5 tips to organize photos on social media

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Mobile devices. New networks. The cloud. We’re always taking photos to use with our social media posts, but the more we take, the more unorganized we become.

Here are five simple yet often overlooked ways to keep track of what we shoot.

▪ Instagram: We may not think of Instagram as a place to organize our photos, but that really depends on how you use it. Because Instagram forces you to crop your images as a square, people who post more than selfies can afford to be specific in terms of what gets uploaded. For example, living in Chicago, I take a lot of photos of tall buildings, but Instagram is a poor place for those because of the cropping requirements. But my photos of food and drink, which I also take a lot of, almost always end up there because it’s usually easy to show dinner in a square. I wouldn’t recommend putting just any photos on Instagram; I’d recommend sharing the ones that you think have the greatest potential to be shared.

▪ Facebook: It’s far from the only place, but Facebook is really one of the best places to create albums. Because we share so much on Facebook, it makes sense to use it as a home base. Facebook will automatically create some albums, but you have a lot more control over these albums than you might realize. To create a new album from scratch, go to your Facebook profile, click on “photos” and then click on “create album.” Or click on “photos, albums” and then “create album.” You’ll be prompted to upload the first photo. Once you do, you can add photos and give your album a name. Then – and this part is key – you can share it with friends or just keep it private. Plus, you can change an album to a shared album and allow multiple contributors.

▪ Cloud: Consider the cloud as a backup for your backup. They’re your photos and they’re important, so protect them. As competition between cloud services increases, prices will decrease. That’s basic supply and demand, but when it comes to online storage, get as much as you can comfortably afford.

▪ Flickr: Flickr is not only a beautiful place to showcase your photos, it’s among the smartest places to store them. With 1,000 gigabytes – that’s 1 terabyte – of free storage for every user, you can afford to put anything and everything there. My favorite setting is the one that allows me to upload everything privately and then decide what, if anything, I want to make public. In that way, it’s like taking photos out of a shoebox and putting the best ones in a frame.

▪ Google: Google also has an auto backup, and it allows all your photos and videos to be saved to your Google account. From there, you can view them and organize them with other Google apps, including Google Drive and Google Plus. And the price is right: While Google explains that the cost of auto backup depends on your settings, you can back up an unlimited number of standard-size photos and videos for free.