Organize those Digital Images

This is your periodic reminder to organize your digital images as you find them. Do not just dump them in one or two folders called “genealogy downloads” or something equally vague.

There are a variety of organizational techniques. Pick one and stick with it. Many people use the name of the person from the record as part of the file name–usually the first part. One approach is to have folders for different surnames and then images and folders within that folder for individuals of that surname. If I put every image on a Rampley relative in one folder for that last name, it is overwhelming. My Rampley folder contains numerous folders to separate the images.

How to organize folders really depends on the structure of your family, where they lived and how long, how many different families lived in the exact same place and are mentioned in the same record, etc. Sometimes I have folders for specific individuals and other times have folders for certain counties where various branches of the family lived.

I tend to use lengthy file and folder names to help me find things that can only be put in one place but actually belong in quite a few because of the different families mentioned.

The time it took me to re-find this unorganized image was time I could have spent locating a new image of a new record.

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