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Folders vs. Albums: When to use each to organize your photos
Folders vs. Albums: When to use each to organize your photos
Updated over a week ago

Organizing photos can be time-consuming and tedious work, but the effort pays off making browsing and locating photos far more enjoyable. When grouping and organizing your photos, you’ll likely be faced with the folders vs. albums question: What are they and how do I use them?

Mylio Photos offers both folder and album organization. Learning how to leverage both in your organization efforts will make finding specific photos, and browsing through memories, efficient and fun.

What are Folders?

Folders are the containers that hold your photos. Folders in a digital asset manager typically reference actual folders on your computer and external hard drives.

Creating a personal standard for organizing your photos is the first step in making your photos easy to find. Date-based and subject-based structures are the most common.

Example folder system

In this example, photos are stored on an external hard drive. The top-level folder is named Photos and contains subfolders grouped by year (i.e. 2022, 2021, etc.).

Inside each year, the photos are grouped by the date they were captured. You can also add a short description of what happened that day (i.e. 2022-07-17 Baseball Game).

Mylio Photos references this folder system and displays those folders in the Folders view. This allows you to visually browse your photos instead of combing through files in Finder (macOS) or Explorer (Windows).

What are albums?

Albums are virtual containers that let you organize images into groups. One photo can be assigned to multiple albums, allowing you to manage your images in a variety of ways without physically moving the files or creating multiple copies.

In the example below, there's an Album named Portfolio and sub-albums for different categories. This allows you to find your best work on any of your Mylio Photos-connected devices.

Using albums

There are several ways to use Albums to organize your photos. Here are a few examples:

Scenario 1

You capture a photo of a gorgeous flower on your trip to Italy. You could create two albums:

  • Flowers

  • Italy Vacation

The flower photo could be placed in both Albums.

Scenario 2

You do a photoshoot for a local restaurant called Joe's Tavern. You could create a top-level album for the shoot itself with all the images, and then create sub-albums for those you need to edit and those that are ready to deliver to the client.

  • Joe's Tavern

    • To Edit

    • For Joe

Scenario 3

Photos of your children catalog the important moments of their life. You could create an album for each child by name, an album for birthdays, and other albums for special life events.

  • Johnny

    • Birthdays

      • 18th Birthday

    • Events

      • Baseball Game

      • Graduation

  • Sally

    • Birthdays

      • 16th Birthday

    • Events

      • Piano Recital

      • Prom

No matter your photographic genre or workflow, albums can provide an additional layer of organization for your photos.

Folders vs. albums in practice

The decision to work with Folders vs. Albums depends on where you are in your workflow. Folders are the first level of organization and determine the physical location that stores your image files. Albums are the second (third, etc.) level, allowing you to group your photos by subject, event, task, and more.

Grouping and organizing your photos becomes increasingly important as your photo library grows. Scattered, unorganized folders make images hard to find and browse. Taking the time to set up an organized folder system — and using it — will make a huge difference. Incorporating Albums allows you incredible flexibility to group your photos in countless ways to help you find your precious memories when you want them.

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