How to Organize Your Digital Photos for Scrapbooking



Choosing the right photos to use in your scrapbook layouts can be a daunting task. If you’re anything like me, you probably snap hundreds of pictures a month without even realizing it: pictures of the kiddos, fur babies, family events, vacations, a night out with friends, etc.

Whether using a digital camera or your smartphone, it’s so easy to capture moments as they happen, and then forget about them (as they pile up on your phone or memory card until you start getting warning messages about low storage!). Then you’re faced with the challenge of getting the photos off your phone and into some kind of tangible form that you can use for scrapbooking, photo albums, framing, etc.

Here’s how I save, organize, and print photos for scrapbooking and photo projects.

Edit as You Go


I can get quite snap happy – I take multiple shots for each moment, (let’s not get started on burst mode), so I don’t miss a thing! If you let those pile up, they will get quite overwhelming (not to mention take up all your storage space!). After capturing a moment or at home after the event, I review my shots right away and delete the blurry ones, pics where not everyone’s looking, or someone is making an unflattering face (although sometimes those come in handy for blackmail purposes 😉

Have a System

Once you’ve unloaded those photos to your computer, you’ll want to organize them in a way that is easy to sort through, both now and in the future. I know some people that save pictures according to who’s in them, or by location, event etc. But here’s a system that has worked well for me for several years:

  • I save a folder for each year, and within that have folders for each month.
  • I also add the corresponding number in front of each month so the folders appear in calendar order.
  • If a holiday or special event takes place, I’ll save another folder within the month that the event occurs.

So my photo hierarchy looks something like this:


So even if you don’t get to unload your photos until months after they were taken, it’s still easy to drop the images in the correct folders in large groups.

Getting Your Prints

If you’re a digital scrapbooker, you may not need to get individual prints, and just print your entire scrapbook page layout or book via your chosen online software or service. But if you’re a traditional scrapper, you need to turn those digital files into physical prints.

Of course, if you have a photo or high-quality color printer, you may be interested in printing your photos at home. If I’m working on a project (like a greeting card) that only requires 1 or 2 shots, this option makes sense for me. But for scrapbooking, I need a larger batch, so I turn to my favorite online photo printing service: Shutterfly.


With Shutterfly, I can either upload the images to my account from my computer using their Express Uploader, or I can upload them directly from my phone using their mobile app. I maintain the same photo hierarchy in my Shutterfly account that I use on my computer, so it’s easy to keep things organized. Shutterfly is always offering great promo pricing and sales, including my favorite “101 Free Prints”, which comes around a few times a year.

Note: I am in no way sponsored by Shutterfly, but I’ve been using them for years and love how easy it is to upload, organize and affordably print my photos! Of course, you could use a different online photo service like Snapfish, or conveniently get your prints where you shop like Target, Walgreens, and Walmart.

Once you’ve got your photos organized, you’re ready for the hardest part – choosing which ones to use in your scrapbook! (Sorry there’s no easy way out of that one!) Of course you can use whatever method(s) work best for you, this is just what has worked well for me! What’s your method for editing, organizing, and printing photos? Feel free to share in the Comments below!

Happy Scrapping!

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