My last post showed the photo books I make to remember my kids' childhoods. Because I make at least 3 books a year I've had to come up with an organization process. I've been making these books for seven years and have been known to become overwhelmed by them. Now that I've made so many, I have a process that works for me. Hopefully you can take some of my elements and come up with a way to organize your photos so that you can make photo books too!
I use a MacBook Pro and this is what my iphoto screen looks like. I take a ton of photos; more than most people I know. I keep an "album" (similar to a folder) for every month.
Here is an up close shot of 2 of my albums. Underneath each photo album I list the month and year. I also include the ages of my kids for a quick reference. As you can see one album says "June 2012 (k6, c5, g3)" and the other says "July 2012 (k6, c5, g3)".
Off to the left of my iphoto screen I keep a separate set of "albums" (confusing since they have the same name, I know). These are my books I'm currently working on! I make a book title for each one I am in the process of making. As you can see, I have several. The ones with *** are books I've completed and ordered. If there is no *** I still need to upload the photos and create the book online. Near the bottom of this photo you can see the albums titled "Vacation"," Gage 3-4 (2012-2013)", "Cash 5-6 (2012-2013)", "Keely 6-7 (2012-2013)", etc. Each of these albums hold photos that I want included in each book. I add photos throughout the year and they remain in chronological order.
On the first of every month I add photos from the previous month's photo album to the albums (titles) which are the books I'm making. For example, on August 1st I will open the photo album with my July photos. I flag (or mark) each photo I want in my daughter's photo book. After I have the whole month flagged I move only those photos into the album titled "Keely 6-7". Then I unflag the photos of her and go back through the July photo album to flag my son Cash's photos. I move those photos into his album titled "Cash 5-6". Then I do the same process for my son Gage. It really doesn't take long at all since I'm only going through one month's worth of photos. My Mac does not remove the photos from my photo albums. It just copies them over to the album for the book I'm making.
After my kids' birthdays I have an entire year of special, hand picked photos all ready and waiting to be uploaded to my favorite photo book site. I usually have about 300 photos per book. I like using "My Publisher" but I really don't think it matters which company you go with. Many of my first books came from Kodak Gallery (which is now Shutterfly, I believe). All of the major companies offer photo books and they are simple to make. You can use Costco, Snapfish, Shutterfly, Walgreens, etc. The options are endless. And they all offer coupons! Just google search for them!
When it's time to make your photo book you won't have to go through a year's worth of photos if you keep up on them each month. You can even use the "simple" method for making your books...meaning you upload the photos and the site creates the book for you. The photo company delivers your finished book to your home and voila! You have your very own photo book documenting your child's year!