Can you easily find a document?

Have you ever gone into overwhelm trying to find an important document on your desk or in your file cabinet because you can’t remember where you put it?  That used to happen to me quite a lot until I discovered a wonderful new way to file everything – it’s called The Productive Environment Finding SystemTM that was developed by Barbara Hemphill of the Productive Environment Institute.

I’m in the process of building a house and applied for a mortgage.  If you’ve ever applied for a mortgage you know that you have to supply a lot of financial documents to the lender.  That’s what happened to me recently.  In the past, I would have gone into total panic and overwhelm sifting through file folders in my filing cabinet trying to find what I needed.  But not this time.  With my PE Finding SystemTM I was able to find all the documents I needed, scan them, and upload them to the lender’s system in just a few minutes.  I was so excited that I didn’t have to waste hours trying to finding these documents.

So, you ask, how does this system work?  It is a searchable file index for your files or anything else that you want to be able to find quickly – one of the tools in the Total Office Transformation program by the Productive Environment Institute.  Think of it as a Google search for your documents.  Instead of filing everything alphabetically and trying to remember if you filed the title for your car, for example, under “auto” or “car” or even the make of the car, such as Subaru, you put the documents into a numerical filing system and setup a cross reference file index with the description or tags for what you put into the specific file. https://memorylanephotosolutions.com/can-you-easily-find-a-document/

Going back to the example of the title for my car.  Let’s say that the next numerical file number I have available is 20, so I put the title for my car into that file.  I then go to number 20 in my File Index System and type in the following description and tags: title, 2020 Subaru.  Now if I need to find the title for my car, I open up my File Index System and search for the word title.  It will bring up the listing for number 20.  I go to that file and there it is.

When I was recently packing to move, I went through all of my files, threw a lot of old stuff away, and neatly organized them by categories into one file drawer and three plastic file bins.  I thought I had done a great job of organizing and consolidating until I implemented the PE Finding SystemTM.  It did take me several hours to put all of my files into this new system, but when I was finished, I only had 2 plastic bins full of files, along with my one file drawer.  I did go through every one of my files and ended up consolidating a lot of files because I realized that I had similar documents filed under different names.  Now, with the Finding SystemTM, I have similar documents in the same file and I have tags and descriptions for them in my index system.

The PE Finding SystemTM also makes it very easy to file new documents that I receive.  Using my File Index System, I check to see if I already have a file for documents of that type and then file them into the appropriate numbered file.  If I don’t have documents of that type, I find the next available number in my File Index System and add a tag for that document under that number in my File Index System and add the document to that numbered file.  It saves a lot of time and effort.

If you want to learn more, click here to get your Productive Environment Score™ and apply for a free Office Transformation GamePlan™ Session.

Certified Productive Environment Specialist

Why do we procrastinate?

Why do we procrastinate when it comes to preserving our photo memories? Why do we procrastinate

We all say that we want to preserve our photo memories.  That someday we’ll get around to it.  We want to do preserve them because we don’t want them lost or thrown away and because we don’t want to be forgotten.

But the photos are still sitting in boxes and bins or old photo albums stored in the closet or the basement or in drawers and cabinets waiting for that someday.

The definition of the word “procrastinate”, according to the Merriam Webster dictionary, is “to put off intentionally and habitually; to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done.”

We all know that we should preserve our photos but we don’t.  So, why do we procrastinate, especially when it comes to our photos?

According to the website “Solving Procrastination” there are many reasons why people procrastinate; here are a few:

  • Fear of failure – you’ll never get it all done
  • Lack of motivation – you have other things to do right now
  • Lack of energy – you’re too tired
  • Laziness – unwillingness to put in the effort to achieve your goals
  • The need for instant gratification and therefore not willing to stick it out to complete the process
  • Lack of perseverance or the ability to maintain goal-driven behavior when faced with obstacles
  • Distractibility or the inability to focus your attention on one thing for a given period of time

I would like to add a few of my own that I have heard from individuals pertaining to their photos:

  • Unwillingness to make the time
  • Finding excuses such as I’m too busy or I don’t have the space to work
  • I don’t have a dedicated space to work
  • I don’t know where to start

