Photo management is a great way to keep a handle on all of your memories, but it’s also important to have the right tool for the job. If you don’t need a lot of extra features and just want something that will keep track of your photos, then an online solution might be right for you. But if you want more control over how they look or where they go when shared with others, then maybe consider using an app or desktop program instead.
In this post, we review the aspects of Personal Photo Management Software, free photo management software from google, best photo organizing software free, and How do you organize thousands of digital photos?
Personal Photo Management Software
The digital age has ushered in a new era of photo management. Gone are the days of sorting through shoeboxes and Polaroids. Now, anyone can take thousands or even millions of photos with their smartphone or digital camera and upload them to cloud-based storage systems. If you have photos scattered across multiple devices and want to keep them organized in one place, then photo management software might be right for you. Photo management tools help users organize their pictures into albums and share them with friends and family members. However, there are some drawbacks to using these programs: some don’t offer backup solutions, others may be vulnerable to hackers or have privacy breaches that could expose personal information contained within image files such as passwords or credit card numbers
Before implementing a photo management tool, consider the system under which your photos are cataloged.
Before implementing a photo management tool, consider the system under which your photos are cataloged. If you want to keep your photos organized in a specific way, make sure that the tool you choose can do that. If you want to be able to organize by date, make sure that the tool is capable of doing that.
Vulnerabilities in photo management tools are not that common, but they do happen.
You can use a photo management service to store, organize, and share all of your photos. But do you know what happens with them after they’re uploaded?
As it turns out, vulnerabilities in photo management tools are not that common but they do happen. The most common type of vulnerability is cross-site scripting (XSS), which is a type of attack that injects malicious code into a web page. Attackers can use XSS to steal information from the user or take control of their browser completely.
If you want to take your photo management on the go, then look for a system that offers mobile apps.
If you want to take your photo management on the go, then look for a system that offers mobile apps. You can use these apps to keep your photos organized in a way that suits you best and share them with friends and family.
Mobile photo apps are useful for managing your photos on the go, but they won’t do much if you don’t have an easy way to access them from various devices. If you plan on using an app as part of your personal photo management system, be sure that it syncs with other devices so that all of your pictures are available wherever they’re needed.
Your photo management software should be easy to use, and able to keep your photos organized in whatever way suits you best.
You shouldn’t have to spend a lot of time learning how to use your photo management software. The best programs should be intuitive and easy for anyone to figure out, whether they’re a beginner or an experienced user.
The best programs are also able to organize photos however you want them organized. For example, some people like their photos arranged chronologically by date; others prefer them organized by location (say, by country), or by album title instead of folder name. The more flexible the program is in terms of organizing its files, the better it’ll be at keeping your files neat and tidy with minimal effort on your part—which means more time for shooting pictures!
Finally, another important feature in any good photo management software is sharing capabilities: It should be possible for you to share photos easily via email or social media platforms while still maintaining control over which versions/sizes/versions get shared where through permissions settings within each individual file’s properties panel (or similar).
Photo management systems can help you organize and share your memories while keeping them secure at the same time.
Photo management software can help you organize and share your memories while keeping them secure at the same time. They do this by allowing you to create albums, share photos with friends and family, post them to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, or back them up in the cloud. In addition to these features, many of these programs have built-in security measures that protect your photos from malware and hackers.
free photo management software from google
Photo Organizer scans entire system or specific folders to find scattered digital images and organize them smartly in a single location or folder, based on metadata.
Streamline Your Photo Collection
Photo Organizer can efficiently consolidate photos in a separate library or single accessible destination after scanning the whole computer.
Scan the whole system by selecting ‘System Scan’ or a particular folder by adding it to Photo Organizer.
Decide the location of the final folder where scanned photos are finally organized with sub-folders.
Allows you to move the images or simply copy them to destination folder, leaving your original photos safe.
Don’t wish to scan a particular folder or drive for photos? Just add it to exclusion list and it will be skipped.
Rename the Whole Batch Of Images
Renaming a number of images at the same time is easy and quickly possible by sorting the criteria of the sub-folder.
Create custom sub-folders based on ‘date taken’, ‘camera mode’, ‘camera-date mode’ etc. for convenience.
Just a single click to undo all your changes and send the photos in their original location with Revert option.
Manual renaming takes a huge amount of time, but you can save tons of time with batch renaming.
Renaming photos based on photo metadata makes them easy to find, especially with a large photo collection.
