Tuesday, July 18, 2017

How to Catch Up on Preserving Photos: the two-in-one plan

Back when we only took two rolls of 36 pictures each year, catching up on preserving them wasn't even a thing.  These days, though, we can take 36 pictures in a day.  And if they sit as jpeg files for weeks and months at a time...  Well.  You do the math.

If you do {make time} for memory-keeping and you get all the photos from 2010 preserved, that's fantastic and worth celebrating!  But while you were preserving those photos, you probably took just as many more.

So how on earth do we CATCH UP?  How do we make progress instead of just holding steady?

The answer?  THE TWO-IN-ONE PLAN!

First, choose one year's worth of photos to focus on.  If that alone is overwhelming, you probably want to sort your photos.  You may have EXTRA photos that are weighing you down, or you just may need to choose your favorites.  I wrote some tips and helps {at this article} for you if you need them.  Be realistic about how much time you have to preserve your photos and then plan accordingly.  If you can set aside 1 hour a week or 4 hours a month, then preserving 100 photos a week might not be the right move for you--you may need to choose your favorite 10.

Second, dedicate some time to preserving your photos and memories.  This is a really important step.  It's not just going to happen, even if you wish it would.  (To quote Dr. Phil, "How's that been workin' out for ya?")  If you need some help making time, click the "need TIME?" tab in red above.  There are some great articles and suggestions there for setting aside time for preserving your photos.

Third, follow the Two-in-One Plan.  It's pretty simple.  Once you've chosen which year's photos you are going to preserve first, and set aside enough time each week or month to do it, follow this plan:
  • month 1:  Preserve photos and memories from January and February.
  • month 2:  Preserve photos and memories from March and April.
  • month 3:  Preserve photos and memories from May and June.
  • month 4:  Preserve photos and memories from July and August.
  • month 5:  Preserve photos and memories from September and October.
  • month 6:  Preserve photos and memories from November and December.
  • repeat
See how that's two-in-one?  If you do the Two-in-One Plan for six months and then repeat with another year's worth of photos, you've preserved TWO YEARS' worth of photos in one year!  That's PROGRESS, my friend!

And that's the goal.

Find some great memory-keeping methods at the "how to get started" tab above.  There are some simple solutions that will make actually DOING the Two-in-One plan not just doable, but fun and even {addicting}!  It's pretty easy to be a successful memory-keeper when you have a system that keeps you coming back for more!  :)

UPDATE 2022:  You can see three of my favorite options in this video.  Each one is quite different from the other, so I think there's literally something for everyone!

Heard someone complain recently about being behind on preserving their photos?  Share this Two-in-One Plan with her/him, or on social media using the tabs below.  

I love sharing doable solutions for memory-keeping with one more person every day.


  1. I am one of those people who take hundreds of pictures per month. This is way overwhelming for me. I tend to save them all in multiple places like an external hard drive, ICloud, etc. Then I print out my top favorite per month. By preserving, what do you mean? Printing/Scrapbooking? I love you idea breaking it up into smaller exercises.

    1. A lot of people are in your same boat, Tannah. It's so easy to take pictures, and they can get saved in so many places that it can be really overwhelming. I'm glad you print out your top favorite per month. That is a HUGE thing!! Yes, by "preserving," I mean getting them out of digital storage so they can be seen and held. That's how they get remembered and loved. Ideally, you are preserving them in a scrapbook or storybook or scrap page so that you can record the memories and details of each photo. I personally use Heritage Makers digital scrapbooking and storybooking (which this blog is mostly dedicated to) because it's so much faster than getting out a bunch of paper scrapbooking stuff. I create digitally and then order the book or scrap pages or whatever when I'm done. A digital copy of the project is saved in my account forever, so that's a great backup. For my photos, too. Anyway, I'm glad you liked my Two In One Plan. :) So many people just don't even know where you start, so this month-by-month idea can work really well. You already choose favorites and print regularly, so you're ahead of the game. :)

  2. I'm 20 years behind on this! I need to get my act together.

  3. I'm 20 years behind. I need to get my act together!

    1. I hear that more often than I should say. ;) Hopefully the Two in One Plan can help. :)

  4. I was behind for a while and take WAY too many photos in a month simply because of how easy phones make it these days. To keep mine, though, I will always print my favorites for the fridge and when those get replaced they will go into a photo album.

  5. I'm with Christa, at least 20 years! I have most photos saved on google photos or in my icloud. I don't even know where to begin to do this!


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