Let’s Get Started with Mylio
Description: Ready to dive into Mylio and finally get your photo library organized? Here’s a step-by-step walkthrough of setting up and exploring the Mylio app.
Ready to dive into Mylio and finally get your photo library organized?
Setting up a new app, especially one with so much potential, is always a fun jigsaw puzzle of settings. Mylio is very customizable, so that you can use it in whatever way works for you. That said, when you’re first getting started, a little helping hand never goes amiss. Together we’re going to walk through that setup phase and get you from install to enjoy in no time, flat.
Because there’s a lot to talk about when it comes to this program, I recommend that you keep this article open as you set Mylio up. It will make a lot more sense when you see these instructions side by side with the setup experience. You can also bookmark this post and refer back to it as you dig deeper into Mylio over time.
But first: here’s what you need
The first step in setting up a new app (and a new photo organization system) is having everything you need ready to go. In this case, you’ll need the following:
- A device
- An email address
- Ideally, something to use as a Vault
A computer is best for your first device, simply because there’s a lot of breathing room in the desktop app. Although the desktop and mobile apps compliment each other very well and give you great functionality on both sides, you’ll have an easier time finding things and learning the program on a desktop. You’ll also be able to recognize different icons on the mobile version right away after seeing them on a full screen.
You’ll also want to set aside some dedicated time. While Mylio is great about fitting into your daily life, it’s helpful to have some unstructured time to play around as you get started.
Let’s get Mylio!
Now you’re ready to get the Mylio app onto your computer! Start by pointing your browser to Mylio.com/download. Then, just click the fancy download Mylio button.
Once the installer opens, you’re ready to sign in (or sign up, as the case may be). That’s where you’ll need your email address. Ta-da! You’re in.
The Setup Wizard
After signing in, the fun really starts. The Setup Wizard will walk you through the first steps.
It will ask you if you’re adding a new device or if this device is replacing an old one. Since you are, in fact, new to Mylio, consider your device to be new to it, too.
Next, it will help you import photos into your library. You can skip this step if you want to navigate Mylio before adding photos, but I’d recommend selecting a small group of photos ahead of time and just putting those in to begin. It gives you something to work with, but not so much that it is overwhelming.
If you select Add Files instead of Skip, the Setup Wizard will give you different options about where it can look for photos. See them below.
- This device – Here, you can select a folder (like the small group of photos I recommend) or just have Mylio scan your drive for you.
- External drive – Make sure it’s connected! Mylio will show you a list of connected external drives. You can choose to leave your files where they are and simply allow Mylio to access them, or you can copy them to another destination.
- Online account – Just to clarify, this is not where you connect to a Cloud service. If you want to do that, it will be later, when you set up a Vault. This is where you pull pictures from Flickr, Facebook, or Google Photos to show in your Mylio library.
- Photos or Aperture – If you have images in Apple Photos or Aperture, this is where you’ll draw those from.
After making your selection, Mylio will sum up what you’ve asked it to do on a quick confirmation screen. At the bottom of this screen, you’ll see an Advanced Options link. That’s where you can select a different location for your Mylio directory or alter the sync settings for your first device.
If you feel comfortable fiddling with these features right off the bat, go right ahead! If you’re going into Mylio completely fresh, though, it may be best to leave those options as-is for now. You can always change them later. And don’t forget, you can import more photos at any time by going to File > Import. When you’re ready to add a second device like your phone or tablet, download the Mylio app and sign in the same way you did before!
Once you’re done with this page, click Confirm Setup, and it’s time to really get into Mylio.
Anatomy of Mylio
Mylio isn’t really a challenging platform, once you get familiar with it. And the more you play around with it, the more features you’ll discover. Here’s a quick cheat sheet from Mylio Support:
For now, the most important thing is to know how to access your different views. Mylio allows you to access, search for, and view images multiple ways. You may do what I do and flip flop between views depending on what you’re up to, or you may find one view that really works for you and stick with it. There’s no wrong way to do it.
- The Life Calendar – See your images in an interactive calendar. Click on years, months, days, or events to find the image you want. (You can add or change the date of a photo in the Info tab of the Details panel.)
- People view – Search your library based on the person you are looking for with the help of Mylio’s state-of-the-art facial recognition. Learn all about face tagging here.
- Map view – View a map of the places you’ve taken photos, and find the photos you want based on where they were taken. Learn all about adding photos to maps here.
- Album view – Group photos together in whatever way makes sense to you. The same photo can be in multiple albums without duplicating it and taking up more space! Learn all about albums here.
- Folder view – Access and manage photos based on how they are organized outside of Mylio. Make changes in Mylio and they’ll happen in those folders, too (and vice-versa). Learn all about Mylio folders here.
You can access the different views up toward the top of Mylio, where it says “views” on the cheat sheet.
Later, when you’re ready to get into more advanced management, click at the top right of Mylio, where it says Sync Status/Dashboard on the cheat sheet. This is the command center for your photos where, you can alter the sync settings for your different devices, see which file types you have in your library, look through the different cameras that took your photos, and so much more.
What do I do first?
Once you’re set up, you may wonder where to start. Mylio is feature-rich, and there’s certainly no right or wrong way to get acquainted with it. But about this—as well as many other things—I have opinions. Feel free to follow my lead or forge your own path, but here’s what I recommend to Mylio newbies who want a set order to start with:
If you’ve been on a computer in the last… ever, you know folders. You put files into folders, maybe put those folders in other folders, and voila!
