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How to Organize the Analogue Mess

It was really hard to find the way to organize my negative's mess, but one day I decided to straighten up my negatives, cd's and contact sheets. It was not an easy work, but it deserve it when you want to scan an old pic, check what film you used in that picture you like or just have organized the safest back up ever: the negatives.

I use to develop in Madrid’s lLomographic embassy (I need a scanner!!! URGENT!!!), so, when I get my photos developed I get a CD and a little contact sheet. This little contact sheet is really helpful in my “organizing method”, so, if you scan your negatives at home I recommend you to print your own home made contact sheet with miniature pics.

Well, I’m going to try to explain my “analogue organizing method” step by step, here I go, hope you can understand it.

1.- I bought a ring binder, a classic one, and A4 cards or letter size.

2.- I stuck the CD’s sleeve in the card with scotch tape and I put the CD, the negatives and the contact sheet in. I marked everything in that card with the same number, “A-0031”, for example.

3.- I write down the information of the photos in the cd and in the contact sheet (tags): film, date, places… As you can see, I write it down in a chaotic way, I would like to find a better way to do it but I can’t find it…

4.- When I download the cd content in my computer I make folders with the numbers I gave to all material: “A-0031”, for example. Inside that folder I make more folders, one per film, “lomo002768” for example, that it’s analogue tagged in the cd and the sheet folder (3). If I make selection and put together photos from differents films I make other folders and I named them with names: “schweppes Diana”, for examples.

This is the way I organize my analogue mess (the digital still have to wait, but here in spanish you have a great guide for digital organizing). I give you the “ring binder analogue organizing method” as an inspiration, but I think that organizing is something that each person has to do in its own personal way, because, at the end, it is a reflection of our way of thinking. Also, the organizing method depends on the way you develop, print, scan… something really personal at the end. But, definitely, it’s really nice to know where your negatives are, have them named and tagged, so: now you know how to organize your mess. Look at one of my ring binders:


written by susielomovitz and translated by susielomovitz


  1. boredbone


    you're such an OC:) love it.

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  2. azzzy


    i so need to this, and make sure the place you keep your negs dont get dusty. its sure sad if you scan an old negative and u see plenty of dust on it

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  3. wallflowersforjane


    wow! you are detailed. all i do is put them into file, one sleeve for each negative+cd. i use the labelling by the cd shop in my downloaded file and input in the period i used the roll and the type of film! i think i should start labelling my cds like yours for better x-ref!

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  4. nural


    I pretty much do the same except the contact sheet and cd since I scan at home but the folder and the negative holder have the same name :)

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  5. vgzalez


    Hooray, Susie! Now it's available in international version too!!!! Great!! :)

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  6. ethermoon


    I am OC when it comes to this but not like this one! :-)

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  7. tallgrrlrocks


    Great job susie! And I thought I was 'organized' :D

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  8. herbert-4


    Wonderfully AR, but needful organisation!! All my negs and cd's are in their envelopes, in a box, a sort of archaeological site.

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  9. panelomo



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  10. rexhibitionist


    Great article, love the amount of time you put in to this.

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  11. susielomovitz


    :D. tnx! I already bought my scaner!!! Now I have more work... I'll tell you if I keep this organization 'going on'... ha! And also I have to say something: this is the only thing I have organized, my bedroom is in a mess guys! ;).

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  12. mandecster


    haha..nice work!!i wish i have time to do that..hahaha

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  13. eatcpcks


    I waited this translation so bad! Nice article... Need to clean my mess:D and make cds too:D

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  14. renrep


    Your article inspired me to get organized and my OCD kicked in. I am nowgetting organized. Thank you.

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  15. jojothemonkeyy


    :D did it!
    Gonna decorate the ring binder cover with photos I took

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  16. maxwellmaxen


    i am so glad, i always do that while scanning!
    external harddrive,
    lomography 2011 - 2011_05 - LC-A - Filmtype
    each file has a filmtype-2011_05_XX (XX for number)
    negs and contact sheets are stored in a special binder in special sleeves, all marked with month, tags, camera and film
    cds (if i need one) are stored in the box with the prints.

    i am so glad, i had this system since the beginning. the tidiest thing in my life! :D

    over 3 years ago · report as spam

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The original version of this article is written in: Spanish.