A New Safety Net for My Cell Phone Pictures

Google+ Instant UploadI’ve always had a love-hate relationship with my cell phone.  As in, I love it and it hates me.

My phone ran away from home a couple months ago and have been using a backup for a while.   Losing a phone always hurts more when you have pictures you hadn’t saved to the computer yet.

I’ve written before about the instant-upload feature on Google+.  Last time I had a phone incident, I was able to view my pictures in Google+ still because they were automatically uploaded to a private album whenever I took them.  It was nice to have them, but they weren’t full resolution.  Not anymore!!

Setting up my new phone last week, I noticed there is an option to turn on full-resolution instant-uploads to Google+.  Whaaaa?  I am SO excited about this because I now have a full backup in case anything happens to my phone.  Theoretically, I can also organize the pictures onto my hard drive without ever having to plug the phone into my computer!

Read instructions on how to turn on full-resolution instant-upload here.  There are some storage limits, so I’ll have to make sure and go online and delete ones I don’t want.

Google+ Full Size Instant UploadGoogle+ is owned by Google.  I work for Google.  My affiliation with Google in no way affects or sways my opinions on its products.  The opinions expressed here are my own.


What’s on My Cell Phone, Q3 2012 Blog Hop

Cell Phone Photo Blog HopFall is upon us.  Where did the year go?

Today I’m sharing pictures from the third quarter of 2012 (July-September).  See my Q1 post here and my Q2 post here.

Just like last time, I’m joined here by some awesome bloggers who are sharing a bit of their cell phone lives:

Nat: Almost Never Clever http://www.almostneverclever.com (You are here)
Mariah: Its Fun2Scrap http://www.fun2scrap.blogspot.com/
Tammy: Your Memory Connection http://www.yourmemoryconnection.com/
Ginger: Ginger’s Life of Spice http://gingerslifeofspice.blogspot.com/
Danielle: EcoScrapbook http://ecoscrapbook.blogspot.com/
Jen: Down Home South Jersey http://downhomesouthjersey.com/
Beth: Scrapping Wonders http://scrappingwonders.com/
Katie: Katie Stories http://katie-stories.blogspot.com/
Zaira: Hacer Scrapbooks http://hacerscrapbooks.blogspot.com/

I’m really loving these cell phone roundups because it helps me appreciate how the year has gone.

Why do this?  I think people capture different parts of their lives with their phone cameras as opposed to normal cameras.  It’s really interesting to see life through phone pictures.  Plus, it’s an incentive to organize your cell phone pictures!

When you’re done here, I hope you hop over to Mariah’s Blog and check out her pictures!

My Cell Phone, July – September 2012

Left: Freeway sign very close to our house. Right: I get a tour of the California State Archives.

Q3 2012 Cell Phone Blog Hop - Almost Never CleverLeft: Yummy afternoon snack. Right: New shoes, I can’t decide if I like them, so I snap a picture to send to my girlfriends.

Q3 2012 Cell Phone Blog Hop - Almost Never CleverLeft: Seeing Les Miserables with my sister-in-lawRight:  Ruh-roh, did I really order this thing?

Q3 2012 Cell Phone Blog Hop - Almost Never CleverLeft: Seeing a movie about CraigslistRight: I leave some english muffin dough alone too long and look what happens.  It was just like this I Love Lucy episode.

Q3 2012 Cell Phone Blog Hop - Almost Never CleverTaking a ferry across the bay for a Giants Game!

Q3 2012 Cell Phone Blog Hop - Almost Never CleverTrip down to LA and the Happiest Place on Earth (also where we got engaged).

Q3 2012 Cell Phone Blog Hop - Almost Never CleverLeft: Another trip to our local spice shopRight: Opening of the newly renovated California Memorial Stadium.

Q3 2012 Cell Phone Blog Hop - Almost Never CleverLeft: Working, working, working.  Right:  Time to write performance reviews, so my boss decides the time is better spent taking the team for frozen yogurt.