Delete Duplicate Photos
Recover the device’s disk space by removing duplicate images. The quick scanning engine uses algorithms to find duplicate photos swiftly.
Photo Organizer scans and deletes duplicate images thus saving disk space for future image downloads.
Image gallery automatically becomes organized with zero duplicates and images are easy to locate.
Once all duplicates from your photos are removed, finding the desired image is simple and manageable.
You can also remove duplicates from your entire collection before you organize photos in new folders.
Hassle-Free Access To Photos
Photo Organizer comes with an inbuilt Photo Viewer where you can quickly find any photo without searching for it all over your computer.
Various albums or sub-folders are sorted based on chosen preferences like date, year, camera, etc.
New photos can be added to existing album by choosing ‘+’ sign beside it via Photo Organizer tool.
A pop-out icon or export feature in the tool allows the folder browsing where pictures can be exported.
Manually organizing your photos can take from hours to days. Save tons of time with Photo Organizer.
Photo Organizer scans your entire system or specific folders to find scattered digital images and organize them smartly at a particular location or folder, based on its metadata.
Compatible OS: Windows 10 (both 32-bit and 64-bit)
best photo organizing software free
Today, pretty much every photographer needs top-notch best photo organization software, from amateurs and enthusiasts all the way up to pros.
But what image organization software is best? How can you choose from among the dozens of options on the market? Plus, what should you even look for in your organization software?
It’s all in this article.
So to discover the importance of photo management software and determine the perfect program for your needs, read on!
My Best Photo Organizing Programs
Best Photo Organizing Software Reviewed: Top 7 Picks
Below, I give an overview of key photo organization software to consider. I highlight the benefits, the drawbacks, and the major reasons to hit the “Download” button for each program.
Starting with the best overall pick:
Adobe Lightroom – The Best All-Around Photo Organizing Software
Adobe Lightroom is the most popular image organization software on the market today, and for good reason – the program offers a comprehensive set of digital asset management features and an intuitive layout, plus you get access to Lightroom’s pro-level editing features on the side.
If you have thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of files on hand, there’s no need to panic. Simply create a handful of Lightroom Collections (like folders, but with some extra functionality, plus they only exist in the Lightroom catalog and not on your desktop), sort the photos by date or genre, and you’ll have your entire image library cleaned up in no time.
Lightroom also features several easy ways of ranking and identifying photos. You can add stars, apply “pick” labels, color code images, add keywords, and more. Then, when you’re done sorting images, you can hop over to Lightroom’s Edit module for some quick – or in-depth – post-processing. Unlike several other options discussed below, Lightroom’s editing capabilities are anything but basic, and are routinely used by amateurs and pros alike.
Lightroom offers the whole package, so if you’re willing to shell out for an Adobe monthly subscription, you’re bound to be satisfied.
Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
Luminar AI – The Best Photo Organizing Software for Beginners
Luminar AI is known primarily as an image editor, but it does boast limited organization capabilities – so if you like the sound of Luminar for post-processing, why not use it to manage your files?
While Luminar AI lacks the digital asset management capabilities of Lightroom (above), it’s dead simple to use, you can organize photos into albums, plus you get basic ranking functionality. Compared to Lightroom, it’s not much, but it’s worth asking yourself: Do I really need a complex program for photo management? Luminar AI may be basic, but it offers enough for a huge percentage of photographers, especially if your catalog is smaller and requires little organization hierarchy.
Plus, there’s a bonus: Luminar AI is the most powerful AI-based image editor on the market in 2021. So you won’t have to stop at photo organization; you can adjust colors, adjust composition, and even swap skies for gorgeous results. For beginners, it’s quite possibly the best photo editor and photo manager available.
Compatibility: Mac, Windows
Photo Mechanic – The Best Professional Photo Organizing Program
Photo Mechanic does one thing, and it does it really, really well: It helps you speed-organize your images so that you can get them catalogued, ranked, and sent out to publishers while keeping to tight deadlines.
Photo Mechanic comes with zero editing capabilities, because that’s not what it’s designed to do. Instead, PM caters to professionals – especially in the sports and photojournalist fields – looking to keep their workflow as quick and fluid as possible. You get powerful categorization and sorting tools, easy keywording, batch editing, as well as other pro-level features such as lightning-fast previews and the “multi-card ingest,” which lets you import from several card readers at a time.
If you’re a beginner, an enthusiast, or even a regular pro, Photo Mechanic probably isn’t worth the difficulty, nor is it worth the (somewhat hefty) cost. But for budding or established fast-paced photographers, Photo Mechanic can be a career-changing organizer.
