Organizing Photos – Start on your smartphone

Organizing your photos can seem like a daunting task. Anyone who has been taking digital photos for a while will have a substantial quantity on their computer. Because taking photos has become almost second nature (thanks to smartphones) and they don’t take up physical space, organizing them may not always be a priority. However, when you find yourself searching extensively for a photo or wanting to create photo books but not knowing where to begin, it’s time to tackle photo organization.

Start with your smartphone itself – the main ‘culprit’ :). If you take many photos, of whatever, take a few minutes each day or week to remove all the ‘clutter’, and all duplicate photos. Here’s a list of photos you can quickly and easily delete:

  1. Photos of magazine articles, tips you still want to use. Like the attached photo of mine :). In the meantime, these can be deleted as I have utilized the information.
  2. Screenshots – they are usually handy at the time but become unnecessary later. On your phone, they have a separate folder, making it easy to clean up.
  3. Photos of items in a shop (to show or remember). After some time, these can be deleted.
  4. Timer shots (bursts). Pick one and discard the rest.
  5. Photos that are too dark or too light, unless they hold a special memory.
  6. Photos where you have many similar ones – for instance, sunsets.
  7. (Too) many photos of animals at the children’s farm or an outdoor event where you no longer remember who’s in them 🙂
  8. Blurred photos.
  9. Accidental photos.
  10. WhatsApp photos from others that you don’t want. If you want to prevent them from continually appearing in the photo library:
  • iPhone: Go to WhatsApp Settings, then WhatsApp Settings – Chats, and turn off ‘Save to Camera Roll.’
  • Android: Go to WhatsApp, tap the three dots in the upper right – Settings – Chats – Turn off Media Visibility.

By decluttering ‘at source’ in this way, you prevent your computer from being overwhelmed with photos. You can then gradually spend time organizing older photos. The key steps are:

  1. Gather all photos together.
  2. Backup
  3. Remove duplicates.
  4. Further clean up (keep only the best, most important ones).
  5. Organize (into yearly folders or themes).
  6. Optionally rename and add keywords (tags) to photos.

If you have questions about these last six points or want to work on them, feel free to contact me. I can assist you with:

  • DIY (Do It Yourself) – you get advice so that you can continue on your own.
  • DWY (Do It With You) – we work together.
  • DFY (Done For You) – I completes the task for you.



safety while travelling

Safety Tip 1: Vacation is the perfect time to back up your photos, whether you’re staying in your own country or going far away. You might think, “My photos are also in the cloud,” but things can happen there too! A cloud is not a reliable backup, especially if it’s a cloud that only synchronizes. You’re best off doing following the 3-2-1 system. Ensure you have 3 copies of your photos on 2 different media, and 1 in another location. For example, one on your computer, one on an external hard drive, and another on a different external hard drive – in another location (another house). That ‘other location’ can also be in a cloud.

Safety Tip 2: Data blocker. When you’re on a trip, you’ll be charging your phone everywhere —convenient charging stations at the airport, under your seat in the train, in hotels, at campsites, in cafes and restaurants, etc. Charging in public places carries a risk: hackers can exploit those charging spots and install spyware on your phone, and then gather various login details. It’s safer to charge as much as possible with a power bank. Even safer is to buy and use a data blocker. This is a USB plug (sometimes called a USB condom :)), which only allows the power you need to pass through, not data. There are also cable data blockers. Take a look at what they have on

Also, be cautious with free Wi-Fi. Hackers might be at work there too, setting up a fake network to monitor the data traffic of all connected devices.


clean up your e-mail box

Clean up your e-mail box. Drawers, part of object of Tejo Remy.

Whatever time of year it is – it’s always good to clean up your e-mail folders. And not only clean up, but also see if you can adjust the way that you deal with e-mails.

Do you want to clean up rigorously:
1) Create an “Old” folder and put all e-mails older than the current year there.
2) Go to that folder and sort by sender, or by subject. Keep only the most recent, or those that still contain valuable information. You can probably get rid of a lot.
3) Empty the ‘Deleted items’ folder.
4) Check the ‘Sent items’ folder. Are there any messages there for which you are still waiting for a response? Put it in a folder ‘Waiting’ – see also point 3) below.

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Working at home

Working at home. Space for your laptop in the cupboard.

The chances are that you will be working from home in one form or another. It is important that you have a good place to work, but how do you do that if you don’t have your own work room or work space? If you are working with a lap top only, it is easy enough to find a place to work. But often you will also want some paperwork, a telephone, and perhaps a tablet or other device.

You need working space. Even if it is part of the dining room table. Arrange that you have access to the space for a certain time. Agreeing blocks of time (e.g. 09.30 to 12.00) works well if you have to take into account family or housemates that also need the table. Many creative ideas have been thought of, with home-made screens, marked-out areas, or an improvised extra table leaf.

In addition to the work surface, it is important that you have a fixed place to store your laptop and accessories, folders or writing pads etc. Your shelf or your cupboard. When you work, you know that everything is there. When you have finished your work or stop for the day, put everything away. Clear the table – make this a habit.

Working in blocks and clearing everything up helps you to find a balance when you working from home. Divide the days of the week into for example work, house, children, social contacts, exercise. Some activities will be fixed, others not. Make a schedule for yourself and off you go.  The schedule does not have to be set in concrete, but it helps you to make sure that you do all the things that require attention.

Make clear when you are working and when you are ‘at home’ for other activities. If you have the flexibility to decide when you work, think about when you have the most energy to undertake particular bits of work. If the timing of the work is not under your control, take care to plan and make agreements about ‘focus’ time. My Plan-in is a handy tool for this.

Read also my tip about Concentrated working