We are a photo-taking generation. The advent of smartphones has allowed us to document special moments with ease. Even on ordinary days, we cannot help but take photos of ourselves and loved ones, our pets and meals, and everything in between.

And most of us would argue that there’s nothing inherently wrong with taking pictures. We can chalk it up to humanity’s natural evolution. When fire made its debut, human beings began cooking food. The same logic should apply to when camera phones became popular. We had no choice but to take pictures.

While experts try to understand the link between selfie-taking and narcissism, we non-experts have more down-to-earth concerns. For example, how do you keep saving photos despite our gadgets’ limited storage capacity? Thankfully, there are online photo storage providers we can use. Now we do not have to make a difficult decision akin to Sophie’s Choice–which baby to keep, a JPEG of you and your dog, or a JPEG of you and your other dog? We can keep them all.

Another legit concern: how do we keep our digital photos organized? One of the most frustrating things is getting the itch to revisit your last visit to a Singapore museum only to be lost in your maze-like photos haphazardly saved and archived. For the sake of posterity and your sanity, too, here are our recommendations.

By year

This is the most logical way to organize your photos. You must have realized by now that you have already taken a lot of photos in the past and there will be so much more to come in the future. Therefore, you must favor a sorting strategy that’s simple but convenient.

Organizing photos by year is that strategy. You can wait for the end of the year to transfer the photos from your phone to your laptop or the cloud. And you can label the folders with the corresponding year.

If you have more time to spare, you can have sub-folders that correspond to months. That way, should you feel like revisiting memories from January of 2020, you’re just a few clicks away from basking in nostalgia.

By occasion

Another way to sort out your photos is by classifying them by occasion. For instance, have a folder dedicated to New Year celebrations. Another folder for studies-related events, like the graduation of your siblings, cousins, and friends. You can also dedicate a folder to your travels. Maybe make separate archives for your local and international adventures?

Here your goal is uniformity above all else. If you click a folder, you’re automatically taken to a specif occasion that awakens specific feelings. For example, if you’re in the mood for some emotional flagellation, you can browse through your death/burial photo folder. ;

By mood

This is for the obsessive-compulsive people out there. Also, those with a lot of time to spare. Yes, this kind of sorting strategy will take so much of your time and emotional bandwidth. It takes a good deal of creativity and imagination too.

Now how to begin? First, make a list of moods you want to archive. For example, happy. In your happy folder, save all the photos that spark joy in your heart. Yes, you’re going to have to Marie Kondo this thing. For your sad folder, save all the photos of your exes. Or maybe those belong to the angry folder? You decide.

Let’s get physical

While storing photos digitally is the safest way to go, that should not be your only approach. There’s a different kind of fulfillment looking at a physical photo you can actually hold. The tactile aspect of the experience makes it extra special.

So print out the most memorable snapshots you have. You can make a scrapbook out of the print outs. Or you can place them in a photo album if you’re not very artsy and you can’t commit to scrapbooking. You can also use printed photos to decorate the walls of your room. Make a happy collage with your most treasured people in life as well as your happiest memories. They’ll come in handy once you get sad.


Deaths from selfie-related incidents reached 259 between 2011 and 2017. While that is an alarming number, we mention it not to scare you away from your camera phone. Consider it a cautionary tale. No one has the right to stop you from documenting your face and other people’s for as much as you want to. But at the very least, please be careful at all times and never risk your life for that perfect photo.