Organizing Your Digital Supplies

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@Sarah: I find that when I separate them by designer and store... that I unfortunately end up with duplicates, usually paid one too. smiley So I just started organizing by Designer name or their personal website name with their name in parenthesis. Ie: PixelScrapper.com (Marissa Lerin) This way I do not run into that problem as often... if all the creators kits are in one place only. Even if it's a contest and they are giving away their creations... I will put it in their folder and name the kit with the date & website initials the contest was held along in the kit title folder name. Ie: "1112 DST abc-xyz Kit". The only exception to this rule is if it is a matching color scheme kit like the ladies are creating here to share in December as a blog train. Then I leave those all together under the sponsored websites folder inside a folder labeled "1212 PS.com Blog Train".

Hope that makes sense... just some tips I've learned along the way that help myself. LoL

I am also a big hoarder and even though I only discovered digital scrapbooking less than a year ago, I already have so much stuff on my computer it's about to burst!
I tried tagging in ACDSee when I was working on a PC, but soon gave up on that: it was costing me so much time that I didn't have time left to actually scrap... Recently I bought a Mac (YAY!) and tried again in Bridge, but came to the same conclusion. I do 'the folder thing' ever since I came across an organization tutorial at The Daily Digi. They have a wide variety of blogposts about organizing your files in folders or organize and tag with ACDSee, Lightroom and Picasa. The one thing I learned: there is not just 'one way' to organise your stash - you have to find the way that works best for you!

Hopefully you will all find your way! Maybe this will help:

http://thedailydigi.com/digital-scrapbooking-organization/

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Melouise but soon gave up on that: it was costing me so much time that I didn't have time left to actually scrap.

Since I've been in school for the past semester, I got behind with organizing. With all the sales recently - DSD, Black Friday, Cyber Monday - AND freebies, I have QUITE a stash that I downloaded but decided to save until the semester was done to sort them. I fear I may spend most of December doing just that! lol

@Shawna: I mostly sort them by Designer and then by store in the designer's folder but you are correct about duplicates and it's also more difficult to see what I do and don't have when I'm trying to buy new things and check first so I've decided to get rid of the designer and store folders and put each designer name in the kit folder's name so I can search for it and see it that way but have the kits in the category they belong in so I can see ALL of my Christmas kits for instance instead of having to go through each designer's folder looking to see if I have Christmas kits in those folders too... I think reducing the number of folders and sorting systems will help me be able to better utilize my stash...

I'm not sure what I'm gonna do about blog trains... I currently have a blog train folder that has all the blog trains I've collected... we're talking hundreds of them in just the last two years...never mind my older Blog train folder... each train has a separate folder and then all the stops each have a separate folder though I'm considering taking all the stops and putting them together and separating them out by papers, elements, alphas, word art, templates, etc... within the train folder... that will of course require me fixing the file names of any pieces whose desinger didn't include their name or the name of the kit or train in the file name... I think I'm gonna put the blog trains in with all the other kits when I'm done cleaning up the folders with (BT) in the folder name at the end so I know it was a blog train... I just started putting (dd) for daily downloads and (pd) for things I bought... thank you to... oh it was you Shawna who said you put (Pd) in the folder name... well I thought that was a brilliant idea... I'm not going back to do it for previously sorted kits, but as I'm sorting kits if I come across one I know I paid for I will add it, but for all future purchases and daily downloads and blog trains I will be labeling them this way.

I also have a folder for site sponsored contests... so like the Studio's Next Designer Contest or Scrapping Fairytales' Design Quest have separate folders since they're generally themed or color coordinated I decided to keep them all together... but I like your idea to separate the ones that aren't coordinated by color or theme and put the designer's name, contest name and website in the folder name... that might be a better idea than how I currently have it set up... since currently I have all the designer contests together and the ones that aren't themed or color coordinated are together too... but now that I think about it, if they're not coordinated it doesn't really make sense to keep them together...

Thanks so much for all your help on this subject... I feel like your suggestions will definitely make better utilizing my stash easier in the long run.

@ Lady Phillippa: I totally understand about being busy with school... only once school let out I still kept putting it off so now I have like 6 different to sort folders that are waiting for me... some of them have more than 1,000 kits and freebies and such.... so I encourage you to do it when you have the time,but friendly word of advise... once you have time to work on it don't keep putting it off or you'll end up with a huge mess on your hands like I have smiley... Of course I'm a professional procrastinator so hopefully you won't end up like me... You must be getting close to finals, so best of luck on those.

Melouise

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it was costing me so much time that I didn't have time left to actually scrap...

HERE, HERE!!! exactly why I started using a folder system, too and the search function. LoL Only bummer is when pieces aren't labeled well by designers like element 01, element 02, paper 01, paper 02, and so on... not very useful or helpful.

@Shawna

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Only bummer is when pieces aren't labeled well by designers like element 01, element 02, paper 01, paper 02, and so on... not very useful or helpful.

