Mrs. Geek’s Year End Photo Tasks

albumsI count on Google Photos to keep ALL my photos together, in one place with no effort on my part. Once I’ve installed the Google Photos app on my mobile devices, and the Desktop Uploader on my computers, I no longer need to manage my library of photos. No more worries.  I know that they are all there, online at in date order. And, if I’m looking for a particular person, place, thing, or event, Google’s search or automatic albums will probably show me what I want to see. I like Google Photos so much, I wrote a book on it!

Google Photos book by Chris Guld

Monthly Albums

Google Photos keeps  my entire library of photos – 58,000 of them according to my Google Dashboard – but I want to be able to browse just those best pictures from each month. At the end of the year, I want to be able to see something like the image at right. Most of the work involved here is to select those best pictures and add them to a monthly album.

This is work I do all year long. For example, just yesterday I started my album for January 2017. It’s not something I do on the 1st of each month, it’s something I do when I take my first good picture of the month. With that picture open, I click the 3-dot menu at top right and “Add to Album.” I give the new album a name: 201701 January. Then, throughout the month, I keep adding my best pictures to that “official” monthly album. I may also make albums for special events, but I definitely have an album for each month.

At the end of the year, the work for my monthly albums should already be done, but now is the time to review and add/delete as I see fit.

Monthly Backups to Computer

I trust Google to keep my 58,000 photos safe, but I want to be doubly sure I have copies of my best, monthly pictures. To that end, I download each monthly album from Google Photos to a USB hard drive on my computer. That way, even if I’m not connected to the Internet, I know I have all my best pictures with me offline. Google Photos makes this easy, just open the desired album, click the 3-dot menu at upper right and Download all. This will create a .zip file on your drive – unzip it and you have your pictures.

I actually prefer using Picasa on my computer to perform this task. I open Picasa and use the File menu, Import from Google Photos. Then I can find the album in question and it downloads the pictures, and all captions so I can view them using Picasa – no unzipping required.

Yearly Album and Slideshow

At the end of the year, I have 12 albums with 1-200 photos each. That’s still a lot of pictures to view! I like to see my year at a glance, one album with 2-300 pictures. So, I select my best photos from the monthly albums and create an album named simply 2016. It’s pretty easy to do since I can start with the monthly albums, select the best of the best, click the + in the upper right and add to album – 2016.

YouTube makes it single-click easy to take that album and make a slideshow/movie out of it!

Getting the Year at a Glance Page

If you would like to have a year at a glance page like the one in my image above, I suppose I should tell you how I did that! There is no automatic way to do this – maybe someday Google will give us a shareable year at a glance, but for now it’s a manual process. I use Blogger, and Live Writer. You could use whatever tools you know that can create hyperlinks and images. You could even use Word, or Google Docs to create a document with the links to each month’s albums.

The links to each month are easy. Using Google Photos, open the January album, then click the share button imageand select “Get Link.” Copy that link and then use it to create a hyperlink out of the word January. Repeat for each month:

The thumbnail images are not so easy. I use Windows Snipping tool to grab a small image of the picture I want to represent the month, then paste it into my Blogger file using Live Writer. I’ll be happy to make a video about that if any of you use Blogger and Open Live Writer and  are interested. Leave a comment.


3 replies on “Mrs. Geek’s Year End Photo Tasks”

  1. Oh I am so envious!
    I forgot the name of the site I initially started keeping all my photos, but one day, it went belly up and I lost my photos. Eventually, I went to Picasa, but when it went away, I lost so much organization and faith in on-line organization tools. Granted, this time, I did at least have them on my computer. But lost the organization. I didn’t want to trust Google. When we began RVing, I finally bought a Mac Book Pro to organize my photos. I loved the iPhoto app. It was so easy to organize my photos in albums by event, location, date or person. Wouldn’t you know it, that went bye bye too. I am beyond frustrated as we now have two grandsons and I haven’t organized grandson #2’s pictures. I was able to make a book of my first ones first year, 2013-2014. Now I just have 1,000s of photos in date order only. I know some of mine are in google. But I’m not sure how they got there! Any hope for me????

    • Oh man … I hear ya! I know several systems that have disappeared. Nothing is perfect, but I’m pretty confident that Google is the leader in this field and will be with us for a long time. As I said in the article, I still keep a copy of my best photos offline :-).
      Believe it or not, “1,000s of photos in date order only” is a fine place to start. All you have to do is install Google Photos desktop uploader and let ‘er rip. In a few hours to a few days, all your photos will be in your Google account online. When you view it, you can click “People” and Google may already have your grandsons grouped together.
      Many of your photos may already be in Google because you used Picasa and probably uploaded to Picasa Web Albums. Although the Web Albums interface is gone, the photo storage was simply your Google account – now viewed by Google photos.
      Get the free first chapter of the book, and get started!

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