52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Upending Google Photos: An Organizational Strategy for Digital Photos

Just a tad bit late, here is my second post up for the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks series.  The Week 2 prompt is “Favorite Photo,” but rather than sharing a specific photo from my family history, I want to share an organizational strategy I’m using as I continue my mission to get my photos (physical and digital), completely re-organized.

Since 2014, I’ve been using Google Photos as my primary location for all the digital photos I take. Prior to its release, I’d been manually storing all digital pictures into folders categorized by year and month. Then, when Googe Photos came out, I was pulled into its allure and the application of intelligent searching across my photos. However, I found over time that it made me less efficient in finding photos I needed.

As I’ve embarked on my re-organization project, I decided to change my approach to using it. I now use it more for the “camera roll” it is and on a regular basis, move my photos out of the specific folders allocated for “Google Photos” and into my manually constructed folders. Thus, my pictures are now going to be in “Google Photos” folder only temporarily.  Then, I finally turned on the function offered for Google Photos to include all pictures in Google Drive and this, in combination with my enhanced metadata, is now really making it easier for me to find the photos I need.

turning on Google Drive settings in Google Photos

So now, I have the best of both worlds – the magic search of Google Photos AND the efficient organization of my manual system.  If I need to search, I do it Google Photos. And, if I know exactly what I am looking for, I go directly to it in my folder hierarchy. Perfect!

 

 

 

Our Visual Address History

As Amy Johnson Crow begins her 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks series this year, I finally decided to take the plunge and participate! The goal of the series is to do something with the genealogy research that I, and so many others, obsess about 🙂 ; to make it more interactive and dynamic than just names and dates in a genealogy program. I have been blogging about my genealogy for about 10 years, but have slacked off the past few years; it is my hope that participating in the series will help me pick that back up also.

This weeks prompt is “Start.” To that end, I’d like to share a project I’ve just started to document an aspect of my family history. Using Becky Higgins’ Project Life app, I started a scrapbook to document all the places my parents have lived, and all the places my siblings and I grew up.

The scrapbook starts with my maternal grandmother, Alice McNair Robinson, and where she lived when my mother’s oldest brother, Stanley, was born.  She lived on MacDonough Avenue in Bronx, NY and we even have family pictures taken outside the apartment.  I’ve put together some photos and stories from that time period to put the page together.

my scrapbook page

I recently shared an update on my photo organization project and I am reaping the benefits already! As I consider how to put these scrapbook pages together, I know what pictures I have to match the time frame and the location. It has been immensely helpful.

I have plenty to do as I build the scrapbook; growing up, we lived in a lot of places and my siblings and I went to many different schools. I will continue to move through the years and document various aspects of our lives. I am having regular conversations with my parents to gather information for the scrapbook and I am already learning so much family history that I did not know. I plan to include family memories and stories along the way so I know that doing this is going to be a wonderful experience! And, as a final outcome, I’ll have a book that I can gift to my parents and siblings; definitely will make the history tangible.

If you have done a family history scrapbook I would love to hear about it; I’m always on the lookout for inspiration.