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Cari's Corner

Organizing Ideas and Tips

April, 2016

Get your Photos OFF of your Phone!

I realize that this is easier to say than to do.  The majority of people that I meet take 100s of photos on their smart phones, but do not have a system in place to get those photos off of their phones to save and share.
So, if this is you, please read on.
The problem is that all of our phones take such great photos and videos, and so we all fill our devices up with these precious memories.  But most people don’t take the next step.  You need to get your photos and videos off of your phone onto your computer so that you can protect them, share them, and save them.
Like most topics I talk about there are two parts to this.  The first one is understanding the process and setting up a system that works for you, and the second is getting into the habit of doing it regularly.
There are many different options for how to get the photos off your devices, and I will briefly mention a few here:
Dropbox is my favorite method, because it happens automatically and all you need to do is remember to drag them to the correct place on your computer and delete them from your phone.  Put the Dropbox app on your smart phone, and set it for automatic camera upload.  Any time you take a photo it automatically will be copied into Dropbox the next time you are in a wi-fi zone.  Not only does this mean that all your photos are saved if you lose or damage your phone, but that they are also automatically accessible on your computer (through Dropbox).  Then, once a month, drag all those photos from Dropbox into your photo organizing software AND batch delete them from your phone (except for the few cute ones you want to leave on there to share).
iCloud Photo Stream
For those of you with iPhones, this is another option, but one that I don’t recommend.  When you turn on “My Photo Stream” in your iCloud settings, all photos you take are automatically uploaded to iCloud when you are in wi-fi, and therefore are accessible on your other devices. Be sure to turn on photo stream on your phone and your computer.    There is even iCloud for Windows, so this is not just for Mac users.  Here is the drawback:  Photo Stream only stores the last 30 days or 1000 photos (whichever is greater) and immediately removes anything greater when newer photos are taken.  It also does not store videos and the quality may degrade as it only stores web-optimized versions (not full resolution).  This is not a great solution. 
However, if you want to pay for storage, then iCloud Photo Library is a solution that does not have these issues, and is a great solution to sync your photo library between all of your devices.
Sync with a Direct Connection
Another option for every type of phone is to connect your phone with its cable to your computer and download the photos and videos from your phone.  This is a simple method, and just requires the discipline of regularly syncing your phone to your computer.  If the settings are correct your photo organizing software might open automatically, but if not then your computer should just see your phone like it would an external drive, and you can drag your photos right out of the DCIM folder onto your computer.
On some Android phones you can also remove the microSD card and connect that to your computer with a reader.
Now you are ready to get those precious memories off your phone and save them for the future.  Set a reminder on your calendar or in your To Do List to download your photos once a month.  Make it more often if you take a lot of photos.  When you download, take that extra minute to delete the photos that you don’t need to keep and flag those that are the best for future use.  And don’t forget to delete the photos from your phone – opening up space for more photos!
If you have any questions which method might be best for you, please email me.
Start today!
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In addition to the photo backup that I mention above, Dropbox is a great way to use your own files on multiple devices, or to share files and photos with other people.  With a web platform, and apps for your phones and tablets, and even a desktop version, it is always easy to access your files when you need them.  And if you update a file in Dropbox, then that updated file is automatically available in all other platforms!  Dropbox works with Mac, Windows, iPad, iPhone, and Android.  Free for 2 GB, or 1 TB for $9.99 / month.


About Cari:

Cari is a Financial and Home Office Organizer and a Personal Photo Organizer in the NE Areas of Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley.  As a Financial Organizer, Cari also provides Daily Money Manager services.

Do you have digital photos that need organizing?  Ask about our remote digital photo organizing services.

Cari also offers maintenance services to help you keep your home office in shape, and your papers up to date.  Weekly, monthly or even quarterly sessions will help keep your paper life and bills under control. 

You can find more information about Cari and her services on her website:  Cari's Custom Organizing
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