new place, you need to organize luggage, you can take the chance to organize photos chronologically or in other ways you like.

There is no fixed way to put your printed photos in order. You can organize photos by color, date, theme, character and more. Thus, this section will show you the general process to organize photos into albums. You can make adjustments based on your need.

Step 1: Decide Your Final Goal for Organized Photos

In another word, you need to figure out why you want to organize photos. What these organized pictures can be used for? For instance, if you want to make a company slideshow, you can pick out the needed one before organizing the other photos. Whatever, it is a good idea to make a plan before taking actions blindingly. Thus, you can prioritize your actions in the whole photo organization process.

Step 2: Gather All Your Photos Together

It is hard to tell how your photo organizing will be unless you had gathered all previously captured pictures. Well, you can look for photos in photo boxes, albums, books, scrapbooks, jewelry boxes, wallets, file folders, safety deposit box and more. If you clean up your house thoroughly, you may be surprised to know that there are so many printed photos and albums under your bed or other strange corners.

Organize Photo Album

Step 3: Prepare Photo Organization Tools

Different from organizing photos on iPhone, Android, PC or Mac, you need to sort through pictures manually. You had better prepare the following tools to protect old photos and write on the back of the picture.

  • To organize loose photos, you need to use a photo-safe photo storage box to avoid physical damages. (The plastic storage containers are not recommended.)
  • A photo-safe pencil, photo-safe sticky notes and index cards.
  • Dental floss, clean, soft clothe and cotton gloves. (To handle photos carefully.)
  • Rubber cement pickup and other cleaning tools for photos.

Step 4: Sort Out Photos

Sorting photos chronologically is the top choice for many people. If you have no idea how to start to organize loose photos by date, you can check the back of photos. You may find printer’s codecs, receipts and many other clues to know the approximate date of the photograph. Or you can organize photos as a photographer by theme, person, whether, location and more. By the way, you had better throw away magnetic albums. Because these kind of albums will be harmful to your previous memories day by day.

Sort Photos

Step 5: Scan Photos to Make a Copy (Optional)

For some really beloved photos, you can use a scanner to digitize photos to make a backup copy. It would be great if you have negatives and slides. You can get the better color of the scanned pictures. If you don’t want to destroy your album, you can use a portable scanner to scan pages directly. Your photo album will still be intact.

Scan Photos


That’s all to organize photos easily, including the digital and printed photos. By the way, you can make some small gifts with those well-organized photos. For example, you can send a digital frame as a gift to someone with the same memory. Or you can make a photo or video slideshow with those pictures. It is also a good idea to make a digital photo book with your favorite pictures. In addition, you can print family photos on a canvas to decorate your house with low cost. If you have any other good ideas about taking advantages of the grouped photos, you can feel free to share with us.

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Peter Wood
Peter Wood
Peter Wood, a senior editor, focus on photography design and editing software and devices.

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