Recreate Facebook’s ‘On This Day Last Year’ Feature Using Smart Albums for Photos
Recreate Facebook’s ‘On This Day Last Year’ Feature Using Smart Albums for Photos

Have you ever logged in to Facebook and been shown an old post from exactly 1 year ago today? This is Facebook’s ‘On This Day‘ feature which they released in March 2015. If you happen to log in on the same day that you made a post 1 year ago  they’ll show you the old post. I’ve always really like this feature whenever it pops up but the only problem is that I don’t really post very much stuff on Facebook. I do however take a TON of photos which I keep in my Photos library. Luckily, you can recreate the same thing in Photos with Smart Albums.

Use Smart Albums in Photos to Make a ‘1 Year Ago Today’ Album

Smart Albums are a really fun feature of Photos that you can use to make dynamic albums that automatically fill themselves based on criteria that you set, like the Date the photo was captured or the type of camera it was captured on, there’s lots of different options.

  1. Spend a minute thinking in words about exactly what you want the Smart Folder to do:
    • I’d like for this album to have pictures in it from exactly 1 year ago today. The contents of the album will always be relative to todays date so it will show different pictures every day.
  2. File > New Smart Album
  3. You’ll see ‘Match the following condition’ and then listed below that are all the conditions that the Smart Album will use to determine which photos end up in the album and which are left out (you can add as many as you like). Click the drop-down slider that says ‘Photos’ and change it to ‘Date Captured’.
  4. Now we need to add conditions that will show pictures only from 1 Year Ago Today. There are 365 days in a year. Change ‘is’ to ‘is in the last’, then enter 365. Now the album will show pictures whose Date Captured is in the last 365 days. That’s a start but it’s not exactly what we want, we’ll need to add another condition…
  5. Click the + button that’s on the far right, another condition will pop up below. Change that condition to ‘Date Captured’ as well but this time change ‘is’ to ‘is not in the last’ and then type 364.
  6. As soon as you add a second condition you’ll see a new drop down pop up which will start out saying ‘any’, switch this ‘all’. We only want photos in this album that satisfy both conditions, not either/or one of the conditions.
  7. Name your album, then you’ll see it pop up on the left side menu and all the pictures that satisfy the conditions will be showing in the album.
  8. There’s a chance that you made a mistake somewhere or that the logic that you tried using isn’t working to bring back the pictures you thought it would. To test out your album, right-click on one of the photos and select ‘Get Info’. A menu will pop up showing all the info related to that picture. Check that the date the image was captured is the same date as today, but 1 year earlier. If it isn’t go back and edit your conditions until it works the way you’d like.

Now your smart album is finished! Every new day that you open this album you’ll see a different set of picures. You can really go down the rabbit hole here and make Smart Albums for ‘1 Month Ago Today’, ‘6 Months Ago Today, all the way up to 10 Years Ago Today! That’s obviously obsessive but you get the idea. I find these albums are a really good way to look back on the past and enjoy all the pictures in your library.

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