To get a complete understanding of Mylio-specific folders, you’ll want to understand the difference between importing your folders into Mylio and using source folders to allow Mylio access to your existing folders.
Option 1: Importing
When you import your images into Mylio, you’re creating a new original, as it were, for each of your photos and storing them in a new area of your hard drive. This is a great solution if your current library is scattered across your hard drive, maybe a few USBs, and an external or two.
To do this, go to File > Import > Copy. Next, select the files and/or folders you want to import. Then, Mylio will ask you to choose a destination for your photos. Once you’ve selected the destination, click Import Now. (See below)
Option 2: Source folders
If you already have an organized, consolidated folder system, you may wish to simply allow Mylio to access that folder system. This will create a more seamless, searchable viewing experience than clicking blindly through folders and scrolling for the right file name.
To do this, go to Mylio > Settings > Source Folders > Add More Folders. From there, you can choose which folders and files you’d like to be able to view in Mylio.
After that you’ll see your images in situ, as it were, in Folder view. This will help you get your bearings as you navigate a new interface. Your files will be in the same folder structure you are used to. Don’t be afraid to make changes to folders inside or outside of Mylio, because it all syncs up. Just don’t get folders confused with albums, which are less like actual storage and more like access points.
A Vault is a Mylio-enabled device – or in some cases, a Cloud service – that stores the originals of your entire library. You really should have at least one Vault (I recommend two, but when you’re starting out, one will do). It’s simple to set up, just go to File > Add Vault. You’ll then be prompted to decide what type of location you want for your Vault: an external hard drive, a NAS, or one of the compatible Cloud services.
The Life Calendar
If you’ve used your smartphone to take more than a few photos, you’re familiar with the idea of viewing photos chronologically.
The Life Calendar takes that almost-satisfying camera roll experience to a completely satisfying interactive level. You can view by year, month, day, or event. Sidenote: make sure you stop and watch the Life Calendar right after you import your first batch of photos. It’s an unmatched experience to see your life popping up in sequence, right in front of you.
Mylio’s editing toolkit isn’t intended to compete with Adobe Photoshop. However, it does have respectable options, and a lot of them. There are also some pre-made Presets and of course, you can just make changes on the sliders without creating a Preset if one particular image needs specific edits.
What’s more, you can use presets to make lots of edits in batches, which saves valuable time. Side note: Mylio lets you do just about anything in batches, including face tagging, geotagging, labeling, rating, moving, and adding keywords.
When you first open People view, you’ll probably see one group there, called Untagged. Click that group and then select the batch tagging icon. (It’s in the Details panel and looks like two people with a circle around one of their heads).
Once you’ve done that, Mylio will show you suggestions on the right side of your screen. It will group faces together that it believes belong to the same person. You can add people, make changes, and approve suggestions.
Once you’ve tagged a few people, go back out into plain old People view. You’ll see a box for each person, and you can view the photos of that person by clicking it. The more you do this, the better Mylio will get at recognizing your people. When you want to do a little organizing on the go, this is the easiest feature to use.
Map view requires very little training. You got the map, you view it.
Click a pin on the map to see photos that were taken at that location. Or, you can use the Find Location bar at the top of the map to search for a location. If a location is not correct (Hey, it happens. Metadata is weird like that.) find the right location in the map and drag-and-drop the selected photo(s) to the correct location.
Let’s get granular
Once you feel comfortable with the broad strokes stuff, you can tackle some of the more granular aspects of organization.
Keep in mind that you can use as many or as few of these options as you like. Mylio works for you, not the other way around. In fact, some of these smaller-scale features are really just different ways to do the same thing. It’s pretty cool that Mylio’s team is willing to put in the extra work to offer choices to us based on our learning styles.
However, I do once again have opinions about the easiest order for mastering these features.
- Flags, stars, and labels – Start with these because they’re just a click and you’re done. Click the little price tag-looking symbol on the details panel to open up these options.
- Categories – These are easily accessible from the sidebar under Info. Make unique categories or use the ones that are already there! If you’re into woodworking, create a category for that. When you want to put a photo into categories, just select it, scroll down in Info, and click the plus sign next to Categories.
- Keywords – Assign keywords to your photos to help you call them up later in the search bar.
- Events – Select any year, month, or date block in the Life Calendar and right click it. Your top option will be New Event. When you click it, you’ll have the option to select a date range for the new event. Photos taken within that date range will be applied to the event.
Flags, stars, labels, categories, and keywords can all be done in batches. Just make sure to select all the images you want and choose the attribute you want to apply to them. This will save you a LOT of time at the beginning of your photo organization journey.
Where do I go from here?
Anywhere! Mylio is yours to explore. The key next step is to add any devices where you like to access your photo library. In particular, your phone. Most of us rely heavily on our camera rolls, so it’s important to include Mylio in that part of the process.
If you get stuck, Mylio Support has great, step-by-step tutorials for everything you could want to do. There’s also a Mylio community, where you can ask questions, or maybe even answer them once you’ve mastered your photo library and know the ins and outs.
There’s still time in Save Your Photos Month to get your photo library neat as a pin. Don’t forget that you can find over forty short, helpful classes at the Save Your Photos Month page for completely free until November 1st. These virtual classes are hosted by experts in photo organization (including one straight from Mylio) who are committed to getting your library usable and enjoyable.