So, how can you find a way to overcome your procrastination?  Here are some suggestions:

  1. Understand your WHY – Why do you want to preserve your photos? Really think about this question and answer it from your heart.  There is a reason why you took your photos in the first place and there is a reason why you have saved them all these years.   Write down your reasons and share them with other family members.write down your goals
  2. Set your GOALS – What do you want to be able to do with your photos? Do you want to share them with family and friends?  Do you want to be able to access them from anywhere at any time?  Do you want to create special photo books?  Really think about what your ultimate outcome is for your project and write it down.  Visualize the final outcome.
  3. Create a PLAN – Don’t try to tackle everything at once. It has taken you a lifetime to accumulate your photos so you won’t be able to complete all your projects in a week, or a month, or even several months.  Be realistic.  Break the work into smaller tasks and then prioritize them. Write down your plan and share it with a friend or family member who will be your cheerleader and keep you going.
  4. Put your plan into ACTION – Schedule time on your calendar as if it were a doctor appointment or a hair appointment and then keep to it. Reward yourself along the way.  Share what you have done with family members or friends.  Stay focused on your goals.
  5. Have FUN! – Don’t look at this as something you have to do but something you want to do. Play music that you enjoy in the background.  Turn it into a game rather than a chore.

There are many reasons why you might procrastinate when it comes to preserving your photos.  But if you understand your why when it comes to preserving your photos then hopefully you will develop a strategy to overcome your pracrastination and get started.

The holidays will be different this year

the holidays will be different this yearThe situation with the Covid-19 pandemic is going to make the holidays different this year for a lot of us.  Many of us who would get together in person with family and friends over Thanksgiving are not doing so out of caution and safety.  We aren’t flying, we aren’t gathering in large groups.  And we are sad because of the situation this health crisis has put us in.  We could feel mad and upset or we could do things differently.

My mother, who lives in Palm Desert, CA, celebrated her 90th birthday this past October.  If there was no pandemic, we would have all gathered in California to celebrate in person with her.  But that wasn’t possible so we implemented plan B.  We decided to do a virtual party instead.

Working with my brother-in-law, we designed a fun invitation that was sent to family members and my mother’s friends which included the Zoom link for the party.  My sister, who also lives in California, had cupcakes sent to my mother and I made a birthday cake in North Carolina with my grandchildren.  The oldest, who is 6 1/2, did ask how we were going to get it to Nanny.  Sunday evening, everyone (children, grandchildren, nieces, and friends) logged onto the Zoom call and we were able to celebrate my mother’s birthday together.  It was different, but it was fun!

There were two fun parts of the evening that stood out – One was my son-in-law asking my mother questions about what the world was like when she was younger and how things have changed over her lifetime.  The other was a photo collage that I put together of my mother over the years starting from when she was maybe 3 years old.

One of the greatest gifts we can give is the gift of our photos and storiesResearch has shown that children who grow up with a sense of their family history have better self esteem and “show higher levels of emotional well-being”.  In previous years we would sit around the table or the kitchen or the family room and share these stories in person and share photos on are phone.  But this year will be different, since we my not be in person but that doesn’t mean we can’t still share our stories and our photos.

the holidays will be different this yearLet’s use this year to create a new family tradition of how we share our photos and tell our stories.  Let’s do it virtually. Here is a list of questions that you can send to family members and ask them to respond.  Or you can create your own list of question.  Everyone can send their responses to one family member who can collect and them share with everyone else.  Or you can set up a family call using Zoom, FaceTime, Facebook Messenger or Google meet or any other application you want to use and share your responses live.  It would also be fun if you could dig out a few photos to share as well.

  1. Where did your parents meet?
  2. Where did your mother grow up?
  3. Where did your father grow up?
  4. Where did your grandparents grow up?
  5. Where did your grandparents meet?
  6. Where were your parents married?
  7. What was happening in the world when you were born?
  8. What is the source of your name?
  9. What was happening in the world when your brother or sister was born?
  10. Which person in your family do you look like?
  11. Which person in the family are you most like?
  12. What illnesses and injuries did your parents experience when they were younger?
  13. What were some of the lessons that your parents learned from good or bad experiences?
  14. What are some things that your mom or dad did when they were in school/younger?
  15. What is the national background of your family?
  16. What jobs did your parents have?
  17. What awards did your parents receive when they were younger?
  18. What are the names of the schools that your mother went to?
  19. What are the names of the schools that your father went to?
  20. What are some interesting/fun things that your parents did before you were born?

