Have you seen the recent Sony commercial featuring Justin Timberlake and his overgrown media collection? Do you have one of your own? If only organizing them were as easy as Sony makes it seem. No matter what tech tool or product you use, you still have to put the effort in.
Pick your poison: What storage option is right for you?
It doesn’t really matter if you’re a business owner with a collection of guerrilla marketing audio books, a music fan with the latest jams, a scrapbooker with thousands of photos, or a video director in the making. Everyone likes finding what they want when they want it…and, just like any other object, if your media is bursting at the seams and residing in multiple, unknown locations, then it’s more clutter that you have to deal with. Two words. Major. Pain.
The good news is that you several storage options:
- iTunes, Windows Media Player, Roxio, Audible.com, & others
- External Hard Drive
- Cloud: Flickr, SnapFish, Shutterfly, Picassa, etc.
- Thumb Drive(s)
- Digital Scrapbook
- Photo or Archival Box
- Traditional Album or Scrapbook
- Other Boxes: Shoe, Cigar, Jewelry, etc. (last resort, maybe? J)
Like the digital option? Do it yourself or let someone else take care of it.
I mentioned that you have options. Well, now you have sub-options. You can digitize your photos yourself or let ScanMyPhotos.com or DigMyPics do it for you. If you need to scan slides or negatives or want to transfer VHS tapes to DVDs, they both do that, too.
Rule of Thumb: Categorize AND Label, Label, Label.
The other good news is that once you have retrieval system that works for you, it will be easy to maintain. To give yourself a fighting chance of finding what you want quickly, do these two things:
1. Categorize. Your categories will vary based on your personal or business activities.
Personal. Like to take pictures/videos when you’re on vacation? Ok, that may be a silly question…but, if the answer is yes, you may want to keep all your vacation photos together. Other categories could be family reunions, anniversaries, graduations, etc. You can also categorize photos (and other media) by specific individuals (e.g., your children).
Business. Business owners may have categories like training, annual meetings, marketing, before and after pictures, etc.
2. Label. To differentiate between specific events in a category, you’ll need to add a label with the title, location, and date…or whatever will help jog your memory.
- Hawaii | May 15, 1997
- May 2002 | Orlando, FL
- Annual Meeting | Boston, MA | February 2009
- Annual Meetings | 2010-2011
- Doe, Jane | XYZ Project | July 2015
- Disco | Various Artists | 1975
Ok, time to enjoy the video.
Check out the Sony commercial and make up your mind to get control of your media. Btw, if I’ve left your favorite option off the list, tell me about it and I’ll add it.