Same here! Especially with elements - I understand you can't name every paper in your kit as a designer, but how hard can it be to name something 'flower' 'button' or 'ribbon' instead of numbers...

How will you store your stuff when it comes to Birds in snow and the blogtrain? Will you keep it sepatare or will you do a mega collab?

I usually store blogtrains together because they all have the same colors, but I leave them in their own folders (or create a folder for each designer), because they tend to be color-coordinated, but not always theme-coordinated. I make sure the folders have an image so I can easily recognize them.

Blogtrains and full kits are stored in my 'Full kits" folder. For the birds in snow I'm not sure yet, because I also have a "Theme-Christmas" folder and most of them are very christmassy...

Great idees smiley Yeah i think i'm gonna store it in the christmas map smiley

I have a Winter folder with a Christmas subfolder - I'll create a "Pixel Scrapper Dec. 2012 blog train" folder in the Christmas subfolder, and then save all the zip files to there & unzip/keep them all in there.

Here is how I organize my stuff. This idea is not my idea originally but I did modify it a bit and I love it! Each folder has a number and then a title.

1-12 represent the months of the year. I have several "1" folders: 1 Winter 1 Birthday (mine is in January so I made it a 1 folder), 1 New Years 1 Martin Luther King Jr.. I also use 1 to designate categories that are important to me: 1 Design Class, 1 Art Journaling. 2 is Valentine's Day and Hearts 3 is St. Patrick's Day 4 is Easter and Spring and so on....

13 represents any element pack so there is 13 Alphas 13 Ribbons etc.... I use these folders for elements packs that I buy alone not as parts of kits. Paper packs go here too.

14 represents kits. I have a 14 Mini Kits 14 Full Kits This is also where I create category folders that aren't associated with a particular month 14 Baby 14 Animals And I have a 14 Designers folder as well. In there are the designers I use most often.

15 is Templates

16 is Albums and QPs, Tutorials, Magazines

17 is Actions (I divide Photo and Scrap actions)

21 is Palettes

22 has folders for Brushes, Fonts, Gradients, Lightroom Presets, Masks and Styles

I divide my CU the same way- adjusting as needed.

Obviously, this is not perfect but I like it. I have recently added another level: I start a folder with an underscore instead of a number if it is either a CT folder, my store folder, or a dump folder for high downloading times- Black Friday, DSD etc... The underscore puts the folder at the top in WIndows Explorer.

Maybe someone will find this useful.....

Marisa i need help smiley I tried picasa.. I just don't get it... It finds all my stuff.. But how do i sort them??? I like to sort in "big folders" with alot of subfolders.. Exampel: Digiscrap - neutral - full kit - (name of the kit) - Papers.. And there are all the papers to the kit i wanna work with... Now it's sorted so i see all folders one by one... Not like elements and paper in one folder and so on smiley I hope you understand what i'm getting at smiley Really could use some help smiley

@Marisa/Jessica:
Would it be prudent to start a post specific to Picasa... titled "Organizing in Picasa" ??? ...that way in the future, we could have an Organizing in ACDSee post, etc (for any others, as requested)... kind of program specific here as a post within the digiscrapping chat forum??? just a thought... instead all mixed under this one more generic post but not necessarily requiring an entire forum for each program? smiley just curious as for ease for people to find easier if this thread grew to be 200-300 posts long.

Yeah Shawna i think it would be a good ide smiley

That's a good idea Shawna. I'll see about putting one of for Picasa later, and then maybe people will follow suit for other programs.

ooops, sorry about that, i did go searching, obviously not quite hard enough :\

NP Mandy... smiley We're glad you're excited about being here and participating.

Thanks for the recommendation for "Bulk Rename Utility". This is good timing as I've been wanting to find a quick way to rename lots of files.

Re: naming files & folders, I generally try to have a maximum of only 3 levels of nested folders. I prefer to have longer individual file names & less folders (otherwise if you have 5 nested folders there's only space for a short non-descript file name.)

I prefer to have my digiscrap files named like: designername-kitname-itemname-01.jpg I don't include the store name in each individual file name because designers change stores too often, but I do include the store name in brackets at the end of the file name of the kit preview jpg (just for reference).

Alison

I have stuff sorted by theme and then subfolders within that. (kits, papers, elements) Stuff that doesn't fit a theme goes into folders similar to the subfolders, but also includes brushes, alphas, quick pages, etc. The elements folder is subdivided into flowers, flourishes, masks, etc. I do keep blog train kits together, but I still sort them in the theme folders. The idea of tagging within Picasa intrigues me and I've been considering spending some time in the new year to do it. At least by designer anyway.

My system isn't ideal, but it works fairly well. The problem for me is all the digi stuff I put on CDs early on! Not organized at all AND still zipped. Ugh, not looking forward to fixing that. I'll probably find lots of great stuff I forgot about though. lol

I'm glad I tried the Bulk Rename Utility program mentioned above --- it's really fast to change file names with it.

