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 on 2010-09-23 #gear #tutorials #negatives #negative #mess #archive #films #tipster #folder #organize #cd-s #archivador #to-straighten #practical-tips
translated by susielomovitz


  1. boredbone
    boredbone ·

    you're such an OC:) love it.

  2. azzzy
    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

  3. wallflowersforjane
    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!

  4. nural
    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 :)

  5. vgzalez
    vgzalez ·

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

  6. ethermoon
    ethermoon ·

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

  7. tallgrrlrocks
    tallgrrlrocks ·

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

  8. herbert-4
    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.

  9. panelomo
    panelomo ·


  10. rexhibitionist
    rexhibitionist ·

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

  11. susielomovitz
    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! ;).

  12. mandecster
    mandecster ·

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

  13. eatcpcks
    eatcpcks ·

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

  14. renrep
    renrep ·

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

  15. jojothemonkeyy
    jojothemonkeyy ·

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

  16. maxwellmaxen
    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

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