(Adapted from “The Stories That Bind Us: What Are the Twenty Questions?”, Marshall P. Duke, Huffington Post May 23, 2013.)

Let’s not allow the pandemic to spoil our family get togethers.  Let’s use it as an opportunity to do things differently and start new traditions.  Yes, the holidays will be different this year but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.  We can use the time to be creative and find a new way to connect, share, and love each other.

Are Your Photos Backed Up?

Are your photos backed up and safe?  Our photos are one of our most precious personal items as they represent all of the special moments in our lives.  Therefore, it is important that we keep them safe.  How would you feel if you lost all of your digital photos?

I recently realized the importance of backing up my photos and documents when one day I couldn’t access any files on my external hard drive (EHD).  This EHD held all my personal document files, business document files and over two decades of personal photos.

I had just completed digitizing all of my late husband’s printed photos and putting them into electronic folders by categories on my EHD.  I had also created collages for his funeral service and stored them on the EHD before sending them to be printed.  Two days later, I plugged the EHD into my computer and the computer would not recognize any of the files on it.  Immediately panic mode set in.  I contacted a computer store near me and asked if they could try to recover the files.

That evening I remembered that I had a Backblaze account.  Backblaze is an automatic cloud backup service.  I have been using this service for the past few years to backup files on my computer and my EHD.  I logged into my account and checked on when the last backup occurred and it was just a few days earlier.  Immediately I initiated the recovery process for the EHD and waited and prayed.  It took several hours for the recovery to complete and then I initiated the download of the recovered files.  That took almost 24 hours.

In the meantime, the computer store told me that they were not able to recover any of the files on my old EHD but that for a lot of money it could be sent out somewhere to try to recover the files.  I decided to wait for the download of the recovered files from Backblaze.

Once the download completed, I opened it up and let out a huge sigh of relief – all of my files and photos were there.  I immediately copied everything to a new EHD.  I have also continued the process to upload all of my photos into my Forever account.

Don’t take a chance on losing all of your files and photos .  You never know when your computer or EHD will crash or when there will be a natural disaster and everything is lost.  I am so grateful that I spent the small amount of money each year on a Backblaze account.

The Photo Managers, the world’s leading educational community supporting the field of photo management, recommends the 3-2-1 backup methodology:  Three copies of your photos and files, stored on two different media or devices, and one copy stored off-site.

  • If you have your originals, either on your computer or an EHD, plus two more copies then you are creating a system with triple redundancy.
  • Having your original files and photos on one device and a copy on a second device or media, allows for immediate access to a backup if one device fails.
  • If you have all copies of your files and photos stored in your home, then they are at an unforeseen risk of something happening to your home such as a natural disaster, flood, fire or theft.  A cloud-based backup or storage solution is a good choice for this third location.

As an example: you can have your files and photos stored on your computer and on an EHD, backed up to a cloud service such as Backblaze, and your photos stored in Forever – a permanent, secure, private, shareable cloud-based storage system.

https://memorylanephotosolutions.com/are-your-photos-backed-up/

Don’t be at risk for losing all your precious photo memories and document files.  Setup a backup system that will take the worry out of preserving your memories.

My Latest Organizing Project

 https://memorylanephotosolutions.com/my-latest-organizing-project/ It’s been a tough several months for everyone due to the Coronavirus/Covid 19, but things are starting to reopen with restrictions and people are moving around a bit more.  I drove down to North Carolina recently to spend 10 days with my daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren.  The drive was a bit surreal as there was NO traffic.  I made it from eastern Connecticut to Chapel Hill, NC in 10 ½ hours.  I had a wonderful visit and while there, I found a beautiful new home close to my family.  Yes, I will be moving in early August.  So, for the next few weeks I will be putting my business on hold while I organize, pack and move.