Does anyone have lots and lots of papers, textures, overlays, patterned paper, etc.and have an idea for how to organize these. Some I can organize by color, some by what kind of texture it is (fabric, etc.), shapes, etc., but what about those 100s and 100s of files that you're just not sure how to categorize? I have 100s+ of these papers or sets of papers/overlays/textures that go unused because I can't go searching through all of the individual files to find what I need when I'm creating something.

Any ideas would be appreciated!

I found the equivalent of the Bulk Rename Utility for Mac, it's free software called NameChanger. This thing is seriously amazing, so fast and easy to use, and does everything I'd ever want - it's so flexible!

I can finally start to "unpack" some stuff from my downloads folder that I've been leaving in there because I know as soon as I start filing stuff I'll lose track of who designed it, since it's not currently named with that info.

@ Marisa: you mentioned tagging before you up load. Is the tag specific to Picasa, or some other software? What do you use to "tag" the files?

My other question is what is a "node #"? Is that your numbering system as a designer?

You can tag files in pretty much any photo program I would think. You can do it easily enough in Picasa.

The node number is the number assigned by the site when something is uploaded, so every piece of data on the site has a unique number which is a foolproof way of finding it.

I'm also a digital hoarder smiley Everytime I try to start organizing I get distracted - I see something I like & that makes me want to run to that designer's site to see if there's anything new I may have missed.

I have yet to find a good one ... mostly because I use different programs like My Memories, but that one pulls it's own and then I just add elements by going into my computer files. Adobe likes to convert so I usually have 2 different folders because My Memories can't open Adobe files smiley But I have mine in folders on my external that are labeled like:
Bling, Flowers, etc ... In the folders I organize them by colors usually. It gets hectic though! I can't decided on a program to use for my digital scrapbooking! smiley

I always find it interesting how others organize their supplies. I've learned some really good tips that have helped me shape my system from reading what others were doing. My current system works really awesome for me and my scrapping style. Over the years I have tried several different organizing ways and learned somethings about myself. I'm picky about my goodies. I like working with the windows folders and not with a program. I really loved how "tagging" makes searching for certain goodies easy but I hated the fact that if I moved my folders I lost my tags. I really wanted to tag folders... and then it came to me - add key words to "tag" the folders.

I currently have all my digital supplies (minus the templates and sketches) in one folder. I've re-named all my folders as follows:

Designer Name - Product Type - Product Name (tag)

When I look at all my folders, I like the fact that they are grouped by designer first and then product type (kits, alphas, frames etc). This system works really well for my scrapping style since I'm not strictly a kit scrapper but love to add in all kinds of extras. I can do several kinds of searches - by designer, by product type, by tag or a combo of any of the three.

One small note... I found that when seaching for the product types and some tag words it was helpful to place a "1" at the end of the word to narrow down the search results. (Examples: Alpha1, Kit1, Frame1, Holiday1 etc)

For the templates as well as sketches, I have them sorted by photo number. I used to keep them in folders based on designer-product name but found I would overlook some really cool templates. I read were someone else was sorting their templates this way and at first I was like "take them out of their original folders... that'll make the sky fall". After giving it some thought, I changed my mind and gave it a try and I love it. Makes find a template or sketch so easy for the number of photos I want to use.

Something I just realized about Picasa, is that you can click on the folder icon in the center panel and get Windows to open up that folder. Another way to get at the element once you've found it.

Thanks for sharing your ideas, I too have gleaned things some things that fit my style of scrapping.

I've also found with Picasa that you can actually drag the image from Picasa to Photoshop, although this seems to only work when I have two monitors and have each window open and visible.

It's important to know that if you're tagging in Picasa it doesn't write the tag or metadata to the file. But to it's own database. Sometimes Picasa's database becomes corrupt, especially if you move and delete files within Picasa. When that happens Picasa will delete it's database and you will have to start over. The tags will be gone as well.

It's much better to tag files with software that write metadata into the file instead of just making a link. You can see this is you have Bridge and Picasa. If you open your tagged files in Bridge it will have no tags or keywords at all. I learned that the hard way. I have a friend who is developer for Picasa and was able to pick his brain about what was happening with my Picasa. He explained to me how Picasa worked. I still use it for quick browsing my stash but I do my organizing in PSE Organizer. Most the the organizing work is to prep you stash for organizing. It's important to have a good file folder system that works for you, that way it's easy to use a program like PSE organizer that comes with your version of PSE.

It's not good to copy another person's system, what works for them might not work for you. I did 2 classes on organizing with Kayla Lamoreaux, one is Finding Your Photo Flow which included more that just photos and the other is Organizing your digi stash with Adobe Lightroom. LR did not work for me, the fact that it does not read png's is complicating things. Kayla suggests converting png's to tiff's so that Lightroom will read them but it will make all files much much larger and it's a horrible job!

So I stick to PSE organizer and only tag the for me important stuff.

I also use software named Deep(mac only I think) that will search my stash on color. Pretty amazing. PSE Organizer also has a function that can look for simular images but not as deep as Deep. smiley

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