This is my first blog post with the pixels2Pages team. I decided to call my blog “Corralling the Chaos”. I am referring to photos and I am speaking of myself and of the society that we live in today. We are all taking so many photos on a daily basis, but generally we are not deleting photos or even doing anything with them. We are just taking, taking, taking. At times, it feels a bit gluttonous to me.  How much time do we spend going back to enjoy or relive the moments that are now hidden way back on our camera rolls? Life is so busy and often times we are off to the next event before even considering the blessings that were captured in the photos that we had just taken. I am guilty of this myself.

When we come off a great vacation, what is the first thing we do? Usually, I unpack and sort laundry and then start the washing machine. The process continues until all the laundry is folded neatly and placed in the right dresser in the right room. If we think about our photos like we think about laundry, we may do a better job of corralling the chaos. It is too bad that photos don’t smell if you don’t take care of them!

Our best vacations are always followed by the trip scrapbook. I create the book in either Forever Artisan or Forever Projects, with the help of others who were on the trip. And we always print a copy for each family that joined us. My kids love looking through books from the past and reliving those special memories that were made together. If only I could be organized enough to make this process happen on a regular basis and not just coming off a great vacation.

So, this blog will consist of the ins and outs of ‘Collecting, Curating and Celebrating’ my family photos. I hope that it will encourage you to jump in and use our simple process to enjoy your family photos and get them back into your life. I love all of the Forever products and I will share with you how I use the entire platform at Forever to preserve my photos, get them organized and create great photo projects to keep our memories alive.

So this month’s topic is, “Me time”. What does that look like for a busy single mom of four? Hmmm. Me time usually involves exercise (which I don’t love and I don’t do enough), dog walking (because I have to and it gets me out) or digital scrapbooking (which I do LOVE!).

As I consider adding more ‘me time’ to my life, I think it is best to tackle a project during the time that I am setting aside for me, because it is something that will bring value to me and to my family. I have decided to set aside time to get my phone photos in order. YIKES! That is a scary thought and it seems like a huge task. Part of me doesn’t even want to look at the mess that has been created on my camera roll. I could easily just continue to look the other way because it is such an overwhelming task. Maybe I should just continue living in denial with the out of sight, out of mind mentality. But NO! I am going to get in there and practice what I preach and get my phone photos in order, one 15 minute chunk at a time!!! I know I will be surprised at what I can accomplish in that small chunk of time each day.

At Forever we have all the tools we need to assist in this process. The only real challenge I face is setting aside time to actually use those tools and get it done. I am going to set up a reoccurring event in my calendar to remind me each at 8:30 PM each evening to sit down with a warm cup of tea and spend just 15 minutes getting my phone photos in order. This will be a great! Will you join me?

Let me share with you my process and perhaps you can give it a try too.

#1-Do you have a Forever storage account? If not, you will want to be sure to purchase an account. You can get started with a free 1 GB account but it will fill up fast. A Forever Storage account is $299. It is a one-time payment and gives you 10 gigabytes of space to hold your photos. You can always add more later. Check this out to learn about the benefits of a Forever Storage Account: Forever Overview

#2-You will need to get the Forever App on your phone. Click here to get that link:

#3-Watch this short video that Nick Kelsh, acclaimed photojournalist, and I put together to show you the options available within the Forever phone/Ipad app.  Capture the Moment

#4-As noted in the video you have two options to use in getting your photos into your Forever account.

  1. Upload individual photos from your camera roll into your Forever account. Being sure to just select those photos that you want to keep. (Leave the food, shoes and receipt photos out of your Forever Storage account)
  2. Set your app to automatically upload all of your photos from your phone to your Forever Storage account. (“Backup” means uploading all of the photos that are currently on your camera roll and the “Automatic” selection is referring to the photos that you take from here on out) The benefit of this is that you will never lose your photos. If something happens to your phone, your photos are preserved. If you choose to use this system, you can use your Forever account as your digital table to delete many photos at one time. When you are setting this up, be sure to make the decision if you want to upload on cellular data or just when you are in wifi range. Forever does give you this option.

#5-VERY IMPORTANT: Be sure to delete the photos in your camera roll on your phone, once they are in your permanent Forever account. Know that it is not easy to delete your photos from your camera roll.   You have to do it in sections. Be sure to do this so you can stay organized and know which photos have been uploaded and which have not. (You will see this when you are in the Forever app – it will show you which photos have been uploaded and which have not.)

I think this is a great place to start. It will feel so good to have our camera rolls in such great shape. The next step will be to get the photos organized by albums and begin tagging the best photos within your Forever Storage account. Stay tuned for future trainings that I will be providing on best practices for doing this and other things with in your Forever account.