Q3 2012 Cell Phone Blog Hop - Almost Never CleverLeft: Football roadtrip to Columbus, Ohio!  Right: Mercifully we get an away game at home so we can watch football and rest.  That’s a homemade hamburger bun.

Q3 2012 Cell Phone Blog Hop - Almost Never CleverLeft: You saw this on my Facebook page earlier – it’s my scrapbooking-while-watching-football setup.  Right: After another home football game, a trip to the Claremont Hotel for dinner.

Q3 2012 Cell Phone Blog Hop - Almost Never CleverFinally, wherein I experiment with the panoramic function on my phone (click the picture to see it larger).

Q3 2012 Cell Phone Blog Hop - Almost Never CleverAll pictures were cropped and processed on my computer with Picasa.

Stay tuned for next time! I’ll be doing a blog hop again in the Winter – it’s a good reminder for me to get the pictures off my phone.  If you want to join, leave me a message in the comments and I’ll email you when the time comes.

Now click on over to hop over to Mariah’s Blog to continue the hop!

What’s on My Cell Phone, Q2 2012 Blog Hop!

Cell Phone Photo Blog HopHalf of 2012 is gone already!  Just like that.

Today I’m sharing some cell phone pictures from the second quarter of 2012 (see the Q1 pics here).  I’ve asked some awesome bloggers to join me for a blog hop and share a bit from their phones/lives.

Nat: Almost Never Clever http://www.almostneverclever.com (You are here)
Tammy: Your Memory Connection http://www.yourmemoryconnection.com/
Ginger: Ginger’s Life of Spice http://gingerslifeofspice.blogspot.com/
Danielle: EcoScrapbook http://ecoscrapbook.blogspot.com/
Jessica: Sweet ‘N’ Scrappy http://sweetnscrappy.com/
Mariah: Its Fun2Scrap http://www.fun2scrap.blogspot.com/
Jen: Down Home South Jersey http://downhomesouthjersey.com/

Why do this?  I think people capture different parts of their lives with their phone cameras as opposed to normal cameras.  It’s really interesting to see life through phone pictures.  Plus, it’s an incentive to organize your cell phone pictures!

When you’re done here, I hope you hop over to Tammy’s blog and check out her pictures!

My Cell Phone, April – June 2012

Before I begin, a story:  My phone died when I was at my sister’s wedding.  I hadn’t saved any pictures since I did this post in April.  All my pictures were gone.  Except they weren’t.  Several months ago I enabled the auto-upload feature on my Google+ account.  Every single picture that I lost had been automatically uploaded to my account .  Yup, I’m totally the guy from this commercial.

Now the pictures!  I tried not to do too much food this time!

Left:  The Cleveland Cascade – an urban staircase a few blocks away from where I live.  When I’m really on top of things, I run these stairs on Sunday mornings.  Right:  I bought a new beanie to wear to baseball games – I decided bright is better.

Cell Phone Photo Blog HopLeft: Baby feet!  My coworker’s newborn came to visit our office.  Right: Mr. P and I on a sunny evening on the deck of one of our favorite watering holes.

Cell Phone Photo Blog HopBoth of these are from dinner at Bocanova on Jack London Square.  I loved the light fixtures and the dinner was amazing!

Cell Phone Photo Blog HopLeft: A Sunday lazy breakfast at Arizmedi Bakery.  It’s called a “chocolate thing.”  Right:  I cook dinner and break in my bridesmaid shoes for my little sister’s wedding.

Cell Phone Photo Blog HopLeft: Stopped by a super cool new bar that has a boxing themeRight: Have you ever tried salsa instead of salad dressing on your salad?  Try it, it’s awesome!

http://prizefighterbar.com/Left:  Chairman Mao – I took this right after I picked up money for our trip to ChinaRight:  My little sister’s dog when we visited for her wedding.

Cell Phone Picture Blog HopLeft: Matt Cain’s perfect game!  I can’t believe I was lucky enough to be there to see it in person.  Right:  At dinner, I experiment with the front-facing camera on my phone.

