The value of a family photo album is doesn’t need much of a sell: Every family’s story is unique, and an album stands as a time-tested way to preserve its pictures and share its memories. A thoughtfully organized album celebrates accomplishments, commemorates those lost, serves as a handy time capsule, and retells stories that might otherwise be lost to time. In short, it keeps life’s most treasured moments alive and within reach.
That said, many of us struggle to find the time to do the work of actually organizing those family photos that, year after year, pile up in boxes and hard drives. Photos are often scattered across different devices and formats — or filed away waiting to be digitized. Gathering all of the right photos in one place so they can be edited into an album takes work. Figuring out how to organize those photos can be confounding: Should they be in chronological order? Based on location? According to branches of the family tree?
But it doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Really. No, really.
Simple tools to help make a custom family photo album
Mylio is an app that makes creating and maintaining a family photo album simple and fun (yes, that’s right), because it does all the heavy lifting. After you install it, the app collects all of your photos across your devices and makes it easy to sort them according to date, location, and the people in them. The software keeps these images secure, so you never misplace or accidentally delete a photo.
Making an album in your spare moments
After you upload your photo, you can view and edit them from any device. That means that if you find yourself in long line at the bank or grocery store, you take out your phone or tablet, and begin working on your album. Any changes you make automatically sync to all of your enabled devices, so your project is always up to date, no matter which device you’re working on. And because Mylio doesn’t require WiFi or even an Internet connection, you can work on your family album while you’re sitting on a plane or at the beach.
Creating a photo album — with the whole family
Any computer or device that is running Mylio can access the album. That means that you can include other members of the family — regardless of where they live — in the process of gathering the best photos, editing them, and, finally, arranging them. That not only takes the burden off one person’s shoulders (which, let’s face it, is what usually happens), but it engages the entire family in an ongoing project of creating, sharing, and preserving memories that can last for generations. The truth is, the more people who have a hand in making the album, the more people will enjoy flipping through it later.
Using advanced facial recognition to organize the album
The tools available on Mylio allow you to instantly organize your pictures chronologically (by using the Calendar View) or based on location (using the Map View). The app also features cutting-edge facial recognition: Tag your sister in a photo once, and it will automatically tag her in other pictures in which she appears, even going back to toddlerhood. This makes it incredibly easy to sift through 30 years of photos of Sis and select the very best from different eras. This also enables you to create separate family-tree photo albums — or gift albums for birthdays — in a snap.
Over time, this photo album will become a treasured part of your family legacy. When your children have kids of their own, they can join the family Mylio account and contribute their memories. Imagine how amazing your family photo album could be if future generations continued to update it on a periodic basis.
Get creative with themed family photo albums
With all your photos in one place, it’s easy to print the best ones for a physical photo album or send them off to a photo book-making service. You can create multiple themed albums in your Mylio library since the software allows the same photo to be placed in as many albums as you like. When it comes to showing off your family’s special story, the only limit is your imagination.
Here are a few creative album ideas to consider:
• Chronological: Simple but effective
• Holidays over the years: A great way to mark the eras
• Summer vacation memories: Often the year’s high point
• Family legends and lore: Moments truly unique to your family
• A day in the life of our family: When the mundane becomes special
• Family tree: History at a glance
• First days of school and graduations: Milestones for any family
• Memorial of a life well lived: Tributes to loved ones
• Wedding day: When this family thing really began
• Baby’s first year: A cute classic
• Sports highlights: Future Hall of Famers
• Messy moments: Toddler meals, mud baths, camping, yard projects, etc.
• Black-and-white only: When you’re feeling artistic
• All our friends: Expand the circle and gift these to good friends
• Feeding frenzy: Mealtime is family time. Commemorate great meals and chefs in the family.
David Carrington is a Seattle-based editor who writes about photo organization and management.