I will be thinking of you as I begin my 15 minutes of me time with my phone, my computer and my new favorite tea.

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12 Responses to Blog: Organizing Smartphone Photos with your Forever Account

  1. Kathryn Trotter says:

    I do a photo a day challenge so have been forcing myself to sit at the computer every week and download the pictures. To begin with I just file them on my computer, at least then I won’t loose them on my phone!
    Then I spend time putting them into Historian and adding tags and ensuring they are filed under the correct people.
    This is my mission since June last year and slowly it is working, now when I look at my phone my SD card doesn’t tell me I have 400 pictures just maybe 100 lol

    • Shelley Murray says:

      Excellent workflow here Kathryn! You have found a great system that works for you. Going into Historian is a great first step. It is such a powerful program and will help you to organize and facial recognize those in your photos. You may want to consider the next step of permanently preserving your Historian work in a Permanent Forever Account. Once you do this, all of the info that you added to the photos in Historian will transfer over(tags, date, description) into Forever. You will also have all the photos available on your Forever phone app so you can see them and share them. Stay tuned for more to come on going very easily from Historian to Forever. Keep up the good work and thank you for sharing your successes!

  2. sistersunshine says:

    Dear Shelley, Peace and joy. I love this idea. Would it be possible to create a layout with screen grabs of the various steps you shared here for all us visual folks. On of the best parts of p2P is they address all learning styles. I am pretty familiar with my account but I know a lot of folks aren’t and a screen grab would sure be helpful. I know it’s more work on your part and I understand if you don’t have time, but I watch your videos several times, and now your blog… a visual or two would be amazing to refer to. (like how you know which photos are uploaded on the camera roll) things like that. Welcome to the pixie party. *U* Kathleen

    • Shelley Murray says:

      Thank you so much for your message. You make a really good point about the different learning styles. We are actually preparing to roll out a robust Forever Training program that will include training to address each learning style. Also, were you able to watch the Capture the Moment video that was included in that blog post? It included some screen shots from the phone. Also, check under the “Help” button on the Forever website, or right from your account, to watch a video with some instructions on using your phone. It is a good visual. Thank you for your ideas and suggestions…more to come. And thank you for your warm welcome. I am so excited to be here. 🙂 Shelley Murray

  3. Bridget says:

    I like the 15 minute idea!! I will have to incorporate into my schedule. I made the mistake of having my photos automatically upload to Forever from my phone and quickly used all my data on my Atlanta trip last year. LOL!!! I took it off automatic when I figured what was happening. I have never had the opportunity go back to figure out my settings for only WIFI and turning my automatic back on so I am going to make that a goal. Delete photos!!! as my heart beats faster….LOL! Yes I will have to do that in my allotted 15 min each day. 🙂

    • Shelley Murray says:

      Oh no….I always warn people about the data. I am so sorry that happened! I do like how we have a setting so that the photos will only upload when on wifi. Yes, you will have to go in and reset those settings during your 15 minutes! And you will find a workflow that works best for you. Just as long as you find a little pocket of time to work on it! Make it special by adding something that makes you happy…like tea, or coffee or maybe even a cookie!!

  4. Avril Lawson says:

    Hi Shelley, I watched your video and noticed that your home page has lots of lovely photos on it. Mine just has these blank boxes as I don’t have a photo as the cover page. I have my albums sorted by Year and then sub-albums for each month nested within that year. How do I get a cover photo for the parent album (i.e. the Year album). I have cover photos on all of my nested albums but not on the parent album. I have looked and looked, but can’t figure out how to do it. Makes my Home page look very uninteresting by comparison to yours!! Your help would be appreciated. Many thanks Avril

    • Shelley Murray says:

      Hi, Yes creating a beautiful homepage is much like creating a scrapbook page. I always try to place my favorite photo on the cover of each album so that I see all of the best shots on my home page. So, while nesting keeps everything nicely in place, it does reduce the number of photos on your home page. I know some people don’t do much nesting for that very reason. In order to place a photo on the album cover for the parent album…go to that album in the album list and then select a photo that is in the album. (you may only have albums there, but you will need to at least have one photo there for this purpose.) Then click the “set as album cover” button. And that will add that photo to the cover. I hope that helps!

      • Avril Lawson says:

        Thank you, now I understand!! When I post on here I never know if I have got a reply. Is there a way to get a notification of a reply to my comment? Sometimes I don’t even remember where I have put the comment?! But it is nice to know there is a reply. Many thanks Avril

  5. Alison says:

    Some great tips here Shelley, about getting our phone photos under control! Looking forward to reading more of your tips for coralling the chaos.

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