December 4

O for Organization

You’ve found your memories and decided what to preserve. Now it’s time to organize them. Here are some basics.

Physical Storage

Store your physical items in a cool dry place. This is especially important for things like film and photos. Places in your home like an attic that experience the extremes of weather (hot in the summer and cold in the winter) are not the best place for delicate items.

Organize you items in a way you easily can find individual items. Annotate what you have by taking a picture of each item, and then using a filename or caption of the picture that references what it is and where it is stored.

Albums LPs records vinyl 45s 78s 331/3 preserving family memories

Store your analog media separately. Here’s what I mean by analog items:

  • Records: LPs, 78s, 45s
  • Tapes: Cassettes, reel-to-reel tape
  • Photos: negative film, printed phots, 35mm slides
  • Videos: VHS tapes, 8 and 16mm reel film

Store these items in separate containers. When we get to the transformation stage, we’ll cover how you convert any analog technology to digital.

Digital Storage

While you’re organizing, make sure you have digital space on hard drives for what you currently have and what you’ll be converting analog items to digital. We’ll cover hard drive space details later. But here’s an easy reference: Photos don’t have a large digital footprint. Music occupies more space than photos. And movies and video take up the most space. But digital storage is relatively cheap and continues to get cheaper.

Computers evolution vintage old computing station retro monitor desktop PC Apple mac keyboard mouse

One interest fact about the decline of storage costs comes from 1967. In 1967, a megabyte of storage cost about 41 Million USD. Today, that megabyte costs about $0.02 USD or 50 million times less in about 50 years.

Digital organization requires that you become familiar with the file organization programs for PC or Mac. File organization on a PC or Mac might seem daunting. Many PC users store all of their documents in My Documents on a PC with no folder organization. Some store pictures in the Pictures folder all jumbled together with file names like DMG1234.jpg or DSC8868.jpg. Those pictures might be of Aunt Mary or Uncle John, but you’d never know from the filename.

Likewise, on a Mac, most people use Apple’s default folder to store everything and then find it difficult to find a specific file.

Digital organization is about folder organization and naming conventions. Did you know that digital photos are not descriptive with their file names? If the photo was taken by a digital camera or smart phone, the name will look something like DSC123456.JPG. For your photo of Aunt Mary, you need to put her name into the file name or title or caption. This is very important because organization is about being able to find what you want later. We’ll also recommend search technology to use to find your memories after you put a title or filename to them.

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