Taking pictures is pointless unless you look at them later. That in turn means organising your photos so you can quickly view the ones you want. Tags make relatively light work of this organisational process and mean items you later want to retrieve can be found more easily. Naming photos as you go is good practice, but not every app you may use on your Google Android tablet or Google Android phone will allow you to do so. Transferring shots to a PC for tagging can be easier.

1. View tags ‘Metadata’ is information stored along with an image, such as the camera used, the exposure and, most importantly, any tags (keywords) associated with it. Apps such as ASTRO can tag selected items, but for faster batch-tagging import your photos to your PC from your Android device. If you have a suitable microSD card adaptor, you can plug it in directly.

2. Add a tag Label the photo folder, then click on any photo and press the Tags field at the foot of the Windows Explorer window. Type in a descriptive term; you can enter multiple tags separated by semicolons. To later find this or similar photos, click the Explorer search field and enter ‘tag: x’, replacing ‘x’ with one of the keywords you entered as tags.

3. Arrange by tag Alternatively, open your photo library and select Tag from the Arrange by menu. A list of available tags and thumbnails of associated images will appear. Select the tag you want. To see file information, including the number of ­pictures with that tag, right-click any blank spot within the folder and select View, Details from the contextual menu.

4. Share shots on Photo Gallery For more photo tagging tools, try the free Windows Live Photo Gallery (download it as part of Windows Live Essentials 2011). This lets you batch-convert photos, make quick fixes, add tags and share images on Flickr, YouTube and Facebook. Once you’ve got an account, you’ll be able to upload shots straight from your Android device for sharing and online storage too. You’ll need to enter your Windows Live ID, or register one if you’re not already signed up. The app trawls your hard drive and displays all the images it finds. Click an image to view its tags. To add a tag, edit the information on the right. Click under Descriptive tags, enter keywords and hit Return. You can also add ‘People tags’: the app finds any faces in the image and lets you put a name to each.

5. Add ratings and captions You can also give each photo a caption. Again, click a photo and adjust the metadata. To search for a set of tagged images, enter your keyword in the search box; to search for multiple tags separate each keyword from the next with a forward slash (/).

6. Fix photos Windows Live Essentials Photo Gallery also lets you make basic edits. Select an image and click Fix at the top of the window. Options then appear at the right-hand side to let you adjust the picture’s colour and exposure, crop or straighten it, sharpen up detail, fix red?eye, or turn the photo black and white.

See also: How to create, share and play video on an Android device