Organizing Your Digital Supplies

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Yikes! I need to read through this entire thread ASAP! I too spend ages looking for what I want. Thanks for starting!

Glenda: It is a very useful thread, isn't it? Let us know if there is something specific that wasn't touched on... so we can add to it. smiley

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I need to read through this entire thread ASAP! I too spend ages looking for what I want. Thanks for starting!

I am currently going through all the kits I have and organizing them by themes. I have previously organized by store or designer. I've also read a post from the Daily Digi that was helpful a year or two ago. It recommended thinking about the quality of the kit and whether you think you will use it or not. Don't keep stuff just because it's free. Keep it because you will use it and it's great. I think this new way of organizing will help me use more of the kits I've collected. These are a few of the themed folders I have:
Fall/Pumpkins/Owls/Thanksgiving
Winter/Christmas
Strawberries
Apples
Baby
Childhood/Games
Vintage
Adventure
Art journaling
Birthdays/Cakes
Carnivals
Cool treats
Country
Exercise
Fantasy ie: Disney, Fairies, etc
Movies
Nature
Garden
July 4
Moving
School
Outerspace
Summer
Valentine's Day
Writing/Stories
Happy

That's a great idea Amanda, never thought of that, I do have a folder for all the scrap kits but, they are not separated like yours, I should start doing it too, sometimes it hard to find the kit I want because I have so many (1000+) >.<

I wholeheartedly agree about the quality comment with Amanda! There's nothing more disappointing than using a kit, completing a layout, only to print & learn it didn't look good because of the quality of the kit you used. "When in doubt, throw it out" has become my new motto. smiley

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I am currently going through all the kits I have and organizing them by themes. I have previously organized by store or designer. I've also read a post from the Daily Digi that was helpful a year or two ago. It recommended thinking about the quality of the kit and whether you think you will use it or not. Don't keep stuff just because it's free. Keep it because you will use it and it's great. I think this new way of organizing will help me use more of the kits I've collected.

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I started using PSE organizer but I guess I got a little intimated by how much time it will take me to organize everything.

I used the file folder name system. But then I decided I wanted to use a kit to scrap and I'd moved some elements to the folder I was more likely to use them. Luckily, about the frustration point, i discovered how easy/awesome PSE Organizer works! At least in PSE11.

There's a metadata search, which as long as the files are named correctly going in will bring up the files. For example, "button" brings up all files with button in the name or the metadata.

And there's a visual search, which while it's not perfect, does pretty good at finding colors and shapes.

A combination of these is allowing me to tag as I want/have time to, as well as find what I'm looking for when I want it. The only trick to remember is Don't move anything outside of Organizer, or you will end up with missing files.

This is the same in ACDSee... at least it was the last time I did organizing several versions back. They've done several upgrades I haven't purchased so this could have changed but I find it unlikely.

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The only trick to remember is Don't move anything outside of Organizer, or you will end up with missing files.

I use Creative Memories "Memory Manager" You can organize by name, trip, whatever. I have different vaults for different occasions. It also enables you to "tag" things, and organize stuff that you might want to put together to give to someone. You can import/export with it as well.
I really like it -- My problem is finding a way to organize my digital kits...i'm slowly getting there. I put zips separate from the unzipped files. And I also have a couple of external drives. That helps me tremendously!

You can also rename in windows a bunch at a time by highlighting them all and then typing in the title in one and Voila!~ they will all follow suit starting with 1 and so on...it's that easy!

Mine are stored on a Flash drive and separated to two folders named Kits and Templates.

Templates are broken down into folders by type and kits are left alone from their original folder. I need to organize that folder smiley

I am not very good at organizing at all... either on my computer or IRL, and I am slowly trying to fix that problem. My biggest problem is that I don't know how I want to organize things, either by color, or season, or what ever. I decided to figure out how to use Bridge since I like using Photoshop, figured the two would work well together. One of the things I like about Bridge is you can create Collections. You leave the file in it's original place on your hard drive, but you add the file to your "Collection" and when you want to look for papers, just go to your Paper collection, and all the papers you added, will show up. So far, I have created collections for Papers, Embellishments (that may have to be broken down into others as I collect more), and Templates.

I used to keep EVERYTHING... JUST IN CASE I may want to use it someday... but have finally decided that I don't need to keep everything in a kit. If I download a free kit, and I know I will NEVER use a particular paper or element, I just get rid of it... I don't need to keep everything in the kit. (But I also keep my zip files so if something ever happened, I can just unzip the file again and have everything, this is especially true of things I purchase). I also am trying to use keywords, so I could just do a search for certain keywords depending on what I was working on, but trying to sit at my computer and going through every one of my files to add a keyword is time consuming, and boring. So what I do now, is I try to add the keywords as I look at the file in Bridge and move it to one of my collections.

