I was sitting at my desk getting frustrated trying to come up with a video idea that I could create for my YouTube channel this week. 

Gold Star For Consistency! 

So doing what I normally do when, I can’t think of a video to create, I started browsing my list of video ideas for what felt like the 100th time! 

Finally, I thought of one that would be perfect for this current time in which most of us are stuck inside our homes without much to do.

It’s something that most of us tend to neglect but, given our extended staycation for the unforeseeable future, may be the perfect time to sit down and finally take care of! 

When I first started my photography and videography journey, I quickly realized that just throwing all my photos or videos in a single folder made it very hard to ever actually find anything later on. I needed a system!

I want to share with you the methods I’ve developed that have worked for me in keeping all my files organized. I’m sure I learned most of these things from others, but I kinda took different parts and put them together into a system that works for me. So today, we’ll be discussing both my organization when it comes to the actual folder structure on my hard drive as well as my organization inside Lightroom. 

We’ll also be discussing how I back everything up in case of a system failure!

Roll the intro!

Welcome back to the channel guys and today, as I said, we are talking about organization and backup! Before we jump in, if you are part of the family type #omg in the comments below! Also, if you’re new here thanks so much for stopping by and make sure you hit that subscribe button and ring the bell to be notified of when I post new videos if you find videos like this one… helpful!

Also, as a way of saying thanks, don’t forget to smash that like button!

With the formalities out of the way, let’s jump in!

The first thing I want to do is discuss with you guys how I structure my folders to make sure everything stays nice and organized for finding clips later in time. In order to do that, we’re going to go ahead and jump into the computer so I can show you exactly how my setup looks instead of just trying to explain it here like this. 

Alright guys, now that we are showing my desktop let me go ahead and open up my photos folder as well as my videos folder and we can look at how I structure my media. The first thing you see is a list of folders named either by location or by an event in time. Most of the time, when I need to find older media, I’m not thinking of an exact date but remembering a memory. I remember that it was at a specific event in time, for example Halloween or Christmas, or I remember where it was physically, for example Mosquito Lake, which is by my house or San Francisco, California which is on the other side of the country. Rarely, do I remember an exact date.

If we dive in to one of these folders like New York City for example, you’ll then see you are greeted by years. Inside years, you’ll see months. And personally that’s as far as I ever break my folders down.

For example, if we look under the month of December, I can tell you that all of these pictures were taken on different days throughout our visit. Personally, I could never see myself creating folders for each specific week or day of the month, however, if you really wanted to be that specific, you could.

I will occasionally put a folder of an event inside a location folder, but not a location folder inside an event folder. 

What I mean is, if there was an event the media was from but I wanted the media grouped by location because I felt that would be easier to remember in the future I will group it under the location but in a folder with the event name instead of placing the event folder in the main folder. I only put repeating main events in my primary folder.

Also, my location doesn’t just have to be a city or state but can also be things like Our Home or Mosquito Lake. Don’t be afraid to be more specific if you have places you visit around your area multiple times per year to take video or photos.

For example, If I lived in NYC I may have a separate specific folder for each area of NYC like Chinatown, Brooklyn, etc. whereas here where I live since I don’t visit those locations as frequently would have all pictures from those areas in one folder called NYC, however, here where I live, I have a lake near me named Mosquito Lake that i visit often and would be silly for me to just list it under Ohio or even Warren, Ohio.

For my videos folder, I do the same thing, but I do have two slight additions. 

In this folder on top of the location and event I have two additional folders. I have a YouTube Videos folder where I simply backup all my material for… and the completed video file for any YouTube video I have created. Then I have a vlogs folder for vlogs I post on YouTube which are then grouped by date.

And that’s how I organize my folders.

Now on to how I organize my backups and how I actually make sure everything is backed up properly.

I use two online backup services and then I also use external hard drives as fail-safes to backup my media.

Gold Star for Thoroughness!

I use Google Photos for backing up my videos and photos and I also use OneDrive to backup my photos in Full-Res RAW format. I use both for photos because if one service goes down for any reason, I still have access to them on the other platform if needed immediately. 

I can’t do this for videos as it would be too expensive since OneDrive is a paid service and video footage can be terabytes and terabytes of data depending on how often you are filming. However, that’s why even though I’m using two separate online drives to backup data, I also use external hard drives like these two which are my current backups. Both drives have the same data in case one fails. Once both are full, I get two new ones and store the full ones. I store one full one at my house and one at my parents in case of fire, water or some other act of God.

This still isn’t fool proof as I backup all my data on my computer to these external hard drives once per month on the 1st of the month. So if for some reason my Google backup wasn’t backing up my videos automatically and my computer died on say the 25th of a month. I’d lose everything for the month that I had recorded or created. At least video wise. To have a total photo loss, I’d need both Google backup and OneDrive to stop syncing for some reason.

While it isn’t foolproof I think it’s pretty close and for the 30 minutes it takes out of a month to backup new data to the external hard drives, I’m satisfied with the protection I get for the time invested. I’m not sure it would be worth it for me in terms of time to go to a weekly or daily backup procedure on my external drives.

I hope this has helped you in thinking about how you organize and backup your videos and photos and if you have a different solution that you think is better, leave it in the comments below to help others out who may be looking for a system that works for them. Because honestly, what matters most is that you find a system that works for you!

Again, as a way of saying thanks please smash that like button and if you want to see more videos like this one please hit the subscribe button below and ring the bell to be notified when I post new videos! Thanks so much for watching and until next time, peace out everybody!