My latest photo organizing project has been going through my late husband’s photos.  There was a box stored under the pool table (that we don’t use) labeled “Rick’s photos”.  He and I had started going through it a couple of winters ago but never finished.  With his passing, I now wanted to take the time to sort and organize all of those photos to preserve them for myself and his family.  It turned out that a lot of the photos were actually his mother’s and sister’s so I put those aside and gave them to my sister-in-law to sort through.  For my husband’s photos, I organized them by date when I could and the rest by subject such as vehicles (he was into classic cars and restoring Jeeps and trucks), family, boats (he had a lot of those over the years too), pets, and photos of the two of us.

vAfter I finished sorting and organizing the photos, I then digitized (scanned) them so that they will be preserved for many years.  I will be putting them into a FOREVER account so that family and friends can view them and add their own comments.  I wish I had the opportunity to finish organizing the photos with Rick because I’m sure there are some wonderful stories that go along with many of them.  I now more emphatically than ever advise everyone to take the time to record the stories that go along with each photo now, before they are lost.

Next, I went through all of my digital photos on my computer and my phone and identified all the special ones of Rick over the years.  I have been very diligent over the past 15 years in organizing my digital photos, going back to the ones I took with my digital cameras, by date and subject, so it was easy to find the ones I wanted to pull out.

My next step in this photo organizing project was to go through my traditional paper scrapbook albums that I have created over the past 22 years, pull out the special photos of Rick during our many adventures, and digitize them to add to my collection.

Finally, I will be creating a few collages from the scanned photos to be used as memorial boards for his funeral and also adding all of the photos to a digital photo frame (from Nixplay) that will be showing after the funeral at our house for family and friends to view.   My goal is to eventually create a book celebrating his life to be able to give to preserve his story for myself, his daughter and his grandchildren.

Preserving your child’s memorabilia

https://memorylanephotosolutions.com/preserving-your-childs-memorabilia/Have you thought about preserving your child’s memorabilia?  With graduation season upon us, if you have a child graduating, you probably have lots of your child’s memorabilia that you have collected over the years.  This includes drawings, handwritten stories, report cards, awards, certificates, diplomas, sashes from Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, and even special t-shirts.  You are probably storing them in bins because they are special and you don’t have the heart to throw them away.  And, you are probably are also planning to give them to the child after he or she moves out on their own.  I know that is what I had planned to do but, as it turns out, I’ve been lugging them along from house to house as I moved.

I am now preparing for another move that requires me to downsize so I asked my daughter what she would like me to do with her stuff.  Her response: “scan everything and then throw it away – I don’t have room for it either.”  This seems to be the common response of grown children these days – they don’t want our stuff and they don’t want to keep much of their stuff either.

So, what to do with all this “stuff”?  Digitize it!  Here are a few options for doing this.

  1. For the flatter items such as drawings, stories, report cards, certificates, and awards, you can use a flatbed scanner. Lay the item on the scanner, carefully place the cover over it, and then hit scan.
  2. For bulkier items such as trophies you can use a light box. You can either create one yourself using a cardboard box and some white material or you can purchase one online.
  3. Take a photo of the item using a digital camera or cell phone and then download the photo to your computer.

https://memorylanephotosolutions.com/preserving-your-childs-memorabilia/Once everything is digitized, you will want to rename each file so that you know what it is.  You might want to create separate folders for each child and create subfolders for the different categories of items.

Now that the items are digitized, you can create a book of each child’s drawings or stories.  And, if you decide to make a memory book of their school years, you can include the digitized photos of the memorabilia along with the personal photos.

And, don’t forget to back up your digitized files so they are protected.  The professional organization I belong to, The Photo Managers (formerly APPO) recommends 3 backups of the photos, on at least 2 kinds of media, 1 of which is off-site.  Media refers to external hard drives and off-site includes cloud storage such as FOREVER.  In other words, do not keep your only copy on your computer.

Take the time to preserve your child’s memorabilia now; you all will be happy in the future that you did.  If you would like help digitizing your memorabilia, schedule a call and I am happy to discuss your outsourcing options.

