Consolidating photos

Give it an input folder, tell it where it to spit out the results, and DIM can organize those old, neglected albums into something more manageable.

Unlike Picasa, you'll have to scour your drive yourself for unruly images, but it's a simple alternative if you already know where everything is.

Years from now, we'll sit around the campfire, or some sort of digital facsimile, and tell stories. Stories where the protagonist actually stores stuff on hard drives, or takes pictures on a 24-exposure roll of film.

Things that will seem practically archaic in our bright, jetpack-filled future.

The trick is splitting that library up into a more manageable can set up an entirely separate, self-contained library for each year of photos you've taken, which makes sorting not only faster, but simpler to navigate as well.

Unfortunately, software like Picasa doesn't make this sort of thing easy, and the only way to maintain separate Picasa libraries is to do so manually.

While many applications allow you to use custom tags for the purpose of sorting, using a photo's built-in Exif information can be just as effective.

It's crucial you import all those files into separate folders for each date taken, which will automatically place all your photos into that date-based hierarchy we just suggested.

Doing so solves the biggest problem you'll ever have when cataloging all those digital keepsakes, which is figuring out where the hell things are.

Creating a date-based hierarchy may sound like a no-brainer, but it's something many users overlook.

You can specify entire collections or albums that only contain pictures with one particular quality, which is great if you're trying to create an album full of shots with a shallow depth-of-field, or other similar properties.

Of course, neither of these options are free, but if you're serious about some of the organizational tips we've covered so far, they might be worth a look.

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Just a hunch, but it's probably time you whip those memories into shape.

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