Cell Phone Picture Blog HopLeft: My little sister gave us half of her cheesecake wedding cake top because it was too much for them to eat.  We happily took it off her hands.  Right:  At the end of the month, Mr. P and I saw American Idiot – it knocked my socks off!  Such a great end to the month.

Cell Phone Picture Blog HopAll pictures were cropped and processed on my computer with Picasa.

Some things you may notice are missing:  Nothing from my little sister’s wedding.  My phone broke while we were there, so no phone pictures 😦  Nothing from China.  I don’t use my phone a lot when traveling internationally.  My regular camera is usually surgically attached to my hand.

Stay tuned for next time! I’ll be doing a blog hop again in the Fall – it’s a good reminder for me to get the pictures off my phone.  If you want to join, leave me a message in the comments and I’ll email you when the time comes.

Head off to Tammy’s blog to continue the hop!

What’s on My Cell Phone, Q1 2012

Early 2012 Cell Phone PicturesI was diligently copying photos from my phone and backing them up the other day.  Looking back, here are the highlights from my cell phone for the first three months of the year.

Conclusion?  I take a lot of pictures of food and drinks with my phone.  A lot.

That doesn’t bother me too much.  Each one of them is some fun memory.

I’m going to review/back up my cell phone pictures once a quarter.  Want to join me?  We could do a blog hop of fun cell phone pictures once every 3 months.  If you’re interested, leave me a note in the comments.

Through the Eye of My Phone in Early 2012

I think cell phone pictures show very interesting slices of life that we don’t always get with regular cameras.

In January, Mr. P and I jetted off to Vegas to celebrate the engagement of some close friends.  A cocktail I ordered came with gummy bears!  The picture on the right is from our local movie theater.  It’s a super cool old theater with a Wurlitzer organ show.

Early 2012 Cell Phone PicturesOn the left was snapped in Old Oakland before dinner one evening.  On the right is from a wine tasting trip with friends.

Early 2012 Cell Phone PicturesMy favorite breakfast at our farmer’s market – a Belgian sugar waffle.  On the right is a display from the new spice shop that opened in our neighborhood.

Early 2012 Cell Phone PicturesNext, it was off to London for a lot of work and a bit of sightseeing.

Early 2012 Cell Phone PicturesMore from London – an afternoon snack as I worked.  No, I don’t eat that for a snack every day but figured I deserved it after working hard.

Early 2012 Cell Phone PicturesLater back at home, Mr. P and I had dinner at our favorite food truck.  It’s the best food truck ever.  Where else are you going to get truffle tater tots?

Early 2012 Cell Phone PicturesThe food truck sometimes parks at a favorite downtown bar, so we pair a trip to the truck with a beverage.  On the right, California poppies are blooming in our neighborhood.

Early 2012 Cell Phone PicturesFinally, Paris.  Because really, is there ever a bad time for Paris?  It’s kind of like “there’s always room for Jell-o.”  On the right, back at our farmer’s market.

Early 2012 Cell Phone PicturesAnd just like that, the beginning of the year is over.  I mentioned that 2012 was going to be crazy and it’s lived up to its billing so far!

A note on how I edited these photos:  Yes, they’re square and have filters but I did not use Instagram.  I edited them this way to show you that you can do this for free with Picasa and not need a special app.  I cropped these into squares, added a vignette, sharpened them and used the boost feature.

I’ll do another cell phone roundup at the beginning of July.  If you’re interested in participating in a blog hop, leave me a comment.  Have a great day!

Remember to Tag Your Photos

Tag your photos!I’ve said this before, but just in case you didn’t catch it then, I’ll say it again!

Tag your photos!

How?  Most photo programs have tagging tools and tags live with the photo, not with the program.  This means I can tag pictures in one program and do a search for “flowers” in Picasa and instantly see all my pictures that I’ve tagged as being of flowers.

If you’re a Picasa user, there’s a little tag button along the bottom of the screen.  Clicking it (it looks like a price tag) will open the tagging window and you can create new tags or add photos to existing tags.