Organizing Your Photos – 5 Tips to Get Started

The thought of sorting your printed photo collection and organizing your photos can at first appear overwhelming…

Are your Cell Phone Photos a Mess?

When I tell someone that I am a Photo Manager their first reaction is “Oh my gosh, I need your help – my cell phone photos are a mess!”

Today we carry our cameras in our pockets – they are our cell phones.  Our cell phones are with us constantly and so we are taking more photos than ever before.  And, because we are home now due to the Coronavirus, we are probably taking even more photos of everything we are doing at home and everyone we are sheltering at home with just because. https://memorylanephotosolutions.com/are-your-cell-phone-photos-a-mess/ ‎Edit Advanced Layout Editor

We have thousands of photos on our phones.  We have photos of our children, grandchildren, pets, houses, places we went on vacation, food we eat, food we cook, funny sayings, screen shots, selfies, a sunset, a sunrise, and so much more.  And, we have multiple photos of all these people and events.

We take photos because we want to remember and capture specific moments in time and specific events.  But then they just sit on our phones.  It’s important to remember why we took the photos in the first place and to preserve them, share them, and enjoy them.

But what happens when you try to find a specific photo because you want to share it with someone?  Do you have to scroll through hundreds of photos until you find the one you are looking for?

Would you like to be able to find photos on your phone?

While you are sheltering at home for a few more weeks, it’s a great time to clean your cell phone photo mess and get your photos organized.  Here are a few simple things you can do to make it easier to find your photos and to preserve them.  Remember, though, that you probably have thousands of photos that you have accumulated over time so it will probably take you several sessions before you are finished.  As I like to tell my clients – you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time – so don’t get frustrated, just keep going.

Delete photos. Go through your photos, starting with the most recent, and delete your unwanted photos – the duplicates or similar ones, blurry photos, extra photos of scenery, and photos you no longer want to keep.  Do you really need to keep every photo of a beautiful sunset, for example?  Unless you are a professional photographer or you are planning a display of sunsets then you probably don’t need to keep all of them.  Keep the best one and delete the others.  You want to be ruthless and quick in this process and not think about it too much.  After you have deleted your photos, don’t forget to clear out the Recently Deleted album.  If you don’t then you won’t free up the space on your phone.

https://memorylanephotosolutions.com/are-your-cell-phone-photos-a-mess/ ‎Edit Advanced Layout Editor

Mark your favorites – As you are culling through your photos, identify your favorites and mark them as such by clicking on the heart icon under the photo. Later when you want to find them, they will all be grouped together in a “Favorites” album on your phone.

Organize photos into albums. Start by identifying the topics or categories that will make it easier for you to find your photos.  Examples of topics are your children or grandchildren, pets, a special event, a vacation, your house and yard, or a specific topic such as food or sunsets.  Once you have identified these topics then you want to create albums on your phone for each of these topics and select and move the appropriate photos into these albums.  As you are organizing your photos into albums, you may come across additional photos that you want to delete.

https://memorylanephotosolutions.com/are-your-cell-phone-photos-a-mess/ ‎Edit Advanced Layout Editor

Maintain the photos on your phone. You are going to continue taking photos so you want to set up a schedule to maintain your clean photo stream on your phone.  Schedule time once a month – the first day of the month or the last day of the month – to review your photos so that you don’t create a new mess.  Take the time to repeat steps 1 and 2 above – delete photos you don’t want to keep and move your photos into albums.

Backup your photos. In a natural disaster or fire, the three things that we want to save the most are people, pets and photos.  So, it is important to backup your photos so they are not lost.  I will be doing a separate article just on the options for backing up your photos, but for now, know that it is very important.

  • Backing up means to manually or automatically copy files from one location to another, usually from one physical drive to another, although it could also be to an online or cloud location. There are several options for this including Dropbox and FOREVER.
  • Syncing means to manually or automatically copy or delete files as needed to ensure that two locations have an identical set of files.  Your phone should at the very least be setup to sync to either iCloud for Apple phones or Google Photos for Android phones.  This way if your phone is lost or damaged you will be able to retrieve your photos from either of these locations.