Compatibility: Mac, Windows
Adobe Bridge – The Best Free Photo Organizing Software
Most photographers don’t know this, but Bridge – Adobe’s dedicated digital asset management software – can be downloaded for free. If you’re after a pro-level organization suite but don’t want to break the bank, Bridge is the way to go.
I’m a huge fan of Bridge, myself, thanks to the in-depth image organization features and easy-to-understand design. You can browse through existing folder structures for your favorite photos, and you can sort them into Collections for easy access; you can also add star ratings, color labels, and more.
Honestly, Adobe Bridge is quite possibly the most underrated image organizing software on the market. It’s a pro-level organizer that you can grab for free, so trying it out can’t hurt – just don’t be surprised if you fall in love!
Compatibility: Mac, Windows
Google Photos – The Best Free Web-Based Photo Organizing Platform
When you think of photo organization, Google Photos probably doesn’t come to mind – yet the browser version of this popular Android app offers heaps of useful features for beginners and hobbyists. Don’t expect complex sorting and ranking, but if you’re a frequent smartphone photographer, or you just like the smooth, sleek interface, Google Photos is a fantastic pick.
Plus, all the basic tools are present; while you can’t add stars or color labels, you can put photos in albums, and you can favorite them (at which point they’ll immediately appear in the Favorites tab). You can even take advantage of Google’s high-level sorting algorithms, which automatically create albums based on places and things (looking at my own Google Photos account, I’m treated to a “Flowers” album, a “Statues” album, and more).
Google Photos’ sharing capabilities are top notch, too. Select a photo, and you can send it to family, friends, and colleagues without ever leaving the browser window.
Bottom line: While Google Photos isn’t the best organizer for everyone, if you’re after a free option that prioritizes sharing and ease-of-use, give it a try.
Compatibility: Unlimited (Browser-based)
SmugMug – The Best Web-Based Photo Organizing Platform
Unlike Google Photos, SmugMug isn’t free – but it does allow for advanced, hierarchical folder structures, which makes it the better option for serious photographers after a browser-based organizer.
Technically speaking, SmugMug is more of a website-creation service than a photo organizing program. While it offers significant organizational capabilities and unlimited photo storage, they’re part of a package, one that includes a hosted website, a domain name, and more. This does limit SmugMug’s functionality somewhat – you don’t get the ranking, searching, and sorting options offered by, say, Lightroom – but it also offers new opportunities for display and marketing.
For instance, if you are interested in creating a website, you might consider using SmugMug for both file management and portfolio display; it’ll keep your photos organized, but it’ll also let you show them off as part of a great-looking website.
SmugMug offers a set of tiered plans, ranging from $7/month to $42/month, so if you are interested, I’d recommend taking a careful look at these different options before buying.
Compatibility: Unlimited (browser-based)
DigiKam – The Best Open-Source Photo Management Software
If you’re a fan of open-source software, then DigiKam is worth a look; sure, the interface feels a bit clunky, but the program offers plenty of options for rating, sorting, filtering, and categorizing images.
DigiKam’s standard organization features go head-to-head with most of the items on this list. You can place photos into custom albums, and you have the option to add file labels – such as colors and flags – for easier retrieval later. Filtering is advanced; you can order images by nearly a dozen characteristics, perfect if you have a huge image library and need to quickly find specific files.
Interestingly, DigiKam also offers powerful image-editing capabilities. They’re a bit more involved and unintuitive than I’d like, but if you’re willing to put in the time, you’ll find yourself with a completely free image organizer and editor in one.
Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux
What Is Photo Management Software?
Photo management software is designed to organize your photos.
The organization might be simple, as in the case of Google Photos, or the organization might be complex, as in the case of Photo Mechanic. But generally speaking, an organizer will include:
Some photo management software includes editing capabilities, though this can range from the basic editing functionality offered by Google Photos to the comprehensive toolkit built into Lightroom.
Reasons to Use Picture Organizing Software
These days, we photographers take thousands of images, which can quickly become a jumbled, untouchable mess on our smartphones, tablet, or computer – unless we do something about them.
How do you organize thousands of digital photos?
Learn how to organize photos you have in digital format so that you easily find the pictures you’re looking for!
I love organizing rooms. Give me a messy, cluttered office or garage or closet, and I will probably squeal with glee and get right to work sorting, purging, and organizing.
But when it comes to organizing my digital clutter, I feel much less qualified. Organizing my digital photos has been on my to-do list for years now. Years!
