Recording which photos you've submitted

This is a spreadsheet I made to help me keep track of which photos I have gone through and submitted to iNaturalist. I thought it might be a helpful idea for others.

Gray indicates months where I didn’t take any photos that I could use on iNat. Red is for months with photos where I haven’t submitted any obs yet. Yellow is for months with photos where I have submitted some but not all. Green is for months that I have completed submissions. The numbers and letters next to the months are to remind me of the format of the file names from my Olympus camera. The words and numbers in the boxes are just notes to myself of the places and dates I haven’t done yet.


I keep unsubmitted and submitted in different folders, plus I delete submitted ones from Lightroom memory (just keep those I’d use for other websites, etc.).

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I do something similar to Melodi. When I transfer pics to my computer I have a folder called “Unprocessed” with subfolders for each date/location, like “2020-09-02 Smith Park” and “2020-09-01 Southlake Roadside Field”. As I process the photos, I move the pics I won’t use to an “Unused” folder to save for 1 year, in case I need them later to look for a particular feature not captured in the photos I kept. (It happens on iNat a lot!) Once I have uploaded all of my processed photos to iNat, I move the entire event folder (2020-09-02 Smith Park) out of “Unprocessed” and to another folder for “2020” where all processed and uploaded photos are kept. So the directory looks like this:

– 2020-08-31 Bluebird Trail
– 2020-08-31 Mothing at Home
– 2020-09-01 Southlake Roadside Field
– -- Unused
– 2020-09-02 Smith Park
– -- Unused

If there are any subfolders in Unprocessed, I know I haven’t uploaded them to iNat yet.

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I keep photos in a bunch of different places (not all on the same computer) and use them for other things besides iNat. Sometimes they are sorted by camera, sometimes by year, sometimes by place or trip. I do however separate out the submitted and not submitted photos on my phone which makes it easier for obs I submit using the app.

I mostly use the spreadsheet as kind of an overview to give me an idea of how much progress I have made and how much I have left to do. When I submit old photos I try to do them around the same time of year, especially the plants. So the spreadsheet helps me to see which years I still have stuff to submit for this month or last.

I rarely do anything to keep specific track of what images have been submitted, other than ensuring that I submit an entire folder’s worth at a time.

However, when I had time for my wildlife blog I used to keep a separate folder with the images I used. That wound up being bulky and inefficient, so I changed to adding a suffix onto the image name, something like ‘BLG’, to note that the image had been used for that purpose.

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