Dropbox…my salvation and my damnation all in one simple package.

Due to my job, I had to upgrade to a professional level of Dropbox recently. This means I can write it off on my taxes, so…yay! This also that when it came time to upgrade my phone – which was destroyed at the end of the 2-year cycle like it always is – I opted to go smaller/cheaper since I could use the Dropbox for iPhone app to back up my pictures.

(That’s the biggest memory hog on my phone: pictures and videos.)

I figured I could back up all of my photos on my old iPhone to Dropbox. THEN…I’d have a bigger interface to sort through and delete the ones I don’t want to archive forever. (I mean, how many photos of food do I need to save into eternity?) I’ve wanted to get rid of dumb photos and archives the good ones for 2 years. I like to keep every photo I take that I can find any reason that I may want to look at it in the future. I take photo archive VERY seriously. BUT – I don’t want to do it on my phone where it’s a slow and tedious process.

(That last sentence makes me laugh SO HARD right now.)


And then, once I had a nice clean archives of the last 2 years of iPhone photos, I could just constantly have backups uploaded on my new iPhone! Perfect deal, right?


First – it took almost 36 hours on almost constant WiFi connection to upload all 6000+ photos on my iPhone.


That I was kinda expecting. I knew I had a lot of photos. No biggie.

Second – it didn’t give any sort of organizational options for the upload. Like…organize by month? I mean – people who take a lot of photos and who care enough about them to backup them up ALL organize them somehow. And the easiest way is by time. So, it seems if you’re marketing towards photo storage that would be at least an OPTION.

It was not.

So, when the process was finally done. I had one folder “Camera Uploads” with 6000+ photos in it.

I decided to start the process of deleting them. I thought I’d could view them as large icons and just delete chunks at a time.

Nope. For a few reasons.

1) You can’t view as large enough icons to really tell if you want to delete it.
2) You can’t delete in big chunks at a time without totally bogging down the system.


And here’s the thing…a folder with 6000+ photos in it? IS BOGGING DOWN THE SYSTEM. So, it’s impossible to do anything. The interface kept locking up. That picture above is just me trying to open the folder with my pictures in it. NOT EVEN DO ANYTHING TO THEM YET. The only way I could keep things moving was if I just viewed like a slideshow and then deleted from there. ONE AT A TIME.

After about 100 photos – with 4 or 5 restarts due to freezing – I decided I needed a better way.


SO! I decided to organize them FIRST. Then I’d have smaller folders to look at and Dropbox would handle things better.


I’m just trying to move photos into monthly folders. Like a 2012 folder with 01, 02, 03, etc inside it. It works out to be about 300 photos a folder, give or take 50. I didn’t have too many for the year 2011 so I threw all of those in one folder. I’ve made it to March of 2012 and I’ve crashed Safari THREE TIMES.


But at least Safari will let me do it. Firefox kept locking up before I even moved any pictures.

In other words, this system is going to work FINE if I can just get to a good starting point. If I can ever get all 2 years of photos organized by month, and then if I ever get through and delete the 9000 pictures of beer, then Dropbox will be a GREAT backup tool for my phone, allowing me to use the smaller/cheaper model. Maybe if I had started this process before I had filled up one iPhone. So, it’s frustrating getting to that point now? But when I get all of the photos moved, and then can easily delete all of the sweaty running selfies, then…THEN…I’ll probably be really excited I chose this option for cell phone storage and organization.


UPDATE: Now that I have everything organized in smaller folders, it’s now letting me “View In Photos” which I had been trying to do (even though I had no idea what it meant) but it kept freezing up. This is a MUCH better interface to delete photos from. It lets me see big ones AND I can delete more than one at a time. So…MUCH BETTER.
Picture 26


  • Lisa!!

    Crazy… My mom and I were just talking about iPhone photo storage just last night. She has to keep deleting pics so she can take more pics. And the poor girl bought the bigger iPhone (32 GB). She was hoping that somehow iCloud was being the backup she needed for those pics she had to delete. She knows she needs to save the pics to somewhere or something, but since she has a laptop from 2000, it’s even more difficult. No great solution yet.
    I’ve had a hate relationship with Dropbox ever since I tried to upload my wedding/honeymoon photos just so I could create that crazy fast video that flips through 1000’s of photos to fun music. You did a post about it with the best video. I can still hear the music today. My upload never was successful. Boo!!

  • annettek

    Wait, are you trying to do all this on the web interface? You should download Dropbox to your computer then you use it the same way you do the other folders like documents or whatever, and then whatever changes you make sync to the web version. It’s way easier to organize and view images. Email me if you want help.

  • Jenny

    Wait, you were trying to do all that with the Dropbox web version? Noooooo…you totally need to install the desktop version. It stays in taskbar and functions just like a folder on the computer. The only time I go to the website is to share a folder with someone. And I use dropbox a LOT. Also, they give you 500mb free every time someone you’ve shared with also downloads it…I’m up to 9gb of space and have never paid to upgrade.

    Oh, and I know you do some photograph…do have Adobe Bridge (comes with Photoshop)? That’s how I cull, sort, and organize all my photos. Once it loads all the thumbnails, space bar to make them full screen, zip through with arrow keys, star the keepers with number keys, filter by stars, copy to wherever. Boom.