Why? Trust me, if you even take a medium amount of pictures, this will help you so much in the long run.

Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I’ll use my husband and I as an example.  I have a tagged called “Us.”  Every picture of my husband and I together (just the two of us), I tag with “Us.”

Tag your photos!Now with one click, I see every picture in my collection of the two of us.  It helps when someone wants me to send them a picture of us or for when I’m working on our wedding scrapbook.  Instead of sifting through all of our wedding pictures to find a good picture for the title page, I can narrow it down to just pictures of the two of us and pick from there!

Maybe do this with pictures of your immediate family?  You won’t have to go back digging for one when you wonder “when is the last time we all had our picture taken together?”  Maybe create a tag for each of your kids or pets!  The possibilities are endless!

Do you tag your photos?  What are some of the things you like to keep track of with tags?

What I Learned from My Computer Crash

Computer CrashRight after Christmas, I was curled up in bed with my laptop fixing the Features page on my blog.  Then BAM!  My computer got smacked with a virus* and became immediately unusable.  It was very scary as I tried to figure out what I was going to lose and how to fix it.

What was surprising was that I hardly lost anything.  Some of my organizational quirks paid off and I am so very thankful.

Lessons Learned About Storing Photos

Aside from the general annoyance of spending half the day restoring my computer to its original factory settings and then reinstalling a bunch of software, it was actually pretty painless in the grand scheme of things.

Back. Up. Your. Photos.  I can’t stress this enough.  Around the middle of November, I had made a copy of my entire photo library and put it on my external hard drive.  That meant I only had to worry about photos I took from then through December.  They were still on my memory card.  No, I don’t let photos rot on my memory card.  I actually sort them into folders as soon as possible.  BUT (this is a big but), I leave the original photos on the memory card until I back up my photo library on my external hard drive.

It turns out the only photos I lost were from an event in November and a Christmas party in December where I swiped friends’ memory cards and copied some of their pictures to my computer.  I really liked those pictures and I’ll be able to get them again.  If I had tagged any December photos in my library, I lost those tags and will have to redo them.

Lessons?  I think I’m going to back up my photo collection at least once a month instead of once every quarter or so.  If I have a big event that has very important pictures, I’ll back it up as soon as possible.

What About Files and Documents?   I actually store quite a few documents in the cloud (like all of my recipe cards) and they were saved.  I’ll share my strategies about that in a few weeks.  I lost a couple wedding scrapbook sketches, but I had already finished those layouts.  I lost a few flourish designs I made for the Silhouette, but I can redo those.

Want more information?  Review my posts from last year about photo organization:

  1. Organizing Non-Digital Prints
  2. Organizing Photos as You Take Them
  3. Taking Control of Your Hard Drive
  4. Advanced Organization Techniques
  5. Organizing Cell Phone Pictures

I still get the shakes if I think about what would have happened if my photos weren’t backed up.

*Yup, I’m aware that a virus is not the same thing as my hard drive crashing.  I’m just being dramatic.

It’s 2012, Have You Organized Your 2011 Cell Phone Pics?

Clean off Cell Phone PicsIt’s 2012, have you organized your 2011 cell phone pictures yet?  It’s very common to take the new year as a time to start off fresh.  I’ve been reading lots of posts and comments from friends who are busily cleaning out their houses and closets.

Hello, this is your cell phone talking.  I have all sorts of awesome pictures from 2011 just hanging out here.  Maybe you should do something with them.

I covered how I organize cell phone pictures last June.  I’ll say it again – your cell phone pictures deserve to be stored and backed up right alongside pictures from your regular camera.

This is triple important for me at this moment because I got a new cell phone and need to make sure and get all the pictures from the old phone backed up before I get rid of it.

Remember – If pictures are from a particular event, consider putting them in their own folder from that event.  If you have a bunch of pictures that don’t go with anything, put them in their own folder for the year.  Mine is called “2011 Cell Phone Random.”  Don’t forget to purge the blurry/bad ones first!

