As a photographer and teacher, one of the worst things for me to hear (and I’ve heard it a lot!!) is “I lost my images!! My computer died!! What do I do?!” I am constantly preaching back up, back up, back up. Shortly behind that soap box monologue comes the computer file organization challenge. This includes images and files…as a working mom, creating order in your technological playground is essential to save time and energy. Most people feel overwhelmed at the thought of tackling the disaster that is their computer’s hard drive. What if you had a “Clean Your Computer Calendar?”
My friends at SingleHop have just such a thing and I was absolutely thrilled when they sent it over as a helpful resource for my working moms (YES! You can save and use the graphic below!). They created a 3-week “Clean Your Computer Calendar” that walks you through specific themes and tasks so that you can tackle computer organization one digestible piece at a time. Plus, you get my favorite win – little check boxes to mark your completion as you finish up each task – Way to go, you computer organizing fiend!
I organize my computer files in a few different ways depending on whether the items are personal or professional. For my personal images, I start with year and then separate either by month/date, special event or holiday. That way I can get an idea of timeline for general every day photos while also immediately finding special event or specific holiday photos. For personal documents, I generally start with year and then separate by type (legal, finance, home, medical, etc.). From there I may group similar files in folders together if the situation allows.
For my business, I am extremely specific and consistent with my file structure. All images, files, documents, etc. are saved similarly. I start with year, then brand, then client name. From there, I may have contracts/releases, drafts, completed projects, raw image files and/or edited image files depending on the requirements of the contract. I save these files for several years (3-5 depending on the project – wedding photos get the most!) and then delete.
All major files are stored on external hard drives so that my computer hard drive is free and clear to run as fast as possible. I use mirrored external hard drives that make a copy of themselves so if one drive gets corrupted, the other one steps in and picks up where they left off. As an extra safety measure, I use BackBlaze to back up all computer files, including the hard drive and any connected external hard drives. For image back up, I use PASS, which also delivers my final edits to clients with the added security of online storage. That way, if a computer dies, or there is a fire or other act of God that kills my computer, my files and images are safe in the cloud and can be accessed from anywhere.
SingleHop has some really fantastic options for small business owners who are seeking dedicated cloud storage and organized business management. If your small business is an absolute disaster and you can barely keep up with your daily workflow much less find important documents, you need to give these guys a call! Thank you for the amazing resource SingleHop!
Who will take the “Clean Your Computer Calendar” challenge with me?! If you do use it, be sure to come back and comment and let us know how it went for you!