Productivity Tips – How to Organize Your Photos


A client of mine is struggling with what has the potential to become a huge time suck: 

organizing family photos 

I’m an avid (amateur) photographer, so I understand how some folks can amass a huge, overwhelming quantity of photos if the process of culling and organizing is not implemented along the way. If you end up taking on the responsibility of needing to organize a family member’s photos, the mountain of pictures (paper or digital) might turn into the opposite of happily strolling down memory lane. 

Such is the case with one of my clients. Various family members from older generations passed away, and she took it upon herself to gather up the photos. Now a member of her immediate family must divest himself of his 30 Banker’s boxes of pictures because there’s no room in his living community for that. 

The project seemed daunting, so we broke it down into smaller, manageable pieces, based on frame of mind: 

1 Your health and well-being must come first. 

Well, that’s an odd way to kick off project management for a photo organizing project, but it’s a necessary mantra to accept. If this project is allowed to take over your life, you won’t have time to live your life with purpose, nor fully concentrate on other important responsibilities in your professional or personal life – all of which affect your overall productivity. 


2 Give yourself permission to not be the caretaker of family photos and heirlooms. 

This can be hard to accept when you’re such a kind, caring person who doesn’t want to lose these countless pieces of family history. But you do not have to become a photo librarian or archivist. Saving and organizing a boatload of photos will not carry on a legacy. But having the time to carry out actions in other parts of your life will. 


3 Not every minute needs to be catalogued. 

This can be an odd concept to grasp, especially with so many people glued to social media. Humans have survived for centuries without photographing every minute of their day or every day of their life. You and your living loved ones can survive without that immense inventory. 


4 Toss “photo album rules” by the wayside. 

Forget about: perfect chronological ordering; labeling individual photos with date, place and subjects; artistic shapes and sizes; photos of the same subject from multiple angles; collecting photos to represent each month of every single year. Instead, think about keeping two or three photos from major time periods or events: 

Elementary, middle and high school time periods (instead of each year) 


Wedding (highlights) 

Trips (favorite two or three pics from each adventure) 

Life overall (a few photos from each decade) 


5 Think about your time and storage space. 

If the previous recommendation about how to scale back photos frightens you because you fear throwing out or deleting a lot of photos, think about this: Where will you store boxes and boxes of photos? Or, how many hours and/or how much money will you spend on scanning all of them? Or, if they’re already digital, how much time will you devote to sitting in front of your device and organizing 10,000 photos so you can find what you want? And how many gigabytes of cloud memory are you willing to rent for photo storage? 


Once your frame of mind is ready for this less-time consuming and more productive approach to a photo organizing project, you’ll be ready to glance at the resources I’ll share with you in next week’s post. 



For more strategies and tips on how to create more time to live life with purpose, take a look at The Inefficiency Assassin: Time Management Tactics for Working Smarter, Not Longer. 

About Helene Segura, M.A. Ed., CPO®

As The Inefficiency Assassin™, Time Management Fixer Helene Segura empowers professionals on the go with the tools to slay lost time. Personal inefficiency at work leads to increased stress levels, lower morale, higher absenteeism, more turnover – and rising spending on employee health care and hiring. Why not improve productivity, decrease stress levels, and increase profits instead?The author of four books – two of which were Amazon best-sellers – Helene Segura has been the featured organization expert in more than 200 media interviews. She has coached hundreds of clients to productivity success and performance improvement by applying neuroscience and behavioral modification techniques to wipe out destructive, time-wasting habits.Helene turns time management on its head by sharing both client case studies and pop culture examples to teach her mind-bending framework for decreasing interruptions, distractions and procrastination so that companies can spend more time generating revenue.

Leave a Comment