I never took the time to sit down and do the work to make it happen because I knew it would take a while and wouldn’t be a quick and easy fix.
Organizing Digital Photos
But now that I have a collection of photos that is not only organized but also backed up and safe, I’m so glad that I took the time to do the work.
I wanted to share the basic process I went through to get all of my photos organized in case anyone else was having the same photo struggle I was! It takes work to get everything sorted out, but it is possible and so worth it in the end.
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
Part of the way through organizing my photos, I decided to purchase the Backup Bootcamp course from Miss Freddy to help me. Her course had many genius shortcuts that made the process go a lot faster.
Because I don’t want to steal her information, I won’t be sharing her shortcuts in this post, but I will let you know the steps in which she has shortcuts available. If you are looking for ways to speed up your digital photo organizing process, I highly recommend Backup Bootcamp.
[Because she is so awesome, Miss Freddy is offering Just a Girl and Her Blog readers $10 off the price of Backup Bootcamp when you use the code SIMPLE at checkout! Woohoo!]
Step 1- Make a plan.
Before I could just dive into a project like this one, I felt like I had to wrap my mind around it! I have a ton of digital photos and they were all over the place.
My situation was a little bit unique in that I had two different types of photos that I wanted to organize.
I have a ton of house photos from 7+ years of blogging that I wanted to organize in a way that made them easier to find.
Then I also had a bunch of digital family photos. These are pictures of Donnie and I and our friends and family members from childhood all the way up through present day.
For the purpose of this post, I am going to focus on organizing the family photos, since those are what I think most people are working with.
What’s the goal?
When it came to organizing my family photos, I had to begin with the end in mind. What was my ultimate goal? The way I wanted to be able to use my family photos in the future would determine how I would organize them.
I decided that I wanted to be able to easily look back on the major events of each year. I also wanted to have access to a collection of candid photos that represent our day-to-day life. (Think: those photos I whip out my phone to take whenever my kids are being cute!)
With this goal in mind, I decided to organize my family photos by year and then by month/event. This way I could easily find what I needed whenever I needed it. This would also make it easy to create photo books of any time period or event that I would want to commemorate.
This is how I ended up organizing my family photo files– by year and then by month and event.
Step 2- Bring all photos to one place.
Just like I like to take everything out of a space whenever I’m organizing physical items to see what I’m working with, I wanted to bring all of my photos together to one place. This helped me get an idea of everything that needed to be organized.
Ideally, I would have loved to bring all of my photos over to my laptop and organized them there. But between my family photos and my blog photos, I had a TON. There wasn’t enough space on my computer to store everything.
Using an External Hard Drive to Organize Photos
It was important to me to be able to use and access my photos without having to re-download them onto my computer. So my next option was to use some sort of external hard drive that could hold all of my photos in one place. This way, I would have room for all of my photos in one place and can work off the drive without having to re-download photos to my computer. I decided to go with a Glyph 2 TB solid state drive (SSD) to hold my photos.
Solid state drives are faster than hard drives that have a spinning disk in them. And they are else less likely to fail because there are no moving parts. Donnie has used a Glyph drive for a while now to store his photos and documents. It has worked well for him, so I was confident that it would be a good choice for me as well.
The Glyph drive was a bit pricey, but being able to have my photos all organized in one place will save me hours of searching. So for me, the investment was well worth it.
Once I had chosen the location where I wanted to organize my photos (what the photo organizing pros call the “Digital Photo Hub”), I started the process of getting all of my photos from any devices or clouds onto my Glyph drive.
This took a LONG time. Moving photos from one location to another can take hours. This is a good project to do when you can initiate the move, then walk away from the computer and do something else for a while as it’s working. When it’s done processing, then I can come back and move the next batch of photos.
Moving Photos from My Laptop and External Hard Drives
Because my first step was just to get all of my photos onto my Glyph drive, I didn’t even try to sort or delete any photos yet. I simply created a folder on the Glyph drive indicating where each batch of photos came from.
So, for example, I created a folder called “Laptop” and dragged and dropped all of the photos from my laptop into that folder.
I also had photos on two other external hard drives. So I created a folder on my Glyph drive called “Hard Drive 1” and a folder called “Hard Drive 2.” Then I dragged the photos from the hard drives into their respective folders.
Moving Photos from My iPhone
There are several different ways that I could have moved my phone photos to my computer. I ended up moving them with Amazon Photos because I planned to use Amazon Photos + Amazon Drive as my cloud storage once my photos were organized.
