Digitizing photos either on your own or through a photo scanning company is a great way to preserve and sort through your memories. With the right organization strategy, you can find important photos and share them with friends and family. You don’t have to worry about pulling out boxes and sorting through piles of prints in storage bins. However, it’s not always easy to decide how to organize digital photos and other memories. How can you take thousands of prints and sort them easily? 

There are three common ways to organize digital memories: by the year the photo was taken, by the event, and by the people in the photos. Learn about the pros and cons of each organizational strategy so you choose the best ones for your needs.


1. By Time

One of the most common ways to organize when deciding how to organize digital photos and memories is chronologically. Each group of photos is assigned a year and potentially a month to go with it. This allows you to search through your photos by the relevant time period in order to find the memories you need

For example, if your daughter was born in 1980, then you can pull up all of your photos from that year to see your first memories of her as an infant. You can also see your own pregnancy photos and click through other memories from that time. By organizing digital memories chronologically, you can see everything that happened during a specific time period, creating mini time capsules in your photos. 

If you are just starting to digitize your photos, sorting the prints chronologically can also make it easier for you to send them to our team. At Memory Fortress, we cannot label every photo that we scan. However, we can create multiple files that are broken up by the year, person, or event. 

To sort your prints chronologically, place your photos in sealed Ziploc bags to keep the moisture out and label them clearly with the year. The digital files we send you will be sorted into groups by the years your write down. 

2. By Event

Another way to organize digital memories is by event. Some events generate hundreds of photos and stand out enough that you don’t want to lose them through chronological labeling. For example, a wedding can have thousands of photos attached to it, especially when you combine the official photographer’s shots and pictures taken by friends and family members. 

Other notable events that you might want to group photos by include graduations, first days of school, new babies in the family, and vacations. You might not remember the exact year you went to Hawaii, but you will remember the stunning snorkeling and romantic late-night dinners with your significant other. It’s easy to find these memories if you are simply looking for the “Hawaii” label instead of searching through the years. 

One of the main drawbacks if you choose to organize digital memories by event is that not every memory has a clear event attached to it. You might have a hard time sorting everyday photos, like the day your son first learned to ride a bike or the before-and-after photos you took when you remodeled the kitchen. 

3. By Person

A third way to organize digital memories is by the person (or people) featured in the photos. For example, you can curate piles of photos for each of your children and grandchildren. You can even create labels for your pets when you find photographs of them. 

Sorting your photos by person can be a fun way to see how your family members and loved ones have grown over the years. You can watch as baby photos turn into the first day of school memories and eventually become pictures of graduations and weddings. Using this method to organize digital memories can also make it easy to pull relevant pictures if you want to use a picture to create a gift or post about a loved one online.  

There are some challenges when organizing photos based on the subject of the image. First, you need to decide how you will sort group photos. Does a picture of a couple on their wedding day get placed in the bride’s files or the groom’s? Next, you need to determine how to sort pictures without people in them at all. 

Sorting photos by person can break up some key memories. You don’t want your Disney vacation photos to get scattered across your files because you sorted them by person. There are times when this option is useful but it might not always be your best choice to organize digital memories. 

Create a Hybrid Plan to Organize Digital Memories

If you don’t want to stick to one method as you organize digital memories, consider developing a hybrid model to group photos. For example, when you send your print photos to Memory Fortress, we can group them together by year. You can then sort through the digital groups on your own and create subgroups based on the events or people photographed. For example, when you click on the folder for 1985, you can create categories for your wedding, honeymoon, and first house. 

Ultimately, when deciding how to organize digital photos and memories, the best method is one that works for you. Your goal is to easily find your most important memories to view and share. The last thing you want is to feel overwhelmed when searching through digital scans.

Start Your Photo Scanning Project With Memory Fortress

If you are ready to start tackling the question of how to organize digital photos and memories and turn your boxes into neatly organized files, turn to the experts at Memory Fortress. We receive thousands of photos every day and can make sure your prints and videos are scanned, labeled, and returned within 5-10 business days. We invest in the latest photo scanning technology to make sure each memory is preserved clearly and looks its best. 

Start your photo scanning order today. For only $29 down you can let us know what photos, videos, and scrapbooks we should expect.

We digitize everything right here at our facility in metro Atlanta, processed by US citizens.

2180 Satellite Blvd Suite 400 Duluth, GA 30097
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday, Sundayclosed

Local Atlanta walk-in customers MUST have an appointment for prompt service. This applies to both dropping off materials, and picking up materials as well.