In my main folder of Scrapbooking supplies, I keep everything by site or designer. That way, if someone is having a sale, I can find that designer, (even if they moved to a different store or site) and look through my things to see if I have already purchased something. But when I want to use something, I can just go to Bridge, and look in my Papers or Embellishments Collection to find what I'm looking for, and if I need to, Bridge can open the folder something is located in so I can look through the entire collection.

When I first started, I sorted everything by the site where I got it..
But these days, I basically break every kit apart and create folders for papers, journaling cards, stamps, etc, etc..it made my crafting easier smiley

Shawna-Good idea to add "pd" to items actually purchased. I was initially thinking of naming both paid and freebie files, but just naming one type of group will save me time.

I've only been digi scrapping for a few months, but I've already purchased kits from several stores. So then, how would I label the files to know WHERE I purchased it? Does it even matter?

I use Memory Manager from Creative Memories for my pictures and Storybook Creator Plus for my Digi-Albums. MM is great for organizing pictures whether it be by month or by dates. There also are ways to import my digikits to SBCP. So, it works.

I have yet to try to learn Photoshop Elements...

I also make my own calendars with SBCP and whatever else I can dream up...for Friends far away from me, I send them something and if they really want to frame it, they can -- and that way I have no worries about something being broken in transit. This year I plan to send a page of a poem I wrote called Pawprints...and I wrote about how God's faithfulness is similar to that of Man's best friend...I am sending her pics of her kritters, and the paw prints they made when we were all on the beach together in 2012.

I can't wait to see her reaction.
Merry Christmas, everyone!

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So then, how would I label the files to know WHERE I purchased it? Does it even matter?

Hey There Skye: So here's some pictures of my file solder system. My top bar (path bar) for this first image shows [for example] -- C:\Users\MyName\Downloads\Digi Scrapping\Digital Scrapbooking Studio\ *that last part would be any designer names, blog names, or store names.
The second & third images represent sub-folders within a designers folder, there are some examples of both my freebies and paid for kits. Under the kit folder is where I keep everything; I leave all my papers & elements combined... Only separating out Alphas, LowerCase, Numbers & Punct in a sub-folder within the kit folder.
Hope this all makes sense Skye. LMK if you have anymore questions. smiley

A world of information here. I have to add that I, too, wish that there was a universal naming system that ALL designers followed. It irks me to no end to find files that do not have the designer's name attached to them. Each file should have the designer's name, the kit, and what it is, and I don't mean element 1, element 2, etc. It is so much easier to search for specific things if the files include what they are. This has been my pet peeve for a long time because I have had to spend way too much time renaming files. I have tons of stuff and I just can't seem to catch up. I am going to look into Picasa. I use folders using the name of the kit, the store, and the designer, then catagorize by seasons, holidays, colors, types. It works ok, but I have way too much stuff that I need to go through and rid out.

And I have found that designers are changing stores all the time so when I do a search files from a particular store to do a challenge, I sometimes have to go and change the folder name if the designer has changed stores. I'll be busy until the day I die........

@Deanna:
When I realize this is happening I typically just start a folder for that designers name and no matter where I get their stuff from... FB, blog, freebies, paid stores, trains, etc. I put all that designers stuff in her one folder. ***Except Blog trains that are the same them and color scheme. I file under the blog train name by site... example 1213 Xmas Blog Train and keep every designers stuff in their in a folder of the individual designer names in case the forgot to label but also keeps it together for use later as a combined color scheme or them effort.
On their challenges. I just label them the month & year, site initials, and name of challenge kit, mini, etc EX: 1213 PS Paper Challenge
Hope that makes sense and helps some. smiley

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And I have found that designers are changing stores all the time so when I do a search files from a particular store to do a challenge, I sometimes have to go and change the folder name if the designer has changed stores. I'll be busy until the day I die........

I bought a 4T xhd and have moved 2.5T over to it from single T xhds. I wanted to be able to access all my materials without changing back and forth. One thing I am finding is the bigger drive is chugging down, becoming slower in searches. When I first started saving free stuff and buying I kept them separate but then I also started putting all papers together, etc. no matter the kit or designer. It didn't take long to discover that a lot of that stuff didn't have a link to a kit and I had a lot of number 1 copy 1 and number 1 copy 2, etc.! I am still trying to figure a simpler way to organize and found myself doing it over several times. One other thing I started to do and soon stopped was to tag by color, esp. papers but then papers with print created problems.

