Sort images into folders automatically?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Tiptizzle, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. Tiptizzle macrumors 6502

    Apr 22, 2011
    I would like to have my images sorted into folders based on date automatically when I insert a card into my computer (or prompt to have this done). I have found some automator actions(?) that will sort into folders, but I would like to be able to sort into a hierarchy three levels deep. Like this preferably.

    2014 -> 2014-3 (Mar) -> 2013_3_6

    I have found Big Mean Folder Machine which will sort like this, but I don't think there is a way to have it either prompt when inserting a card, or watch a folder so that when I import files it will sort them automatically.

    exiftools seems to do this as well, but also doesn't do it automatically and runs from a command line.

    My wife and I both shoot pictures of our kids and my wife is not a mac person. I would like for her to be able to easily upload pictures to the external hard drive connected to our Mac mini.
  2. rolsskk macrumors 6502

    Sep 1, 2008
    Lightroom will do it to the extent of '2013' and then '2013-12-12'. But if you actually want to have folders for months, you'll have to drag and drop then.
  3. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    What rolsskk says is true... Lightroom by default sorts your images in YYYY-MM-DD folders under a YYYY folder. However.... simply set up Collection Set for your date ordered Smart Collections. Then set up Smart Collections to match the date criteria you want and Lightroom will sort the photos into the Smart Collections for you. The best part is... you can also sort the images into other Collections as well without duplicating your images. So an image taken of you wife at the Grand Canyon on March 6 can simultaneously reside in the March 6 Collection, the Wife Collection, and the Grand Canyon Collection.

    Also...just using Finder you can set up Smart Folders based on date search terms. Any photos imported will physically reside in a folder of your choosing... however they can also be found in the Smart Folders based on the date criteria you set up. People often overlook the power of the native Smart Folders in OS X.

  4. Tiptizzle thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 22, 2011
    Smart folders won't work for me because my wife doesn't use a Mac to access the pictures. Was hoping I could make it so that all she has to do is plug in the card and hit a button.

    Having lightroom sort them into folders may work well enough. When I first got lightroom I didn't want it to move my existing pictures, so I've never used it for that.
  5. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    My recommendation is use LR to manage your photos. It's what it's designed for. Trying to remember where a photo is when you are relying on memory of the date alone is a nightmare as your library gets bigger. As others have said use smart folders and keywords instead.
  6. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Lightroom may or may not work well for you. On the plus side, you can set up Smart Collections (like Smart Folders, but not Mac-specific) to sort photos into the date specific Smart Collections you want. Plus of course you can sort the photos into other Collections since it's a Digital Asset Manager. There are a couple of caveats though.

    In order to use any DAM you should't just hit a button and import... it is important to take the few minutes each time to set the keywords. Otherwise using Lightroom is mostly a waste of money. The other caveat is that once the photos are Lightroom you shouldn't move or alter them with anything except Lightroom. The application uses database to keep track of the images, both where they are and in what state they are. If a photo is not where it's supposed to be and not in the same state as it was left then you risk corrupting the database record for that photo.

    On the plus side you can 'import' your existing photos while leaving them in place, and then set Lightroom to copy the new photos from the camera card and store them in a central location.
  7. ChrisA, Mar 11, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014

    ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Aperture will do this. I think it is even the default action. The photos are put into "projects" and it makes up a project name if you don't supply one.

    I never use the default name because I can sort by date even if I use a more descriptive project name.

    Searching and organization is Aperture's best feature. Aperture also uses face recognition to sort photos by the people it sees. You can add location data and other tags too.

    Come to think of it, iPhoto also does exactly what you ask for and you already have that if you use a Mac.

    People are saying LR has the same feature set. They are close. It comes down to if you like Apple or Adode's user interface or maybe cost. iPhoto is free.

    One other thing iPhoto and Aperture can share one library. You can start with iPhoto and then upgrade.
  8. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA

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