In today’s rapidly evolving world of video, more and more people are taking to vlogging to share and document their lives faster than most platforms can keep up. But, what many have come to learn as they join the rising trend of video sharing, is that it involves more than setting up a camera and recording your thoughts and experiences. It also involves figuring out just where to store all of that footage after you capture it. 

When to worry about storage

Most vloggers leap into content creation without thinking long-term about the production process. They have something to say. They just have to get out there and start shooting. But for many aspiring vloggers, what may have started out as a simple pastime or medium of expression soon turns into a daily activity. And with that eventually accumulates hours upon hours of video footage. And it never occurs to the beginning vlogger just how to organize all of that footage. 

If you plan on shooting video daily, then you need a game plan that involves organizing your video data. Some vloggers simply create separate folders for their video footage from each day, but that may not be enough in the long run. It could take hours to find that one specific clip that would make for the perfect throwback moment in today’s video. If you plan to vlog with any consistency, then you should consider your options for storing and organizing data from the very beginning.

Storing data on the go

Most vloggers use single or multiple SD cards throughout the day to store their recorded footage while on the go. The more you plan to shoot, the more storage you will need. You can estimate your storage needs using your predicted shoot time and your camera’s bitrate. It’s better to have to much storage than too little so you won’t have to make choices about what to save and what to keep throughout the day.

In any case, it’s always best to off-load your footage and format your cards when you get home each evening. That way, you can be sure your footage is safe.

Depending on your camera, your storage needs could be in the dozens of gigabytes per day. To manage that much footage, you’ll need a system, also known as a data flow. Your data flow refers to the way your data moves from your camera to your computer and then onto its final destinations in a vlog and in your archives.

It’s best to off-load your footage from your camera or card to your computer at the end of every day. That way, you’re less likely to lose track of crucial moments.

That data flows depends on your style of shooting and also on the equipment you plan to use for your shoot. For example, for a vlogger who moves around a lot, your data flow may differ from someone who vlogs about their family life or a product they use. The on-the-go vlogger may have to use multiple SD cards. They even may have to move data from those SD cards to their laptop or portable storage drive when their cards fill up mid-adventure.

Organizing vlog footage for beginners

Once it’s offloaded, professionals organize their data by creating folders and subfolders on their computer hard drives and backup drives. For instance, top-level folders can be labeled by month or week, with subfolders for each day. Inside, you can label your clips with time of day, location and/or event.

Organizing your footage through folders and subfolders helps you to keep track of what you shot and when you shot it in case you need to access that particular footage later. Whatever system you develop, try to stick with it and be as consistent as possible in your naming conventions. Using an established file system will boost your productivity and give access to more tools that can help you tell your story. 

Always keep a backup

If you choose to keep everything you shoot, you can run out of storage space fast. This is when storage capacity becomes a necessity, not an option. The best setup is to have a smaller working drive that you use to store your most recent footage along with a larger external drive or a multi-drive RAID for archiving. With the right settings, a RAID, or redundant array of independent disks, provides redundant storage, meaning that if one drive fails, you will still be able to access your data. RAID 1 is a good choice if you choose this route.

Cloud storage has its advantages as far as storage space and automatic offloading, but when it comes to transferring and storing large video files, it can take hours. That’s why a cloud storage service is best for long-term off-site archiving and backup. Generally, it’s more practical to keep your footage on an external drive than on a cloud storage service if you plan to access it often.

It is strongly recommended that you store your videos in more than one or two locations in case your computer crashes or your external drive is damaged. Read the best digital storage for video editors — 2020 to learn more about external drives and storage and which ones to consider buying.

Final note

Keep in mind, every method of keeping track and storing data has its advantages and disadvantages depending on how often you shoot and how much footage you stockpile. The only way to find a perfect solution to your needs is by continuing to create while making an effort to stay organized. Find a system that works for you — and stick with it — and you’ll have a more efficient vlogging workflow in no time.