LifeHistoryApp Podcasts




Getting Organized

1.       The first step in scanning your printed, physical photos is to get them all together in one place. This may seem overwhelming, but trust me. You will be glad you didnít forget this step. This step will help you to eliminate duplicates and let you know the scope of your scanning project.


2.       The second step is to sort them by person or by theme. At this point, donít worry about organizing them by date.


3.       After you have sorted your printed photos by person or theme, the third step is to organize each stack into three categories:                          


a.       Your Favorites: Think of these as the images that you would be most interested in seeing or sharing if it were to appear in a magazine ten years from now. Also remember to include things other than physical photos in your favorites pile, such as certificates, report cards, favorite objects, newspaper articles or pictures, etc. These historical documents and images will add to the interest of your story. For every item that goes into your favorites stack.


b.      Your Discard Pile: In this stack you should place all duplicates, blurry, or out of focus, or images of things that simply donít matter to you or to anyone else. This pile wonít need to be scanned or organized further. I encourage you to have someone you trust quickly go through this stack before you throw them away.


c.       Undecided: This pile may deserve a second look in the future or come in handy if you want to add interest or variety to your story later on. You can reserve the images in this stack for later review. At some point, you may decide to place most of these images in your discard pile for disposal.

Remember that the people who later read your autobiography or family history will not be interested in several images of the same event. What you are looking for are images that you can use as anchors to your life or family history stories or chapters in your book. Of course not every photo that you have will be perfect and sometimes less than perfect is the best you can do, and in these cases itís better to have a less than perfect image than none at all in your final book.

As you put a photo or other document into your favorites pile, I encourage you to lightly jot down the DATE TAKEN on the back of each image or item, in pencil so it wonít bleed through, while you are sorting. This will save you time later, when itís time to start scanning everything. Use this format for your dates: YEAR-MONTH-DAY, like ď2021-03-20Ē. Make sure that you add zeros to single digit numbers, like 02, 03, 04 instead of 2,3 or 4. The great thing about this date format is that when you scan and name the scanned images you can begin your file names with this date. This will cause your computer to automatically sort them by YEAR-MONTH-DATE order when you save them on your computer. You will appreciate this when you start including them in your life story.

For many images you will not know the exact date. In these cases, I encourage you to involve others, who were with you when the photo was taken. Ask them for their best guess and adjust that by your best recollection and enter something. Often when know a photo was shot at Easter in a certain year I will just ask Siri what date Easter fell on in 1983 and use that date. If I knew an image was taken in the fall of a year, like 2011 I might use a date like 2011-10-10 or 2011-09-09. Itís better than not adding any date and the image will automatically fall into your life history in the approximately correct timeframe. You might also replace the month or the date with xx, such as 2022-xx-xx. This is only a temporary solution though.


Before you add an image to your life or family history book you will want to verify the actual date that you want to use for the image. Sometimes you will see the date printed either on the face, margin or back of a photo by the photo developer. This will not be the date the photo was taken, but rather the date it was developed. You can often use these dates, if available, to inform your best date estimates.

In addition to the DATE TAKEN, you will also want to jot down the WHO, WHAT, WHERE and or WHY about the photo or document you want to scan. The most important of these elements is the WHO.



Getting Ready to Scan

Before you start scanning your favorite photos and documents I encourage you to set up a separate folder on your computer for your book project. I would place this folder under your MY DOCUMENTS folder and I would call the folder by the name of the person for whom you are creating the book. If you have several people for who you want to create books I would first create a folder called MY FAMILY, and under that folder you could create a separate folder for each person.

This is the main folder, into which you will scan the photos for that person. Typically, you scanner software will ask you what folder you want to save your scanned images to the first time you start scanning and will remember it after your first scanning session, each time you return to scan more images.



While you are creating folders, I recommend that you create another folder under each personís folder. I would name this folder ď(USED)Ē By creating this (USED) folder inside the personís folder you will have a place to move all the images as you upload them into LifeHistoryApp to become part of your life history book. This will result in leaving only the un-uploaded files in your main folder. After your main folder is empty you will know that everything has been uploaded and included in your LifeHistoryApp secure workspace.



Follow the instructions that came with your scanner to scan your photos and documents. When prompted where you want to save the scanned images point your scanning software to your main folder that you created, as described in the paragraph above. I recommend that you use the following settings for scanning photos:

File Type: JPG

Resolution: 300 dpi (dots per inch)

Compression: Low

For documents and certificates, I usually scan these at a little lower resolution of 200 dpi

If given an opportunity to identify the scan area for an image or photo, use the selection area handles to isolate the borders of the image or document that you want to include.

When saving the scanned image ensure that you are saving to the new main folder that you previously created for your project and use the naming convention outlined above DATE+NAME, For example: 2011-11-04-Bob Jones Fishing at Deer Creek Reservoir.JPG






The LifeHistoryApp system assumes that you will be uploading .JPG image files. You can upload any kind of files but only .JPG files will be displayed in your history timelines. Other file types will require that you download them to view them.



The default width of images for the LifeHistoryApp timelines is 900 pixels. You may upload images that are narrower or wider than 900 pixels. However, if the images are significantly narrower than 900 pixels you may begin to recognize a reduction in the clarity of the image. Smaller files, which are narrower will load and display faster, but they may not display satisfactorily. Images wider than 900 pixels will load and display somewhat slower but will display as if they were saved as 900 pixels wide. The optimal image width for display and printing will be between 900 and 1,000 pixels wide. All images will be displayed proportionately, regardless of their native width or height or size.



You will almost certainly have many image files on your computer scattered all over the place from your smartphone or other sources. We suggest that you copy all of the existing digital images that you have, which relate to the history project on which you are working to the main folder that you created for your history project along with your newly scanned images. As you copy these existing files into your main folder you should ensure that each image in the main folder follows the naming conventions suggested earlier in this discussion.



    1. On your Mac, select the item, then press Return. Or force click the item's name.
    2. Enter a new name. You can use numbers and most symbols. You can't include a colon (:) or start the name with a period (.). Some apps may not allow you to use a slash (/) in a filename.
    3. Press Return.



If you are using Microsoft Windows 10, do the following:

1.     Click on a file or folder to select it, and click ďRenameĒ from the Home menu at the top of File Explorer.

2.     Once the name is selected you can start to type a new name. If youíve configured File Explorer to show file extensions, make sure only to change the file name.

3.     When youíre done typing, press [Enter] to save the new name.

4.     Alternatively, you can click on a file to select it, and click the [F2] key to rename it, then press [Enter] to save the new name.




Use the ADD CONTENT option in LifeHistoryApp to upload your images or documents. You may wish to review our third Podcast about Adding Content that explains how to accomplish this.






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