SLT040: How To Organize Your Photos

Be honest. If you’re like us you probably have thousands of photos, digital or print photos that are totally disorganized! You have the best intentions, but you probably have no idea how to organize your photos. Welcome to our world!

We were thrilled to have the opportunity to interview Cathi Nelson, Founder and President of the Association of Personal Photo Organizers (APPO) to help answer one of the most asked questions here on Simple Life Together: “How do I organize my photos?”

how to organize your photos

The interview was fantastic! Cathi offered up a wealth of information on how to organize your photos, both your physical and digital photos. We highly, highly recommend listening to the interview!  Before you do, here is little more information about Cathi and some of the questions we asked her on the show: Continue reading…


How To Organize Your Photos: An Interview With Cathi Nelson:

About Cathi Nelson:

Cathi Nelson is the founder and president of the Association of Personal Photo Organizers™ (APPO), and her own photo organizing business, Photo Simplified. Cathi Nelson has been helping people organize their photos for over 17 years. Through Appo, Cathi is now teaching others to do the same. Appo provides support and education for entrepreneurs looking to build a photo organizing business, and educates the public on the need for photo organizing services. Cathi is also member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO).  She was a speaker at the 2011 NAPO annual conference and the Independent Photo Imagers Annual Conference, and frequently speaks on photo organizing at libraries, continuing adult education classes, and photo organizing retreats. If you want to know how to organize your photos, you won’t find better answers than from Cathi Nelson!

Interview Questions:

1. Tell us a little more about who you are and how you make people’s lives simpler.

2. What is the biggest challenge you see with folks and organizing their photos? (Lack of routines…taking too many pictures…not letting go or deleting bad ones…unclear idea of how you want to store and enjoy them?)

3. Organizing hard copy photos can be a daunting task.  For those with hundreds or even thousands of physical/hard copy photos, do you have a recommended process of how they can organize them?

4. How do you recommend people categorize their photos?  Chronologically or by person, place, event?

5. What are some ways and products people can use to store their printed photos and negatives? Any special considerations for storing old, fragile, sentimental, or historical photos?

6. With mobile devices, it’s so easy to take hundreds and even thousands of photos before we even think to download them. Do you have any recommended strategies for managing our mobile device photos?

7. I heard you say on one of your tutorials: “Don’t let your kids grow up to be JPEGS.” Can you explain what you meant when you said this?

8. Do you have any preferred software to organize digital photos? What about creating photo books?

9. How can one alleviate their fears of losing hard copy or digital photos?

10. What types of habits or routines can people adopt to manage and keep their photos organized and prevent it from becoming a big task in the future?

11. For the do-it-yourselfers or those looking for help, what are some online resources to help people learn about organizing their photos?

Additional Photo Organizing Resources and Information:

Other popular services:

There is a great comparison of these services on CNET

Main things to consider:

  • Pricing
  • Storage capacity
  • File types
  • File size
  • Bandwidth limits
  • Resolution of pictures


Michael Hyatts’ Platform Conference 3 – 5 November 2013, in Dallas TX at the Omni Dallas Hotel at Park West:

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THING Segment:

Dan’s Thing: An article by Ally Vesterfelt on her blog at called Is There Room for Sentimental Attachment In Packing Light?

Vanessa’s Thing: Simple fun on the Slip’n Slide! Sometimes just being “present” with your kids is all you need!

Resources and Links:

Picture Keeper Photo Backup

APPO video: explains what personal photo organizers can do…or how to become one!

APPO website

Photo Simplified: Cathi Nelson

Cathi on LinkedIn

Cathi on Twitter

Reach Cathi by phone: (United States) 1-860-904-5365

Photo Keeper: simple and small photo backup device

NY Times Article with Cathi

Linea App:  photo sharing program that syncs across your devices: iPad, iPhone, or desktop

Archival Methods storage and presentation products

CNET comparison of online photo services

Map iPhoto Library to External Drive

Charity:  SLT donated $50 to Women to Women International on behalf of Cathi Nelson for spending  time with us on our show and sharing her expertise

Ally Vesterfelt’s post Is There Room for Sentimental Attachment In Packing Light?

Ally Vesterfelt’s book Packing Light and her accompanying blog for the book at

Platform Conference: Coupon Code for $100 Off: SIMPLE

The Book: Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World

Podcasting A to Z course Discount Code : SIMPLE for $500 off!

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Photo Credit: ohsohappytogether

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3 thoughts on “SLT040: How To Organize Your Photos

  1. Oh, thank you for posting this! I’ve been listening to the podcast for a while but I haven’t caught up yet. I’m currently on episode 23. I’ve been meaning to write a review, but haven’t gotten to it yet. I will, I promise. Love the podcast. Anyway… I just got a new Mac and finally got an external hard drive. I’m copying files onto the EHD so I can hook it up to the new computer. Apparently I have 19,912 files just in the “photos” folder on my old laptop. I know it needs some serious attention. So I hopped on here hoping that the photos episode had been done. Much to my delight it was right at the top! I haven’t even listened to it yet, but I’m quite excited to do so!
    Thanks again!

    • Thanks so much for listening in! Talk about timing, huh? We put a link in the shownotes for Episode 40 that shows you how to map your iPhoto library to your external hard drive, too, if you’re interested. Hope this helps!

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