Ladies: Just a friendly digi-scrappers reminder!!! smiley

Might I recommend not to get too big of EHD as what the hubby tells me... is two fold. One what Geri is experiencing, they are very slow unless you get like eSATA or the newer USB3 connection that are a tad better for the speed part, but nothing is going to be as fast as an internal HD for that. Two is that the larger the EHD, he tells me, the more likely it is to crash on you or go bad because the fans aren't quiet built the same as in your PC so they are more likely to overheat or be jarred or some other tragic event happen and you lose all of your data on it.

I've wanted to buy a 3TB for the longest time and he has always even to just before Christmas encouraged me to get no larger than a 1.5TB. So I have t(1) 1.5TB and (2) 1 TB's I've had for a long while now. I have an exact ghost of each HD, even of my laptop made once a month so that if anything does go bad, that at least I only lose whatever I've downloaded or purchased or created over that month... and that would only be if it just happened to crash the day before I did the new back-ups. As far as the back-ups being ghosted. Those drives or basic internal HD's that get put in the static proof, I guess that's what they're called type bags and go to his work office. Because the chances of the house and his office being robbed or burned down on the same down are slim to nil.

Just want to remind everyone of some of the safety measures with all the work we do on our organizing, layouts, and kits. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't forget to keep yourself (all your documents or personal finance, taxes, etc) and your memories protected. Whether it's in house or online, do something so you don't break your own heart when something bad happens. Having your extra copy in your house isn't the best idea, because if you're robbed or God forbid your home is in a natural disaster your back-up is ruined too. smiley

This has been brought to you as your annual friendly data recover reminder service. smiley

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Awesome!!! I use Adobe Lightroom to store my items... however in order to do so I have to convert all PNG files to TIFF using Adobe Bridge. It's exhausting and overwhelming at first (i'm still doing it!) but nothing beats the embedded metadata storage. i'm always curious to see how other's are organizing, thanks for sharing!!!

Jaclyn, Since you've mentioned using Adobe Bridge, you must have access to that software...so rather than convert, why not use Adobe Bridge to organize organize with keywords ? I use it and love it.

I am all sorts of disorganized with folders for this, folders for that - I really need to get more organized!

Try using XNview to change your files in a batch. It is free. Will do 400 different formats. I change from png to jpeg and resize them at the same time.

I started out using My Story Designer. After getting tired of opening all the folders to view the contents, I used one folder for paper and one for elements and tagged them within the programme which was quick and easy. Downside was I never knew whose kit I used as I din't tag the kits. Learning curve #1.
After changing over to My Memories Suite, I thought this time I would split the kits into papers and elements but keeping them in their kits, then keep them under themes and made sure the theme was the same for papers and elements to make it easy to match. To start with I didn't pay attention to the fact that not all the files have the designers name or individual file names. Learning curve #2. I am now slowly going through and naming those I can and at the same time tagging all papers with their colour and design (if any eg stripes, dots etc), Then I will tag every element with what it is. This is going to be a long process with about 1GB to do.
I still find when I finish an album, I don't know who to credit as I use bits and pieces of many kits per page. This makes me reluctant to post to galleries or facebook. I thought about taking notes, but if I had to do that I would lose my enthusiasm and wouldn't scrap.

I love the way you tag them, but for the sake of saving space, perhaps PU and CU could be used for Personal Use and Commercial Use. Also, if there is ever a place to use commercial use with attribution (the free mini-kit site, for example), You could label it CUA (Commercial Use Attribution). smiley

This is a free abr brush viewer that I use to organize my brushes. You can open a folder of brushes, create a screenshot and then save that image. No more guessing what is where!

Please note: it is for CS5 or lower brushes. Also only works for Windows XP, Vista or 7. I'm not sure if they are planning to upgrade this, but it works wonderfully for what I have.

Here is the link to the program: abrMate

Hi Courtney,

I know it can be intimidating. What I started doing was storing and organizing as I used them. It was a slow start, but stress-free. Once I saw how easy it was to do, I started organizing 10 files a day. I'm nowhere near finished, but you end up feeling productive and proud. This helps motivate you to keep doing it. smiley

This is very close to my own system. I would only add that I have several favorite designers that I tend to collect all their work. I also tend to remember items in those kits because I love them so much and use them over and over. So I make folders for them. So I have my "Family Game Night" bundle in two places, both my "Fun&Games" folder and my "Marisa" folder.

Right now since I'm so new I just store in labeled folders and sub folders.

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