Dig­i­tal road maps ever more vi­tal

Blayne Slab­bert of­fers some tips on or­gan­is­ing your dig­i­tal life.

The Press - The Box - - TECHNOLOGY -


If you are not in the cloud, it might be time to look at it as an op­tion.

Stor­ing some­thing us­ing a cloud ser­vice means its stored on a server ac­ces­si­ble through the in­ter­net, rather than on your com­puter’s hard drive.

Most ser­vices, such as Google’s Drive, Mi­crosoft’s SkyDrive Ap­ple’s iCloud and Drop­box of­fer a de­cent amount of space for free and sim­ple-to-use sites.

If you pre­fer us­ing your com­puter’s hard drive, then make sure you keep a backup. To be re­ally safe, keep a backup of your


backup, es­pe­cially for im­por­tant con­tent.

Try to use a log­i­cal sys­tem for your files, such as or­gan­is­ing them by year or sub­ject. If us­ing the sub­ject method, use a few broad terms, such as per­sonal, work and home and then cre­ate sub­fold­ers within those.

With the rise of smart­phones, every­one is tak­ing more pho­tos than ever, which is why you need to get or­gan­ised.

If you lost your smart­phone with­out back­ing it up or down­load­ing pic­tures, that pre­cious mo­ment could be lost for­ever.

iPhoto, Ap­ple’s free edit­ing soft­ware, is sim­ple to use, as is Pi­casa for a Win­dows PC.

These pro­grams can or­gan­ise your pho­tos for you, us­ing events as the ba­sis.

How­ever, if you want more con­trol, the best way is to cre­ate fold­ers by year and then by month and then use al­bums for events.

It is also a good idea to keep the orig­i­nal pho­tos or­gan­ised in the same way and back up both.

Also, don’t for­get to use tags or cap­tions to la­bel each photo. That way you can do a search to eas­ily find a photo of a cer­tain person or place. To save time and space, scroll through and delete un­wanted pho­tos on your cam­era or phone be­fore you down­load them.

If you want to make use of the cloud for your pho­tos, you can use a ser­vice such as Flickr to store (and share) them.


Video is be­com­ing an in­creas­ingly po­plar medium for cap­tur­ing mem­o­ries. How­ever, it eats up stor­age space fast. Your three-minute video of your child’s party can take up sev­eral gi­ga­bytes if us­ing a high-qual­ity cam­era.

The key here is to be bru­tally se­lec­tive.

There’s no point in keep­ing ev­ery shaky video.

If you are just fil­ing a col­lec­tion of clips, you can use the year, month and sub­ject tech­nique.

But if you plan to make movies out of your clips, you may need a sep­a­rate folder for fin­ished movies.

To share your movies, you can use YouTube, and this also means there’s another backup for you if needed.

Again, make sure you keep your orig­i­nal footage and make back­ups.

Once you are or­gan­ised, make sure you put your com­puter at the top of your list of things to grab when your home catches fire, or all that hard work will be for noth­ing.

In order: Or­gan­is­ing your pho­tos can take time, but can save heartache later.

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