Organizing your photos with Google Photos – Step 1

Open the Google Photos app

This is the Google Photos App

That’s it! That’s step 1. You need to open the app in order for it to do its job. The Google Photos app on a smartphone is designed to copy all the photos from your phone to your Google account in the cloud. If you never open the app, it can’t do its job.

The very first time you open the app, you will need to set it up with your Google account, and whether you want your photos uploaded in Original Size, or Storage Saver size. We recommend Storage Saver. You should then see a message about the number of photos that are being backed up.

When you open the app, it will start uploading all your photos. But, if you never open it again, it will go dormant. I have a friend who lamented that she hadn’t been “organizing” her photos since the last time she saw me! That was several years ago. I told her to open the Google Photos app and she saw the message, 5,074 photos to upload.

What does it mean to “organize” your photos?

Organizing your photos means different things to different people. I call it the “IPO” scale. Your Inner Photo Organizer. At the low end of the scale are the people who don’t care that much, they’re lazy when it comes to their photos. They like to take photos occasionally, not all the time. They would like to know how to see them again, but they’re not interested in doing any work to make that happen. As you go up the scale, you may be willing to do a little tagging, or adding specific photos to albums and sharing those albums with friends and family. I’m a 3. I’m willing to put in a little work to mark my best photos and put them into albums by month, but I don’t worry about deleting the ones that are left behind, and I don’t have any system for naming photos.

If you are all the way on the Ambitious end of the scale, you’ve been passionate for years about organizing your photos. You look at each one, delete the ones you don’t need, rename your keepers, tag every one and keep them in organized folders or albums. You do this on a regular basis for all your photos.

Google Photos is great for people who are 1, 2, or 3 on this scale. If you are a 4 or a 5, you will need more tools than Google Photos offers. For example, you cannot rename a file using Google Photos.

Step 1 is the same for everyone

I’ve read books on photo organizing. I’ve attended seminars on photo organizing. I’ve helped many people organize their photos. The first step is agreed by all – gather all your photos in one place. If you take all your photos with your phone, and you use Google Photos, Step 1 is handled automatically.

IF you open the Google Photos app!

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