This is what it looks like at my desk. And I know yours probably looks like it, too — although you’d never admit it publicly. Well, I am! And I’m showing how it’s possible to be efficient while enjoying our messy office when our data is perfectly sorted!

God bless this mess

I’m totally assuming it. My desk is a complete mess. I’m not only talking about this week. I’m talking about like … all the time. Sure, this drives my husband crazy — you should see the impeccable side of HIS desk — but hey, this is how I am. If I’m not out for a photoshoot, I’m living in front of my computer. I can’t help it, that’s just the way I am. (And he said “for the better or worse” so I made sure he couldn’t run away now.)

Hopefully for me, I’ve been taught really early on my photographic career that it was VERY important to sort all my pictures folders by date and name. It seems a little overkill when all you have is 143 pictures but let me tell you, it saved my life three years later.

Find sorted data desktop

A needle in a haystack

Joannie, a very good friend of mine, announced she was going to publish a book. I was really excited for her, as I’ve been following her running/triathlon journey for several years. She is an excellent communicator: She’s already a speaker and a very popular blogger. I knew right away this project was destined to be a huge hit.

We spoke together and I told her I’d be honored to illustrate the book with the images we’ve created together. She loved the idea and came up a few weeks later with a list of all the exact pictures she needed to compliment her text. In this case, I didn’t have a single needle to find … I had 18 of them! 18 very precise pictures we took over the course of the last two years. To help me find them, the only references I had was the month each one of them has (probably) been taken.

My DDs saved the day

A couple of months ago, I’ve had the privilege to get two NAS devices from Drobo for all my data back up (hence the “DD” inspiration). I thought it was a sign — “Michèle, the ability to handle a reasonable amount of mess on your desk is nonexistent but you WILL at least sort your digital files.” Fine, fine. Luckily, I already had my folders named by date from day one … and they were all in 10 different external hard drives. I imported every single one of them into these giant units and from that glorious moment, I’ve been able to find any photoshoot’s folder from any year in a few scrolls.

Sorted data Drobo workspace

What could’ve been a completely frustrating and time-consuming experience has been very efficient — and most of all pain-free. I found all my images, re-edited them for the purpose of her book and delivered in about an hour. This is one of the many situations I’ve experienced in the past couple of months where having a data storage unit saved my a$$ big time.

I’m being asked lots of time to find a specific picture by clients. Pictures that have been taken months or years ago. What a headache, if these data would still be in those old external hard drives in my drawer.

I know, I know. You are now all thinking “Wow, this is amazing Michèle! That’ll make you time to clean your desk!” Ahhhhhhh. You’re so funny guys.