Friday, January 12, 2018

Making a Plan to Catch Up On Your Photos

Like many things, catching up on your photos is just a worthy goal until you have an actual plan to do it.  If you have photos on phones, cameras, hard drives, and clouds, making time and making a plan to preserve them in a tangible form can be a little overwhelming.  Once you have a plan, though, you can move forward.  Even big tasks can be accomplished when you know how you’re going to do it.  So let’s get you on that road.

First, let me explain what I mean by "catching up on your photos."

As I like to say, “Don’t let your babies grow up to be JPEGs.”  Digital photo storage is still just storage.  Photos need to be seen in order to be known.
"The sheer volume and lack of organization of digital photos for personal memories discourages many people from accessing and reminiscing about them.  In order to remember, we have to access and interact with the photos, rather than just amass them.”  ~Linda Henkel, psychological scientist
So if you’ve been amassing some photos, getting them out of digital form into something tangible is the only way they will be interacted with and loved.  It’s how memories stick with us.  It’s quite {literally preserving memories}.

When I say “catch up on your photos,” I mean be current.  If you have photos on your phone/camera/computer from 2012 that haven’t been preserved in a tangible way, I’d like to help you catch up.  Memories are best preserved when they’re fresh.  My goal in this month’s #familyhistoryfriday posts is to get you there.

Setting aside time is key!

In the {Tips on Bringing Photos to Life} I posted several months ago, I said that an hour a week makes a difference.  Have you ever thought about what kind of progress you could make if you worked on preserving your photos for 52 hours this year?

heirloom-quality 5x5 softbound book made {here}
I think one of the most critical parts of setting aside time to catch up on your photos is to recognize what would give you the most success.  What works for someone else might not work for you.  Do you work best with other people or by yourself?  Do you work best in smaller spurts or bigger chunks?

Consider which of these ideas for setting aside time for photos would work best for you, then pull out your calendar RIGHT NOW and mark it with pen!
  • 1-2 hours on a regular basis (like every Friday night or Sunday morning)
  • 3-5 hours one day a month
  • involving family members in organizing, sorting, writing down memories
  • attending a regular memory-keeping event (I host online "get togethers" through {my Facebook group} so everyone--local or not--can attend.)
  • create your own tribe; invite a group of friends to get together for memory-keeping on a regular basis (it's fun, too!)
Keep in mind, too, that not all memory-keeping methods take a lot of time.  {This one}, for example, is a quick one that's still high-quality.

If you missed the Two-in-One Plan and my free online class, Conquer Your Photos, last week, you can {find them both here}.

I am also excited to share with you some resources I have to help you find the time for this important endeavor.  “I don’t have time” is a common phrase these days.  More is coming at us in a given day than it was in a whole month 20 years ago.  Over the years as I’ve coached people with their memory-keeping, I’ve learned and then written a lot about time, time management, how the average American spends time, and {the false idea behind the phrase “finding time.”}

In fact, I wrote just this week about what I learned about time from the work of two women, Success Coach Lanette Pottle and Productivity Expert Julie Miller Davis.  If you struggle to find time, feel overwhelmed, feel like your calendar controls you instead of the other way around, {READ THIS POST, "Time flies, but you're the pilot."}!  Thank me later.  Pottle has some great things to say about our mindset about time and how shifting it gives us more time.  Davis has three tools to use when you consider ANY activity on your calendar, and she also drops a truth bomb on multitasking that blew me away.

For some additional perspective on time, both this article, {“Selective is the New Smart,”} and the great article it was based on, {“Busy is the New Stupid,”} give some really helpful food for thought on how we look at busy.

The truth is:
"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it."  ~Henry David Thoreau
Multiple trips to the grocery store each week, hours spent scrolling social media, TV watching, laundry, child care– they all take time.  Some things are worth more of our time than others.  As Thoreau said, we determine how valuable something is based on the amount of life–or time–we exchange for it.

Memory-keeping is worth the time it requires.  Recorded memories and stories {have been shown} to increase self-esteem, lower stress, increase resilience, and create a sense of belonging and purpose.  It’s good for the heart and soul.  That’s worth everything.

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This post was originally published at on January 12, 2018, by Jennifer Wise.  You can read more #familyhistoryfriday posts about photos, memories, stories, connections, and family by clicking the hashtag below next to Labels.

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