Posts tagged ‘photo organization’

June 10, 2011

Saved by Memory Manager…

The headline might be a little dramatic, but I’m so happy that I use  Creative Memories Memory Manager for my photos. Last Saturday while I was working on a project, my external hard drive crashed. And while it was a trifle annoying, I was up and running with all my photos intact in about 20 minutes.

Now, I was actually away from my home computer, so I had to wait until I got home, but once there, I simply rebuilt my photo vault from the shadow copy that Memory Manager creates every time I exit my software. Nothing was lost! No edits, no tags, no folders, everything good as new!

That is my kind of back up!

What is a Shadow Copy? It’s magic! Well, not really, but it felt like magic on Saturday. In researching the term Shadow Copy, I found a long and boring article explaining the technology which I’m pretty sure you don’t care about. So here are the basics.

As you set up Memory Manager you are prompted to create a Shadow Copy. Normally, your photos reside in a folder called a vault on your C: drive and you use an external drive for the Shadow Copy.  Alternatively, you could keep your photo vault on an external drive and the shadow on your c: drive. This is my preference so that I have the vault available to me when I switch to using my laptop at scrapbook events.

When you exit Memory Manager, as long as your shadow copy is configured properly (don’t worry, it’s easy!), Memory Manager AUTOMATICALLY updates the shadow. The Shadow Copy contains a copy of all the photos and all edits, tags, folders… All Everything. When the vault drive crashes (they all crash eventually) nothing is lost!

If you currently use Memory Manager and if your shadow is set up properly, you should see this screen as you exit Memory Manager letting you know that it is backing up any changes you made while the program was open.

If you don’t see the screen, check to make sure the Shadow Copy path is pointing to the correct drive.

On the home screen (welcome page), make sure that there is a green check mark next to the words “Shadow Copy”. In the screen capture below, Shadow Copy is circled in red. I know it’s kind of small, but I wanted you to see the whole screen so you could place where it is. If the check mark isn’t there, there will be an exclamation point. Click on it, and make sure that Memory Manager knows where your shadow copy should be. That’s all!

I can no longer answer questions about Memory Manager. My suggestion is to upgrade to Panstoria’s Historian where support will be provided. Panstoria is the company that developed MM and your vault should transfer into Historian with little or no difficulty.

September 17, 2010

Where Do I Begin (the eternal organizing dilemma)?

A new twitter follower said, “I really would like to do ‘something’ with my photos, but I don’t know where to start!”

She is overwhelmed and I know she is not alone. Once I get overwhelmed, I go into avoidance behavior. (if I pretend it’s not there, maybe it will go away…)

Of course, I know that the avoidance weighs on me, and whatever I was trying to avoid becomes bigger and more powerful.

I say, take back the Power!

Most of the time, once I tackle the project I’ve been avoiding (the task I’m usually avoiding is cleaning my desk), I realize that I made the project bigger and more insurmountable than it really is.

Your photos are no different.

So, here are a few small suggestions for getting started doing SOMETHING with your printed photos. (we’ll cover digital photos in another post)

Although Stephen Covey says, “Begin with the end in mind”, I’m going to suggest that to keep from being overwhelmed, you do step one and two without worrying about the end result. And as you do the first two steps, you may find some inspiration sneaking into place…

One, gather your printed photos in the same temperature-controlled place (see my last article about getting Hurricane Ready… you could insert all other types of disasters here, natural and otherwise.)

Two, buy some type of photo safe container and put the photos in it. They don’t have to be organized, just safe. In my previous post, I recommended a product that I like and sell, however, whatever you choose to purchase, look for these two qualities:

  1. the container should block light (light damages photos so, no clear plastic containers)
  2. made from a material that is non-reactive to photos. (If you want some nerdy details, here is a great link to the National Archives Website)

Once you’ve completed Step 1 & 2, you can begin to think about this question, “What is it that I want to do with my photos?”

If the answer is I’d like them organized in the boxes in some fashion, then that is your next step. Although arranging your photos in chronological order is very tempting, it is the most time-consuming and perhaps the least useful.  Consider arranging by family member, holidays and events, or use Stacy Julian’s Library of Memories approach, it’s up to you! Make it easy, make it fast and don’t sweat over each photo.

If the answer is I’d like to create photo albums, then, ask yourself this question, “Which of these photos means the most to me right now?” If you hear yourself saying “I should”, unless the should is intimately connected to the photos that mean the most, don’t go there! The photos which are most important, that provoke an emotional response are a sure bet for a great album that you can finish. If you have even just one album (scrapbook or slip-in style) of photos you really love, you’ve accomplished something genuinely worthwhile.

If you still feel overwhelmed, get help. Leave me a comment and I’ll see if I can help!

September 13, 2010

It’s Hurricane Season… where are your photos?

It’s officially hurricane season (it has been for a while) and as Scott Simon of NPR tweeted earlier today, a Hurricane named Igor seems a lot scarier than Hurricane named Earl. But, no matter, it’s past time to have a Hurricane Plan. So here are my thoughts.

Flashlights with Fresh Batteries – Check
Enough Fresh Water to Last Several Days (One Gallon Per Person/Per Day) – Oops, I’ve got some but not enough, better put that on the to do list.
Battery Operated Radio (or one that we can wind up to listen to) – Check (thanks to Georgia Public Radio!)
And of course, there is more… but

I think you get the drift (please check here for a comprehensive list of hurricane preparedness tips), because what I really want to talk about is your photos.

First, do you know where your photos are?

Are they scattered all over the house, tucked in drawers, baskets, etc? If they aren’t in a central location – that should be. This is step one.

At Least They Are All In One Place!

For physical photos, I use a Power Sort Box by Creative Memories and Photo Albums. I’m a Creative Memories Consultant, so that is a given. But even if I weren’t, this is a box I’d want.  It features dark storage (benefit = your photos are protected from light, photo’s natural enemy), the material is photo safe (benefit = materials won’t speed up degradation of photos) and it holds 1200 photos (benefit = just enough photos that you can carry it comfortably) with a lid that clasps (benefit = if it drops, the photos mostly stay in place).

If you have to evacuate, you want to access your photos quickly and easily. I probably have too many albums to load all of them in the car, so I’ve been giving some thought to which albums I’d take. I’ve decided I’d take the albums which have “film” photos in them, such as my wedding album, my 12 year old’s baby album, and her first school album. I can’t replace those.  If I can get the dogs and cats to cooperate, I may try to find room for more! Of course, I hope it won’t come to that, but, it’s good to consider these questions now, while my brain isn’t in panic mode.

This Is More Like It!

So, what about all those digital photos?

First, backing up is ESSENTIAL! I use Memory Manager (from Creative Memories… big surprise) and here is the simple reason. It works really well and backs up automatically every time I shut down. In 2005, I lost about three months of photos (on a new computer which completely died). Never Again! As soon as I got my replacement computer I bought an external hard drive and forever after have used the “shadow copy” feature of Memory Manager.

I figure that part of my evacuation plan will be to grab my external hard drive (much easier than trying to grab a tower. Additionally, I am using Mozy to back up to an offsite location. This way I have three copies of all my photos – my originals, my shadow copy and a copy that is not in my house.  Occasionally I back up to CD, but I do this less and less, since I have the other options. There are other great options for offsite photo back up including but not limited to the Creative Memories Photo Center, Shutterfly, and Flickr.

Do you have a hurricane plan for your photos? I’d love to hear your tips… please share your suggestions!