Save, Share, Organize and Protect Your Photos for Free with Google’s Picasa Software

Organize your digital photo album with the free Google Pack.

I had a mini-meltdown yesterday.  It was a quiet, rainy afternoon so I decided it would be a great time to organize my photos.  I had piles of photos, CD's, mini-discs and film in a large basket.

On my computer, I placed some of my photos in folders titled "need to be burned to CD", other folders said..."need to upload to web".

I had three separate folders with photos sent to me by relatives.  Did I burn those?  Did I upload those?  EEEEEkkkkkk! 

I also had random pictures on my desktop that I'd used for my blogs.   "Did I print that one yet?" "Did I burn that one?"  "Can I delete it?"  ARGHHhhhhhh!

I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry.

I spent the evening looking for photo organization software.  I am pretty picky and had several criteria that needed to be met:

  • Need to offer easy uploads.
  • Need to offer large amounts of storage.
  • Need to be able to print photos (cheaply).
  • Need to be able to create scrapbooks and journals.
  • Need to be able to share photos easily.
  • Need to be able to easily burn CD's for offline printing.
  • Need to be able to store photos online (in case of fire).
  • Need to be able to organize photos on my desktop.

I read numerous reviews and the software that kept getting rave reviews was Google's Picasa software.  It was free - so I was naturally skeptical.  I decided to make my Mother in Law the guinea pig and I spent the morning at her home organizing photos for her.  I was also stealing them so my motives weren't exactly pure.

Her so-called "system" was almost as bad as mine. Some of her folders were labeled with dates, some were labeled by events and some were random photos family members had emailed her. 

I downloaded Picasa and went to work.  The software immediately pulled every photo file from her computer into a sidebar with the actual photos displayed in the middle of the screen. From there, I was able to create new "albums" where I simply drug the photos into new categories.  It took me less than an hour to organize well over 500 photos! 

I created photo folders for our family, each individual child, all of the grandchildren together, family vacations, holidays and events and birthdays.  I was able to add the same photograph to two or more categories too.

Then I simply clicked, "create a gift CD" and burned CD's for each individual album I'd created for her to keep them safe from any computer meltdowns.

I proceeded to create an online album (that allows me to store 4000+ pictures online *for free*) and I uploaded the photos that I was stealing from her into my personal album where I will be making a photo journal for my daughters 5th birthday and Holiday calendars for the grandparents.

I was stunned at how easy and efficient the whole process was.  I was so impressed that I am going to spend another day scanning in all of our old "pre-digital" childhood photos.

Click the link below to download the software and let me know what you think of it (and my review of it) in the comments section.

Organize your digital photo album with the free Google Pack.

PS:  I've managed to fry three laptops in one year...so photo organization and storage is VERY important to me! 

Trust me, you'll want to back up...and burn yours ASAP! 

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