29 Apr Photo Management and the C word
Have you ever wondered how you ended up with so many duplicate files and random folders in your photo collection?
Today I highlight one reason you might have ended up in a hot mess and explain how being CONSISTENT can help prevent the problem getting worse!
After all we all know that PREVENTION is better than CURE!
Apart from the varying device types, and methods of transferring from them over the years one thing we see all the time that influences our client’s hot mess is inconsistency of naming convention.
Say for example you have 3 daughters with long names for example Elizabeth, Samantha and Caroline
Let’s look at the example of Elizabeth – for more on using PROPER names read this article
You could have named folders and files using up to 8 variances of your daughters names a bit like this;
Beth and just E
then repeat those conventions for every birthday and special event through her life time, these options being for just ONE life event.
Elizabeth and John Wedding Day
Eliza gets hitched
Liz big day
Lizzie and John marry
Liza wedding day
Beth’s walks the aisle
Then add in when daughter #2, Samantha comes along, then Caroline AND THEN and then multiply all of the above by 3. You can see where I am going with this and how easily you can end up with thousands of duplicates, triplicates, quadruplicates and beyond. Simply because you didn’t use a consistent naming convention. The first time you downloaded photos from Elizabeth’s 21st Birthday Party you called the folder “Elizabeth 21st” and then you couldn’t remember if you had done it or not and downloaded them a second time, this time calling the folder “Lizzie’s 21st”, maybe even a 3rd time from a different device, again with a different folder name etc etc etc I can hear you all nodding in agreement, we understand. It is a simply enough thing to do.
By creating a simply folder naming formula (aka naming convention) and then consistently using it every time you name folders or files, you can avoid this kind of chaotic hot mess.
An easy formula to remember is the naming convention of Five W’s
When, Where, Who, What and Why.
For example to 2019-04-15 Easter Show Elizabeth Dance Studio A Performance Troop
You don’t have to use all the W’s every time but you should always use the WHEN first because a computer will look at files alphanumerically and your brain also expects things to be in this order too. Think of using this formula consistently as your key to success
Consistent naming is just one way you can prevent chaotic clutter, for more tips on decluttering your digital photos download our free video tutorial below