Don't rely on Facebook to organize your images.

How many pictures do you take every day? And then what do you do with them? Do they sit on your computer or do you upload them to Facebook? Last year, 200 million photos were uploaded every day to Facebook.  That’s about 6 billion photos per month. With last year’s count at 90 billion photos housed on Facebook, it is by far, the largest photos site on the Internet. If you are like me, most of my photos on Facebook are fresh, shot just that day or maybe over the recent weekend. I’ve never added an old shot and I almost always add them from my phone. That’s a TON of pictures, people!

Organizing photos on your computer regularly will help you remember and relive your memories.

Organizing pictures has been a thorn in my side for as long as I can remember. Not because I don’t know how, but simply because of the sheer volume of pictures I take. Back in the day when we used film, I did a fantastic job staying current on printing pictures because I had no choice. If you wanted to see them, you had to develop your film. Too expensive if you let them pile up, I would drop off my film at my local Costco, do my shopping, grab my photos and be on my way. Once I got home, I’d hold my breath hoping that most of the shots would be good enough to keep, knowing I’d likely have a handful to throw out each and every time.

Thanks to digital photography, we have the ability to take literally hundreds of pictures a day, filling our memory cards to the brim, and only once they are full, finally downloading our pictures to our desktops and in many cases, we never see them again. Oh the pictures are perfectly fine, its the part where we never display them, share them or see them again that’s the real kicker.

No matter if you are on a MAC or PC, here are 5 tips to help you organize pictures that will make them seamless to store and easy to upload into your next photo book, collage or calendar project.

1. Downloading Pictures: Your success to having organized pictures begins with downloading them on a regular basis. It doesn’t matter if its weekly or monthly, just pick a time frame, put it on your calendar, and make it happen. Most phones have calendars and reminders that you can set up. Why not set up a consistent alert? Have technology remind you to use technology!

2. Deleting Pictures: I tend to do this as I go, but it can be easier to delete pictures once you see them on your desktop in full view. Your goal is to keep your digital files clutter free, full of only the most cherished photos just like in the old days when you had no choice but to toss the terrible shots.

3. Filing Pictures: A simple filing system is best and monthly is a great place to start. After years on a PC and now a MAC, monthly has worked beautifully for me in both places. Most of us can easily remember events by month and it gives a natural prompt for easy retrieval of holiday and seasonal special events. If you prefer, you can instead file by the special event forever etched in your mind. Or create a file for upcoming projects. Possible titles could be: Great Pics For Holiday Card, Matthew’s 8th Birthday or Pictures of Our Dog. This will help you better organize and categorize your images.

4. Tagging Pictures: Once you’ve set up your photo files in a way that makes sense for you, you will want to take the next step and plan time right after each download to tag your photos.   Tagging is simply applying keywords to help you more quickly search your library with success. I use iPhoto and like to tag both by person and event. This makes it a snap to find photos from just about any angle I might want. One way to tag by person is by using FACES.  When you chose this feature, you’ll be given the chance to identify literally every face in your photo library.

Another way to tag is to use KEYWORDS.  When you select the Keywords option, you are given the opportunity to add more key words via the Edit Keywords function.  You can create as many keywords as you like, giving you the option to search again by name or by special event. Here are some of the keywords I have.

5. Sharing Pictures: We take pictures so that we can remember the memory and share it with others. And when you images neatly organized, you can quickly turn those memories into tangible photo books, cards, calendars and more, in minutes!