Share. Now that your photos are organized, share them with someone.  Sharing photos and their stories is a wonderful way to stay connected with family and friends and we really need that connection now more than ever.

That’s it!  Not too difficult is it?  I hope these hints and tips have been helpful and that you are motivated to clean up your cell phone photo mess.  If you have found this helpful, leave me a comment below.

If you would like additional help with organizing your photos, printed or digital, please let me know – I would love to assist.

 

Spring Cleaning For Your Photos

Spring is just around the corner and it’s the time of year when we start to come out of our Winter hibernation and start our Spring cleaning. We usually think about cleaning out closets or re-organizing our kitchen but what about our photos?  Do you just keep them stored in bins and boxes in a closet or under a bed?  Are they hidden away on a bookshelf in old albums that are deteriorating?  Organizing and preserving your photos is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your family legacy is protected for generations.

One of the comments I always hear from attendees at my presentations on preserving your photo legacy, is “I’ve been wanting to do something with my photos but I don’t know how to get started and what I to do” or “I never seem to have the time”.  Now with the health crisis keeping us home it is a good time to get your photos organized.  Let’s start spring cleaning your photos.

Set Your Goals

https://memorylanephotosolutions.com/spring-cleaning-for-your-photos/Before you get started, stop and think about your final outcome – what is your goal?  What is your vision for your photos?  Do you want to be able to share them with family and friends?  Do you want to have them available online?  Do you want to create photo books?  Make sure you are clear on your final outcome before you get started.

 

Hunt and Gather

Locate and gather all of your photos into one location.  This includes boxes and bins of photos, photo albums and scrapbooks, baggies of photos, envelopes of photos, framed photos in closets or boxes, slides, and any other photos that are not on display.  If you don’t have the space to gather everything in one location then take an inventory of what you have and where it is located.  As you start sorting and organizing each item on your list, cross off the ones you have completed – you will feel a sense of accomplishment as you do.

Sort and Organize

Start by creating a timeline of important dates for each family member and special events.  This will assist with the sorting and organizing process if the photo isn’t dated.

The next step is to determine what categories you want to use for sorting your photos.  This is very important because once you start sorting it will be difficult to go back and change your categories.

There are many ways you can sort your photos.  There is no right or wrong way, it is whatever is best for you and how you want to be able to access your photos.

The most common way to sort photos is by date.  This is because cross-referencing photos by date is easier when you have similar or duplicate photos to compare.  We tend to think chronologically, and you can refer to your timeline to assist with the sorting.

Sub-categories within the dates can then be subjects, people, events, locations, etc.  When sorting this way, it will be easier to pull out the photos by the subject for creating a special photo book such as one for family vacations over the years or holidays through the years.

Once you have determined your categories, write them down on a separate piece of paper for future reference and create an index card for each category and attach them to a bin or place them on a large table for sorting.

https://memorylanephotosolutions.com/spring-cleaning-for-your-photos/Now you are ready to start sorting.  It is best to spread out on a large table in a space that you can leave everything until you have completed the sorting process or at least working through each box.  Pick a box, bin, album, or any group of photos and start sorting them into the categories in front of the index card if you are sorting on a table.

As you are sorting, this is the time to dispose of duplicates, blurry photos, extra photos of scenery, and photos you no longer want to keep.  Toss these into a trash bag.  If you are having difficulty disposing of photos right away, then put them into a separate bin and then deal with them later.

If you are removing photos from an album and there is a description of the photo in the album, either transfer the description to the back of the photo with a photo-safe labeling pencil or jot it down on a post-it-note and attach it to the back of the photo or on an index card that will stay with the photo.

When you come across photos that remind you of a special moment or a special story, write it down on an index card and store it with the photo.

If you know that you are going to be creating a special photo book when you are finished with your sorting and you come across photos that you know you want to use in that book, label them with a smaller post-it-note.

