How Google Photos Changed My Life

Google is a powerhouse of an organization

Today we’ll discuss how one of their many programs, Google Photos, changes my life. As I mentioned in my article about Minimalism, I was attempting to brainstorm ways to be more conscious of what I owned and used on a daily basis.

While browsing YouTube, I discovered a video about Digital Minimalism by Kraig Adams and immediately pounced on it. I’ve added it to my Minimalism YouTube Playlist for you to watch later.

The biggest takeaway I got from that video was using Google Photos for storing my images. In the past I’ve used Photobucket for online storage for images, but if you have visited that site as of late, you’d quickly see why I’ve stopped. 

Spoiler alert: it’s become slow and filled to the brim with ads

I also used to back up my photos on the default Photos App for the MacBook and also do bimonthly backups on my G-Drive (playfully nicknamed Carla Drive). 

My MacBook took a sip of my Starbucks Hot Chocolate in October so some of those images were lost. And to be honest I do not always remember to manually back up my photos/data. 

So safe to say, when I found out that Google Photos could back up an unlimited amount of images for the cheap cheap price of free... I was immediately sold.  

Perks of using Google Photos

  • It’s free to upload images

  • it syncs up to your phone and backups the pictures you take with the associated Google Photos app

  • It has a smart search engine that could look for specific terms such as ‘cat’ ‘whiteboard’ or ‘paper’

  • It has facial recognition that can pick out a single person and look up images of that person

  • it also creates albums and gifs for you

Google Photos, like anything in life, is not perfect. So during my last couple of months using it, I have a few complaints. Most of them are due to one major issue, which is the first one listed below.

Downsides of Using Google Photos

  • it automatically uploads your photos from your phone to the last logged in gmail account.

    • This is problematic since I have several google accounts

  • I find sharing pictures/albums difficult

  • i find transferring images from one google account to another impossible

How has Google Photos changed my life?  

As you can guess from what I shared above I am a huuuuge klutz and can be forgetful. This isn’t why having a place to store my photos without worrying about the following is amazing:

  • Destroying my hard drive

  • Losing my hard drive

  • Forgetting to back up on my hard drive

  • Paying for another subscription based service

And now... Now I’ll share the ways I’ve been using the tool to change my life.

I apologize for making you wait but laying out the groundwork is kind of important. 

How I use Google Photos

Google Photos is my Filing Cabinet

While I cannot upload PDFs onto Google Photos I can take screenshots and name the documents I want to upload on the cloud accordingly. This doubles the use of Google Photos as not only photo storage but also document storage. 

The fact that I have a place where I can always access my documents, even if it’s just in a picture format, it’s amazing.  

This is where I also like to keep my receipts since I have a tendency to toss them or lose them. Which normally is okay, but when it comes to a few items that I own that are lifetime warrantee then it’s great to have my receipt readily and easily available.  

Google Photos has my inventory

On a Reddit thread i discovered a ‘pro-tip’ on getting your stuff protected in case of an accident. These include home floods, hurricanes, fires, etc. So when you file for all the things you lose in whatever disaster it is, the insurance company will do its best to replace what you lost. Te catch is, they’ll replace the item the most cost effective way it can. This means that unless you specify the exact product and have an image proving that it’s yours, then you will not have it replaced. 

You also may overlook ‘small’ ticket items that may cost $20 but if you accumulate all those items repurchasing them could cost you a pretty penny.  

This is why I’ve started to take pictures of EVERYTHING that I own. By doing this I also can move forward with my minimalism journey by being aware of what I own. By taking pictures of my stuff, one by one, I’m able to really look at it and evaluate whether or not it brings value or joy in my life. 

If I find that it’s a hassle taking a picture of it for a minute then it’s obviously not meant to be mine anymore.  

I’m considering of taking this concept of value and taking it another step further... like dedicating a quick blog post for each item. It’ll be a review of the product and a way for me to see if I can still view it as ‘valuable’ in my life.  

How Do You Use Google Photos? 

This question is applicable whether or not you use Google Photos. If you use a different program, app, or system for managing your images, documents, and inventory, I’d love to know.

If you have any other uses for Google Photos I’d love to hear them as well. The more I can use this tool, the better! 

Also if you’re interested if I should write more about the ‘things I carry’ in my life then that’d be great.