Organizing photos

I like keeping our photos organized on Dropbox. Each year has a folder with sub-folders that speak to various phases in the year. Our favorite photos and videos are copied into another “favorites” folder that I sync to photos app on our phones.

I used to look forward to this sorting exercise every six months. It was nice to relive memories and pick our favorite photos and videos.

Somewhere down the line, this became a chore. I think it was after our second child was born. It was hard to find a quiet half-day to do this. There were also many more photos and videos to sort. It became a task.

So, I asked my wife to pitch in to help. But, I soon realized I liked doing it myself. That solution didn’t feel right.

After working through last year’s photos and videos over the holidays, I figured it was time to do something different. My new weekly routine involves sorting photos and videos every weekend.

I’ve done this for five weeks now and doing this in small chunks has made a world of a difference. It feels easy and approachable. Most importantly, it is fun again.

It is a reminder of the power of breaking down last tasks into small ones. It reminded me of the “Bird by bird” story.

“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. It was due the next day.

We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead.

Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.’”