Bill is looking for some suggestions on organizing his photos. “Now that Google has decided to “kick Picasa to the curb” do you have any recommendations? I just take snapshots with phone or camera and then store on my laptop. I normally do not do any editing. I’m not a big fan of “cloud storage” I would rather have then on my laptop with backup to external HDD.”

Your simplest alternative would just be to use the Pictures library on your PC.  Windows comes with some pretty powerful photo organizing software already built-in.  Your camera will probably automatically import your photos there, anyway.

select-pictures-library

To organize your photos you can create files and move the image in to the appropriate place.

For example, you could create a file for the year and then subfolders for every month of the year.  To create a file right click and select new. The select Folder.

newfolder

You could then name the folder something like Photos 2015.

photos2015

Then make subfolders for the months of the year and save folders into the appropriate folder for that month. Once saved to that folder, you can sort by name or date.

monthsoftheyear

Using the Pictures library, you can add tags to make your images easier to find and sort.  For example, here I’ve selected multiple photos with a file.

photo-library-manage

Now, I will click Add a tag at the bottom of the window.

photo-library-manager-add-tag

I can now type in a tag.

photo-library-type-tag

You can add more than one tag. For family photos you might do something like Family, Christmas, Grandma’s House. Then hit enter. Your photos will now be tagged.

photo-library-with-tags

You can also rate your photos on a 1 to 5 system to highlight your favorites.

photo-library-stars

You can use the search box at the top of the window to search by name, date taken and tags to help find a particular photo.

photo-library-filters

You can choose to view your photos within your library as icons or part of a list.

At the top right of your Pictures Library, you’ll see a photo icon with a drop-down arrow next to it.

photowithdropdown

Click on that arrow and you’ll see options to view your images as icons or as lists:

iconorlist

If you choose Small, Medium, Large or Extra Large Icons, your photos will be displayed as thumbnails.

smallicons

Choose details and you’ll have some useful sorting options.

detailsforlist

Click the Name header to sort alphabetically. Click Date to sort by date. Clicking the header again will sort in reverse order.

namedate

Hope this helps you get organized. However, don’t discount the value of cloud backup. Remember, your external drive or flash drive is likely to be in the same location as your PC. So if there’s a natural disaster or a fire, both items may be lost together. I’d think about adding cloud backup into the mix, especially for important photos.

~ Cynthia