Get going!

The Key Photo – Don’t Leave Without It

Las Vegas TripI thought I learned my lesson but I did it again.  Again!

I’m always trying to find the happy balance between living behind the camera at an event and stepping away and enjoying myself.  There has to be a middle somewhere!

I’m talking about a middle between times when I purposefully don’t carry a camera and times like big vacations where I’m taking tons of pictures.  I’m talking about events like a friend’s wedding or an anniversary trip to Vegas.

Want to know what happened?  When I got home from the Vegas anniversary trip, I realized I didn’t get a single picture of our entire group.  Let alone that, there were a couple people who didn’t make it into any pictures.  There were only six of us, it’s not like it would have been hard!  I think it was a combination of wanting to sit back and enjoy the weekend and not wanting to be that girl who always insists everyone stop what they’re doing for a picture.  I was taking pictures, I have a nice amount from the weekend.  I just forgot that key one!

I’ve even left a wedding before without getting a picture of the bride and groom!  Sure, not every wedding I go to needs to be documented.  But if I’m bringing my camera and I’ve taken pictures of the flowers, my friends and my husband and I, I should probably try to get at least one picture of the bride and groom.  I’m usually a few years behind in scrapbooking so I don’t know if I will document the event later.  It shouldn’t be a big deal to just get one key picture and then kick back.

Does anyone else have this issue?  I’d love to hear about it.

The Big Purge

When I covered 35mm/printed photo organization, I said what doesn’t make it into my scrapbook get tossed.  I meant it.

Here is the stack of leftovers.  When I was in college, I trotted down to the photo store almost weekly to develop photos.  I always got double prints.  Thinking about how much that cost gives me the shakes.  Still, that was back in a time when you had to get photos developed if you wanted to see them.  This is also back when your friends had to come over to if they wanted to see them because they couldn’t be shared online.  Ah, memories.

The other shudder-inducing fact:  photos aren’t recyclable.  I’m sending some of these to friends, but the rest will be shredded and put in the trash.  Nothing keeps me from over-printing digital photos now like thinking of the money I spent and throwing it away!

However, I’ve used what I’m going to use.  I’ve scanned the ones I want to save.  Everything else is just a lesson learned because I really value the space that will be freed.

Time to go work on that pile.

On Sequential Numbering

Sequential Photo Numbering

Ah, that pesky issue of sequential photo numbering.

Don’t have any idea what I’m talking about?

Did you know your digital camera sequentially numbers the file names for each picture you take?  It can if you play with the settings.  This means that, for example, the picture you take at 10am is numbered “IMG_5051” and one you take later on that same day is numbered “IMG_5098.”

Why is this important?  When you transfer your photos to your hard drive, your computer will auto-arrange photos by file name.  At least mine does.  If they are sequentially numbered, then all the pictures you took at grandma’s house will neatly display in the order that you took them.

This is useful when you are flipping through pictures and even more useful when you are making things like slideshows.  True, there are programs that let you rearrange the order of photos in the slideshow.  But when I’m putting together a slideshow of photos to show family, it is usually at the last minute and I’m hurling photos into a folder for a DVD with no time for careful ordering.  Sequential numbering keeps everything together so all of my pictures of the Pyramids don’t get mixed throughout the show.

What if I clear my memory card?  What happens to sequential numbering?  This has always bothered me.  The numbering will reset.  Recently, I found myself on vacation with a husband who filled a 2-gig memory card in one day.  One day.   I cleared the card, backed up the photos on the computer, and the numbering reset.  And I cursed a bit.

How do I clear the card and keep sequential numbering?  Yes, you can have it both ways!  I conveniently discovered this after I got back from vacation.  Figures.  When you clear the card, clear everything except the last picture on the card.  Your camera will recognize it and will start numbering new pictures after that picture.

Note – this is how everything works on my camera.  Yours could be slightly different.

Interested in more tips including my 5-post series on photo organization?  Check out my Tips & Techniques page!