A powerful, customizable rating tool allows you to rate faster and find your pictures more easily
By David Carrington
Taking photos is easy. Getting rid of them? Far more difficult. Even with a few deletes here and there, most of us still have so many pictures that it makes our truly great images hard to find. That’s where a rating system comes in—and the more powerful, the more flexible, the more intuitive the system, the more efficient your photo searches become.
A Smarter Way to Rate Photos
Off-the-shelf apps like Google Photos and Apple Photos offer all the flexibility of an on/off switch: You either “Like” a picture (denoted with a ♥) or you don’t, a system that hasn’t kept pace with social media currency and today’s image-focused culture. Mylio offers a handful of different ways to quickly rate a picture, giving you the ability to distinguish between images in general terms (like or not) but also to create your own, more nuanced system based on colors, stars, or flags. Beyond that, a photo rating system with more “levers” not only allows you to find an individual photo faster, but lets you quickly access groups of photos. (Pulling up a group of pictures is helpful if you want to share multiple images—of an event, say, or a person over the years—or create an album.)
How to Developing Your Own Photo-Rating System
By way of introduction, here’s a simple star-rating system that Mylio makes easy to put into play, with 5 stars indicating “Show,” 4 stars for “Next Best,” etc.
- Show: Your best pictures. These are the standouts that you want in your slide show, will print and display, and include in the photo books you make. The goal here: Keep the bar high and the number low. Everyone’s different but out of 1,000 pictures, you might have 50 in this category.
- Next Best: A category for those images that fall just outside the top circle. Strong pictures. Out of a 1,000 images, perhaps 100 will live here.
- Keep: This is where most of your pictures should sit. These aren’t “bad” pictures but you probably won’t show regularly or share often. At the same time, you definitely don’t want to delete them. Maybe 700 of that original 1,000 belong here.
- Weak: When the photo isn’t good or special but you don’t have any other pictures of the person or place. Let’s say 150 of the 1,000 pictures go in this bucket.
- Delete: Photos of your thumb, those that are blurry beyond recognition, exact duplicates. With storage being relatively inexpensive, you may not absolutely need to delete images, but keeping them can make the good pictures harder to find.
How to Put a Rating System into Practice
Mylio offers three rating schemes: colors, stars, and the flag. The flat is a binary yes/no—just like Apple Photo’s “heart.” So one strategy could be to use stars to describe the quality of the photo (five stars for “Show” vs two stars for “Weak,” for instance) and use the colors to give you a sense of the content—say blue for family, yellow for work, green for travel, purple for food.
A Smarter Strategy to Rate Photos
The truth is, a lot of people never bother to rate their photos because they think it takes too much time or is a hassle. And fair enough—when you can only rate pictures one by one, and when the rating system is on a fairly primitive like-or-nothing scale, the payoff is minimal. But Mylio allows you to use multiple rating and categorization systems, which makes finding photos a snap. Using both stars and colors, for instance, enables you to filter for, say, 5 and Blue and then, almost instantly, create a family photo album of your best pictures.
How to Use “Speed Rating”
Like most organizational setups, Mylio lets you work in batches. Use shift+click to select a range of photos, or use cmd+click to pick many photos individually. Then apply any rating, tag, flag to all of those images at once (the same works for titles captions, keywords, facetagging, etc.).
An innovation that makes Mylio’s system superior is the Auto-Advance switch, which automatically advances after you’ve rated a picture. This allows you to race through hundreds or even thousands of pictures, rating each one and moving on to the next with a single tap or keystroke. It’s a major time saver. If you’re using your laptop to rate, you can also use the keyboard shortcuts, which let you rate in a flash. The numbers from 1 to 5 correspond to the stars, from ☆ to ☆☆☆☆☆. And, then on the keyboard 6 = Red, 7 = Yellow, 8 = Green, 9 = Blue, and 0 = Purple.
Beyond that, rating your photos with Mylio is also easier because it doesn’t require a WiFi connection. So at the end of a trip, you can take advantage of the “dead air” time on the plane to rate your pictures on any device you have with you, knowing that they’re automatically synching to all of your other devices.
The Benefits of “Speed Rating”
Even a little bit of organization makes finding things so much easier. Using the recommendations above, you’ll be able to find photos faster using the filter bar—for example, pull up 5-star Blue photos to see all your best family photos. This lets you quickly access photos in the midst of a dinner conversation, to share with clients, or when you’re feeling a little nostalgic. It’s also a big timesaver when you’re getting ready to put together photo albums, holiday cards, or commemorative slideshows. There’s also the internal satisfaction of knowing your life is in order, and that all those media memories are neatly sorted into the visual story of your life.