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How to Keep Your Summer Memories Safe and Accessible

Updated: Jul 14

Crickets in the grass, the dreamy lightshow of fireflies at dusk, and long nights ending in s'mores around the fire. Summer is almost here, along with our most treasured Summer traditions, and you'll probably want to be ready to record and catalog it all.

But let’s be clear - the point isn't to make sure that each fleeting moment isn't ever lost, but rather to capture the most significant ones. To accurately capture a memory, it is assumed that you are doing so in a way that keeps it safe and accessible. The reality is that our digital photos are rarely either of those things anymore. How many can honestly say that they have this one in the bag? And if you can, then you definitely know the grueling number of hours and amount of work it took to get you there.

Digital organizing? It's hard work. Making sure your photo collection is really ready for the tidal wave of summer memories? Also hard work. We have created a list of basic tips and advice for making sure your most significant summer moments aren’t lost, but remain within your reach.

Clear the Digital Clutter As You Go

Be Sure to Back it Up

Don’t Wait to Enjoy Your Photos

Clear the Digital Clutter As You Go

It's hard to spend time organizing pictures in the middle of all the fun, but starting now, we recommend making it an end-of-every-day habit to go into your photos and delete all but a few favorites. Why not do this instead of spending more time on social media? Pick one of the times you happen to pick up your phone to peruse Instagram, and replace it with clearing out duplicates in your camera roll. This will save you a lot of stress in the long run, as well as keep space freed up on your device and in your cloud storage. You can even assign dates, add captions, locations and keywords straight from your phone using the 'info' menu option. That way, finding your images later will be simple.

If you don’t complete this step frequently, you may end up with a jumble of images that will become too overwhelming to sort through. While you are clearing out your camera of the duds, don't forget to also move any non-photo images over to your Notes app and delete them from your camera roll (Learn how with this free download, a Clutter-Free Photo Tip!). Later, when you're trying to find or share your favorite photos in pinch, you will thank yourself setting up a cleaner, more accessible camera roll!

Be Sure to Back it Up

We all need a realistic way to store our growing number of photos and videos. At SurroundUs Services, we recommend the 3-2-1 backup method. Here is our spin on this archiving best practice:

3 - You should have 3 Full Size/Original copies of your digital files. This may be your personal computer, the cloud (think iCloud, Google Photos or Amazon Photos), and an external hard drive that you use to back up your computer and important files. These 3 copies do not include the ‘optimized’ versions of your photos, like on your phone or mobile devices.

2 - Your photos should be saved in two different formats. For example: if you are using Apple Photos, you should also include a backup/export of your photo files (jpegs, RAW, HEIC) outside of your photo library.

1 - One of your copies should be located someplace other than your home. The cloud is the perfect solution and one of the safest places for your photos. Most cloud service providers have strong data preservation strategies in place with multiple copies of your data being stored. In fact, the cloud is so secure that many choose to rely exclusively on cloud services to protect precious data.

Using the 3-2-1 backup method enables you to optimize storage on your mobile phone and then keep a full copy on our computer or an external storage device as well as the cloud. Pro tip: be sure to read the fine print and know the difference between a syncing tool like Apple's iCloud vs. a backup solution like Apple's Time Machine.

Don’t Wait to Enjoy Your Photos

If you are old enough to remember that rush that you got when you developed your photos and then showed them to all your friends you will know that this just isn't the same as the feeling we get when we add a filter, post, and receive likes. No judgments, it's just not the same. It literally doesn't bring with it the same rush of serotonin and other feel-good chemicals we get when we look back on our treasured memories.

So how do we get these back to the front and center of our lives? Archival Methods, Chatbooks, and NixPlay are just a few of our favorites. You can also add the photos widget to the home screen of your iPhone. This simple little tech tip will deliver you with a daily dose of memory magic by reminding you of some of your favorite photos each time you open your phone.

Still Not Ready?

There is an old saying "junk in, junk out". Technology is great, if it is working properly. And a pain in the…… if it isn't! It should be a tool that works for you, not something that overwhelms you.

If you’re drowning in a sea of images you have accumulated already, or just need help creating an effective photo management system going forward, you may want to enlist the help of photo organizing professionals. Here at SurroundUs, our friendly team of digital organizing experts can help. Because we want you to spend less time stressing, and more time soaking in every sweet summer moment. Contact Us today to see how we can help you reach your digital organizing goals.

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