Digital Photo Organizer Checklist

Are you thinking about using a digital photo organizer to tag, sort, and enjoy your family photos but aren't sure what kind of functionality you need - or the full range of what is even offered?

Here are some questions you can use to help evaluate different photo organizing options:

How do I want to access the organizer?

Photo organizing software comes in a variety of packages: web-based app - phone/device app - computer download. Before you purchase an app, consider all the ways you'd like to access your account and make sure the product offers them.

What kind of file types do I need to organize?

Not all file types are supported by all platforms. If you have TIF or RAW files you need to organize, be sure your platform accepts these. Some platforms will compress your files, so if maintaining the highest resolution photo is important to you be sure that your platform and/or account option accommodates that.

How do I want to store my organized photos?

Many organizing platforms come with private cloud storage. Some require you to save photos to your computer or an external device/storage provider. Be sure to choose a photo organizer that allows you to save your photos the way(s) you wish. Tip: a wise tactic is to back up your images multiple ways and not just rely on the organizer.

What level of metadata support is important to me?

Information tagged to photos can be added to the image file as metadata. This lets the story travel with the photo. Other platforms that read metadata can use it to automatically tag and sort photos. If keeping details with photos is important to you, choose a digital organizer that reads, edits, and exports photo metadata.

Can I add details as specific tags?

When details are added in specific fields vs. as a general keyword, these can be embedded in your photo files as more useful metadata. For example, location details added via a map field can be added as actual GPS coordinates. Key fields to look for in a photo organizer include people, caption, location, date, album/event, and object.

How do I want to share my photos and collaborate?

Many photo organizers have sharing capabilities. Things you'll want to consider are whether your recipients need to have an account to view your albums and whether you can share photos with the tagged details viewable and/or embedded if exported. Also, you'll want to know if the platform allows recipients to comment/edit tags/add their own photos to your album if that functionality is important to you.

Are there special family-history functions in the app?

Some photo organizers offer functionality such as family trees, front/back photo linking, and profile pages with bio details. Look for extra features that let you capture and enjoy your photo history more thoroughly.

What level of control do I want for my photos and account?

First, you'll want to look for whether you retain full ownership of photos added to the platform and whether you're able to assign a "backup" contact if your account becomes dormant. Also, it's important to know whether you can export your entire account and whether details added/edited in the platform are embedded as metadata.