The process of organising a digital disaster zone can be a complex and varied project requiring different approaches, technology and expertise. We believe that there is no one size fits all solution. There are similarities in the strategies we employ during the digital organising projects we complete for our clients but nothing that could be simplified in a guide to suit everyone’s unique needs. Mainly because everyone has different equipment, skills and technology. It can, however, follow a standard workflow made up of varying steps and processes.
With thanks to our Professional Photo Organiser Master Trainers My Workflow Studio we thought we would use (and expand on) a house building metaphor to outline the workflow we use during a digital photo organising project.
- Find it (location location location): If you are building a house, you would first search for the ideal location, a block of land in an area or suburb that satisfies your personal criteria. When it comes to your digital photo life, when we talk about location we are referring to determining the best central hub for all your image files. Like the ideal piece of land for a home this will be different for each individual. For some a laptop, for others a hard drive or other location, it all depends on what best suits your unique needs and skills. We work with you to determine the best location for your photo hub.
- Foundations: When you build a house you first clear the land and lay your foundations. In this phase we are working with you gathering everything into one place (your metaphorical piece of land) so that we have a firm hold on your entire collection. We identify where your photos are currently stored and help bring them into one place before we go any further.
- Framework: Your house will collapse without a basic (and strong) framework to hold it together. The same goes for a photo collection. In this phase we set up manually managed folders which you can read more about here. Whilst these can be your personal preference, for most people the highest level of this framework is usually a year e.g. 2010, 2011 etc. Why? Because when you read it is our nature to automatically think in chronological order.
- Fittings & Fixtures: Your empty shell of a home isn’t much USE to you without some door handles, light fittings, taps and other standard fixtures. With your photo collection this is where we are adding additional helpful things like sub folders, file names, ratings and tags to enable your photo life to be readily accessible.
- Furnishings: For many this is most enjoyable part of building a home, the creative part full of colour and design. Similarly this is one of the best parts of having an organised photo collection: the ability to easily create beautiful designs e.g. photobooks, wall displays, albums, canvasses etc.
- Maintenance: You mow your lawns, vacuum your carpet and dust the shelves to maintain your home. An organised photo collection, just like your home, won’t last long if you don’t carry out regular maintenance on it. This is the phase where we teach clients the MOON Walk and help implement strategies to keep their photo life in order.
If you need our help working through any or all of these phases, just give us a call.