Using photo organization software, you can locate any picture by date, subject, or even by the name of the person in seconds.
Imagine trying to find a specific picture of the family's 1987 vacation to Disneyland. It'd be easy if that was the only picture you've ever taken in your entire lifetime. But this picture resides in a crammed file cabinet, along with thousands of others you've taken over the years. Once digitized, locating any picture is a breeze.
Once your pictures are on your computer, you will need to install photo organization software. Your digital camera or scanner may have bundled the software with your purchase. Some software, including Adobe Photoshop Album Starter Edition and Google's Picasa can be used for free.
I've used PhotoShop Elements for years, which combines the organizational software with powerful editing tools. Using its Tags and Collections feature, I can assign a tag to each individual picture. Once tagged, I can filter all of the pictures to just show me those that are tagged.
For example, I created a "Legoland 2007" tag, and applied it to all 357 pictures of our Legoland vacation. Whenever I want to view/locate these pictures, all I have to do is click on the Legoland 2007 tag, and immediately my 8,000 plus digital pictures are filtered to only show me these 357. Within these pictures, I could click on the tag I created for my 7-year-old, and instantly, the 357 pictures are filtered to show me only those of my 7-year-old.
I have created tags for vacations, individual family members, sporting events, and even one for pictures of Santa Claus. I have to be careful when showing these to my kids, because when I filter all my pictures to just show Santa Claus, it becomes obvious that his appearance changes every year.
Heritage Collector Suite is organizational software for digital images designed specifically for genealogists. It can import all of the pictures linked to your Legacy family file so you don't have to manually add them to a collection. It can even add Hot Spots to pictures as shown in the image below.
If you're still contemplating your New Year's resolutions, getting digitally organized is certainly an achievable goal.