Box and Backup

During the sorting process you might want to use inexpensive shoe-box size boxes for storing the sorted photos, but you don’t want to use these for long-term storage.  For that, you want to make sure to use archival-safe photo boxes.  I recommend the Legacy Box from Native Archival or boxes from Archival Methods.  Each one of these offers permanent dividers.  You will want to transfer all of your temporary labels to these permanent dividers by either using a label maker or a permanent marker.  Then you can transfer your photos in their categories from the temporary boxes into these permanent storage boxes.  Be sure to store them in a dry location in your house.  Do not store them in a basement or attic.

https://memorylanephotosolutions.com/spring-cleaning-for-your-photos/

It is very important that your photos are backed up in two other places just in case of a natural disaster or other emergency.  In order to do this, you will want to make a digital copy of your printed photos by scanning them.  You can choose to do this yourself or outsource the scanning to someone else.  If you choose to outsource the scanning, I recommend that you thoroughly research the vendor you choose.

Once your photos are digitized, then you can easily store the digital copies in two locations.  I recommend copying them to multiple external hard drives where one is stored offsite at a family member’s home and the other in a fire-safe location in your home and easily accessible in an emergency.

You can also choose to store your photos in the Cloud where they can be accessed via the internet from any location and by any person you chose to share them with.  When you are considering Cloud storage be sure to check the fine print and choose a reputable company.  You want to make sure that your photos are private, secure and always accessible.  My vendor of choice is Forever.  They offer permanent, private, secure online storage.

Enjoy and Share

Now you are ready to share your photos and enjoy them – don’t keep them locked up and out of sight.  The best way to share and enjoy your photos is to create a photo book.  There are many types of photo books you can create and here are a few ideas:

  • A gift for a child to celebrate a special milestone such as a first birthday, graduation, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Confirmation, or wedding
  • To celebrate a significant wedding anniversary
  • To celebrate a special birthday
  • A family history book
  • A family reunion
  • A memory book for an aging parent

You can also create photo gifts such as calendars, holiday ornaments, collages, mugs, smartphone cases, and lots of other items.

Final Thoughts

It has taken you a lifetime to accumulate your photo collection so it will take some time to organize and preserve – remember, you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time, so take your time and enjoy the process.

If you need help along the way with spring cleaning your photos, I am here to assist you with organizing, digitizing, and creating custom photo books.

 

Photos preserve your family legacy

My family legacy is preserved in some very old photographs that I recently from my mother.  Since I am considered the family photo historian, she decided to send me a box that contained some old framed photos of my great-grandparents taken in the 1890’s when they were children.  This was such a special treasure to receive as they had been passed down to my mother from her mother. Tucked behind one of the photos was a note written by my mother’s first cousin to my grandmother describing who was in the photo (the one on the left below – my great-grandmother is standing in the back row between her parents).  The other photo had the names written on the back of it and is a picture of my great-great-grandparents with my great-grandfather and one of his brothers . 

Learn about preserving your family legacy

My great-grandparents were still alive when I was young and I know how very fortunate I am to have known them.  Seeing them as children, though, is fascinating because it was so different back then.   I remember visiting them at their homes in Florida and Massachusetts and how kind they were. I have some photographs of myself and my sister at their home on Cape Anne in Massachusetts as well as from their 60th wedding anniversary.  Those photos help me to keep memories of them alive.

preserving your family legacy with photographs

These photographs are a piece of my family legacy – they are a glimpse into my past.  Legacy is anything that is handed down from the past. Family legacy refers to the accomplishments, actions, beliefs, and guidance that is carried forward to future generations.  This includes our photographs and the stories within those photos. In order for future generations to benefit from our legacy we must pass along the legacies from our ancestors and add in our own stories, accomplishments and beliefs.  We must preserve and share those photos.

Our photographs are key to our legacy and they help us remember.  I don’t remember many things that happened during my childhood but I have photographs that I enjoy looking at and that help me to remember.  Without those photos the memories and the stories would be lost. Taking the time to organize and preserve my older printed photos and those that belonged to my parents and grandparents is very rewarding as I relive those memories and then share them with my daughter and grandchildren.  Note: that is me pictured on the right below with my mother standing behind me.

Preserve your family legacy with photographs

Family legacy is passed down to future generations through our photographs.  That is why it is important to take the time to preserve the memories that are captured in our older printed photos so that our legacy is available to enjoy now with our family and for future generations.   Take the time to preserve your family legacy – it will be worth it.