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My Picture Hoarding Problem

Let me set the scene.  Me, my couch, a way-too-late dinner and a mission.  Phone in hand I was ready for one of those deep investigations you go on when you have 30 free minutes and something on your mind.  I went through Facebook from about 5 different angles and got no where.  I did a google search.  Nothing.  I switched to Instagram – nada.  All I needed was to find a photograph for a presentation but I was putting effort in like I was tracking down my secret high school ex boyfriend.

Mixed in with the one image I needed were also accidental screenshots, kid game creations, recipes, receipts from stores and “receipts” – screenshots from that one-person-who-shall-not-be-named-but-I-got-the-messages-to-prove-my-case-if-it-gets-petty.  Try it for yourself, find a photograph of your whole family on your camera roll.  It might take you a few minutes.  If you’re like me you will probably give up before you find it.

The pictures on my phone seem to grow exponentially more out of control, like napkins in my glove box and half-drank soda cans on my desk. I’ve never had a quick and easy solution that seemed time efficient. I am excited to share that I think I’ve found a great solution (and no, I’m not getting paid for this endorsement).

My New Favorite App:  Slidebox

SLIDEBOX is an app for iPhone and Android that makes it easy to sort your hoarder-level of pictures.  The app is free to try but you do have to pay $50 / year or $5/mo to get a version that doesn’t have ads after you’ve sorted your first few hundred pictures.  I found the purchase well worth it to keep the process moving quickly.

Deleting a picture on my iPhone without Slidebox required far too many clicks (3 or 4, depending on how you do it) and organizing in to folders/albums was even more tedious.  The Slidebox interface accesses the native camera roll and folders that are on your device, and any sorting or deleting is done right on your phone (not on a third party site requiring uploading or downloading) or an ongoing subscription.  Your deleted images go to a ‘trash’ folder that you can still access for 30 days in case you make a mistake.  I use the app, I close the app, and everything I’ve done is waiting for me in my camera roll as if I’d done it the long way.

How It Works

At Tender-speed you will be able to swipe up to trash, swipe left/right to compare similar images, and tap an album at the bottom to sort.  The interface is intuitive so there is no instruction more than that.  Speed, speed, speed is the best part of this app.  I started with 60,000+ unsorted pictures on my camera roll and now have just 4,000 less to sort through.  On average I can get through about 500 photographs every 30 minutes.  The 60 hours I’ll spend to get everything under control has been spread out over many weeks with me working tackling a hundred or so at a time throughout the day.  If my Screen Time Report is accurate, I’m spending 7 hours a day on my phone anyway so those few minutes were easy to grab.  In fact I encourage you to turn to Slidebox instead of your favorite time-wasting app to make the best progress.  Also perfect for I’m-watching-TV-but-really-on-my-phone time.

Setting Up Your Albums

I encourage you to go with a very simple album structure that works for you.  Aim to keep your number of folders under 20.  The temptation to be super-super organized and create too many albums is a trap.  You’ll be stuck trying to decide between albums if your topics are too specific.  Keep it broad and go with your first instinct when you sort.  If it helps, here is mine:

Behind the Scenes
Final (this is for all my ‘final’ session images I save before posting to social media)
Funny (gotta put those memes somewhere)
Grammie and Papa
Ideas (mostly for Studio, some for home)
Johnson’s (some friends need their own folder)
Mastery (my photography business group)
Me (best selfies)
Mom and Dad
NYC Trip
Nana and Grandad
Papers (all those important docs you photograph so you won’t lose them)
That B* (a helpful folder for containing your grudges, as needed)
Us (our little family)

That’s it, just 19 different folders.  Keeping your number of folders under 20 to save time scrolling back and forth.  After you’ve deleted all your duplicates and bad pictures, each of theses albums will be easy to sort through to find something when you need it.

I knew it would be nice to have everything organized and save space on my phone, but I didn’t realize how much great content I had stored to my phone and forgotten about.  Long forgotten session ideas, behind the scenes moments, and family moments are much easier to find and enjoy.  Plus my “funny” album insures my dad remembers me as his wittiest child on the family group texts.

Go give it a try and report back!  Oh, and if you still can’t find that photograph of your whole family…call me.  A great photograph of your family should be on your walls being enjoyed and not hiding on your phone anyway.