When it comes to organizing photos – whether print or digital – the process can become frustrating quickly. When organizing digital photos, figuring what are “keepers,” “maybe’s,” or “no’s” usually results in a complicated structure of folders and sub-folders that we have to repeatedly re-visit to whittle down or locate images. When organizing print photos, the process can be even more overwhelming because of the multitude of actual objects in front of us, and still isn’t as streamlined as with digital photos despite their organizational challenges.
However, there’s an option when you scan photos to lessen such madness -- the practical and easy to use index print of scanned images.
What’s an Index Print of Scanned Images?
Even in an age of digital photos, having something tangible sometimes helps. That’s why we ship back photos with care and encourage you to preserve originals and use their digitized versions. It’s also why we offer an index print of scanned images with every photo scanning package. Additionally, after scanning photos, you should be able to easily organize, share, and locate the photos you want, which an index print of scanned images helps with.
But what exactly is an index print of images? It’s a printed, bound album with thumbnail images for all photos you have scanned. Think of it as a catalog of your scanned photos, cataloging each photo in your collection for quick reference. The pages of an index print of images are double-sided with 25 photos on each side. The number of pages of an index print varies depending on how many photos are scanned. The pages are portrait orientation, and underneath each photo is the file name of that photo’s digitized version as it’s found on the DVD or electronic storage method you’ve opted to receive digitized images on after scanned.
What Are the Benefits of an Index Print of Scanned Images?
First of all, it’s perfect for referencing images for any purpose when you aren’t near a computer or don’t have access to your digitized images. For larger photo collections, it’s essential, because being able to locate images can be done much faster if you know exact file names of corresponding digitized images. Knowing file names allows you to search computers or electronic storage methods by simply typing in file names you need and results instantly being delivered. This can be much quicker than opening a large collection of digitized images and having to continuously scroll down and pay careful attention to smaller images until you find what you need. That can become a long and tedious task if you’re searching for multiple images, especially ones that aren’t close together.
And why do they make organization, locating, and sharing easier?
Location and Sharing: Of course easier and quicker location means you can share photos faster. For example -- you digitize a lifetime of photos, and a family member asks for all photos from past holidays. You didn’t have time to organize photos before sending for scanning. You threw them in a box, and since photos are scanned in the order received, that’s how they’re sent back. With an index print, you could quickly survey images, note which ones are from holidays, do quick searches using digital file names, and swiftly move them to a folder that you can email, print, or more. You can also let others look at the index print to pinpoint which ones they want, perfect when families preserve photos through scanning as a family.
Organization: The method used for locating and sharing prints is also the reason you can organize easier using an index print. If you don’t have time to organize prints before scanning or didn’t hire a photo organizer beforehand (highly recommended!) use an index print in the manner above. Many people can visually scan print indexes of images quicker than they can digital ones. Cozy up with your index print and use highlighters or another method to sort index images into whatever organizational method you want (by year, holiday, event, etc.). Next, set up folders on your computer for the organization system you want, start searching, and move digital images to the appropriate folder.
There’s a reason some prefer books over Kindles, or CD’s over MP3s -- some simply prefer it, and some respond to tangibility better visually and cognitively. Usually this doesn’t translate to sorting and organizing original prints although it’s essentially the same thing. However, doing so with index prints is better because the print photos are shrunken down for easy viewing, tagging, and are streamlined into one object in your hands versus potentially hundreds or thousands.