I had already downloaded the Amazon Photos app on my phone and synced my phone photos to it. And I also downloaded the Amazon photos app on my laptop.
From that app on my laptop, I was easily able to download the photos that had been on my phone to my Glyph drive. I placed them in a folder called “iPhone.”
The nice thing about downloading my photos from Amazon Photos was that it automatically put the date that the photo was taken in the file name. This made the photos easier to sort out later.
Moving Photos from Google Drive
Perhaps the trickiest part of moving all of my photos onto my Glyph drive was extracting the photos that I had stored in Google Drive.
To be honest, I had a bunch of photos in Google Drive because I was lazy. When the storage on my laptop would start to get full, I would dump a bunch of photos into Google Drive because it was quick and free. I could easily re-download individual photos from Drive onto my computer if I needed them.
Downloading one photo at a time from Google Drive is easy. Downloading a huge number of them was trickier. After trying some unsuccessful strategies, I ended up using Google Takeout to download all of my Drive photos at once.
Because I had so many photos, it took Takeout several hours to prepare my files. They broke them into zip files of 50 GB each. I ended up with five separate zip files due to the large number of images I had.
The tricky thing about this method was that I then had to re-consolidate the contents folders that Takeout had split up when it did the download. This process took me a few hours. But it was still much quicker than trying to download folders from Drive individually.
Step 3- Organize photos into folders chronologically.
So once I finally had all of my photos in one spot– on my Glyph drive– I began sorting my family photos by year, and then by month and event.
Remember those shortcuts I mentioned from Miss Freddy? She has one for this process that was absolutely huge. I was able to use her shortcut to get my photos automatically divided by year and then by month, saving me hours and hours of work.
[Note: I did not have her shortcut do this to all of my photos at once. Some of my pictures were already divided into year/month/event folders that made sense, so I only used the shortcut on the folders that were kind of a mishmash of dates.]
If simply having photos divided by year and then by month is enough for you, you can use the shortcut and stop there!
I knew that it would be easiest to find the photos I was looking for if I broke them down further by event, though. For example, I may not remember that we took our kids to the zoo in July of 2017, but if I have a folder called “2017_7 Zoo” rather than just “2017_7,” it will be a lot easier to find our zoo photos. And I will be a lot more likely to actually look back at them and use them in a photo book or in another way.
So after using Miss Freddy’s shortcut to divide my photos by year and then by month, I took the extra time to manually break them down even further by event. This allowed me to quickly scan and find the exact set of photos I was looking for.
For every set of photos that I was able to automatically sort into year and month, there were inevitably some photos that didn’t have the correct date coded into their metadata. These photos were sent to an “other” folder.
I then ended up going through the “other” folder manually and placing the photos in the correct year/month/event.
What About Candid Photos?
While organizing my photos, I came across several folders that had been part of an “iPhone dump.” Wanting to make room on my phone, I dropped all of the photos into a folder on my computer and forgot about them.
Most of these iPhone photos didn’t belong to a specific event but were shots of ordinary, everyday life. Some of the candid photos of my boys that were in these “iPhone dump” folders were the best ones!
Since these candid photos didn’t belong to any particular event, I simply created an “Abby’s iPhone” folder for the year. I then used Miss Freddy’s shortcut to divide the photos by month so they were a little more organized.
If I found a series of photos from the iPhone folder that belonged to a specific event, I would create an event-based folder for them.
For example, all of the photos that eventually ended up in the “2018_7 Haven” folder shown above were once in my “Abby’s iPhone 2018” folder called “2018_7”. When I realized that I had a bunch of photos from Haven, I gave them their own folder. Then I could find those specific photos more easily.
Step 4- Do a clean up, removing photos that are no longer needed.
Whew! Miss Freddy’s shortcut helped me sort my photos into year/month folders. But even so, getting all of the images separated by date and event took hours and hours of work.
While I was sorting, if I came across a batch of photos that I obviously didn’t need (like 37 selfies that my kid had taken of his nostrils, lol), I would trash those photos. But for the most part, I left the photos as they were.
Once the pictures were all sorted into their correct date/event folders, I went through each folder and cleaned it up. I deleted photos that were blurry, irrelevant, or unneeded.
This process can be very tedious on a Mac. But again, Miss Freddy came to the rescue with another shortcut that helped me to delete unnecessary photos more quickly. (It still took a good amount of time even with the shortcut. But it was much, much quicker than it would have been without it.)