Organizing Your Digital Supplies

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I organize my scrapbooking "material" by type in sub-folders under a file named "scrapbooking". Types can be "brads, buttons and gems", "washi and ribbons", "tags and labels", "alpha", "paper", etc. When I scrapbook, I usually go by what type of embellishments I want rather than a theme. It's easier for me. I don't have that many things yet, so maybe I'll change my system in the future.

I have only recently begun to be a serious digital scrapper but unfortunately I didn't start off well with organizing my stuff. Now I am having to backtrack. Currently, I'm using two programs from Forever. A photo organization program called Historian (I highly recommend this as it allows photo editing as well as storage and it has facial recoginition and taggin which is great. I don't know if other programs have this but they should.) Artisan is their creative program. I'm just a beginner at this but so far I have liked it. It offers some pretty easy organizational tools but they do require some time to use. A friend recommended both of these programs to me.

By the way thanks for this thread it has been very informative.

Nancy - I have been doing this very thing and am using the previews designers include in their downloads as my main picture. I have found this is only successful if the preview you use for the folder is in jpeg format. the previews in png had to be converted to work.

How do you categorize your background images used for designs....See, i have tons and tons of "background" i call them...i use them mostly for textures...but sometimes, i may use a piece of it to color an item bc it has a cool design....ok, let me back up...I have ADHD and OCD....which means I want everything perfectly organized, but I forget a lot too and when I'm looking for something specific, I don't want to spend a lot of time trying to find it but i tend to over categorize....or is this what you're taking about using Lightroom for? a student so I get a pretty good discount on the full Adobe CC....Can it be done in batches or it is a one at a time thing....

Currently, I adopted Marisa's format from her flckr page...With a couple added folders. I do digital scrapbooking for fun, but I also have a fiverr profile where I create things for people (mostly small businesses) so I have my scrap graphics AND my not so scrap graphics...but some are both...Doesn't do so well for my ADHD and OCD...for my scrap stuff I download from other scrappers....It goes into a 'Things Downloaded' folder and inside that folder are 'Things Bought' 'Things Free' then sub-folders titled for each website...if it's a single artist's blog/shop, there are no sub-folders, however, if it has multiple artists, each artist has a folder i.e.: PixelScrappers folder contains: Marisa Lerin, Janet Scott, Sheila Reid each folder has a sub-folder for each of their kits I have. If it's just a single item, it doesn't go into a sub-folder.

A little overkill, I'm sure...but like I said, I have trouble remembering where things come from and I don't need 100 copies of the TOUs so those also go in the main folder of that artist.

I organize by theme theme first and if it doesnt fit into a theme, then I go with color!

holy crap...i just shrunk 2000 'background' images down to took about 3 hours...but i was also putting keywords on them in Lightroom too

I sort and name my files similar to others here. I also have several external hard drives. LOL. Yep, several. I keep one located off site and I bring it home once a month and backup my files. I have four TB of photo files alone. Ancestry, family and photo shoots. I'm more concerned with losing my photos to hard drive crashes, fire or water damage. I love the suggestions here and I'm learning a lot from everyone. Thank you!

Traci: Glad you're enjoying the site and finding it so helpful. smiley I think we all still worry about those things. We just went through floods last October where I live and then again just through hurricane Matthew last week... we were without power/internet/etc for almost 14 hours and I'm not even right on the coast. I had my boxes of photos, HD's, PC's & laptops at the ready (just in case it moved more inland). 16 years of doing genealogy and scrapping and that fear still hovers. smiley

Does anyone use XNView for organizing and tagging? I did the ACDSee trial but felt it was just too complicated (like PSE) for my brain to understand...I just started with digital scrapbooking about 3 months ago, I am a veteran "paper scrapper" but totally disorganized with that as well. Currently my downlards are filed by Store_Designer_Kit...then 1. Papers 2. Elements 3. Templates/Quickpage....thoughts and suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Hi Jennifer!
I think a lot of us have felt the same way about ACDSee and tried to figure out easier ways built in to our download process... Very similar to your set up.
If you organize by folder by stores or Designers(even better since some designers have blogs or more than one store through their careers) you can find them through the years. Then by kit name under their name. Most people create a templates folder but keep together as kits but some people separate them out by types of elements.
It's really personal preference... but with the way computers work now-a-days you can almost search keywords in your search bar and find the stuff in your folders by the file labeling. It saves time in organizing and is helpful if that's not your strong suit or where you want to spend your limited scrap time.
Throughout this entire thread way back to the day it was started has a lot of different ideas from a lot of our members through the past several years. smiley


Thanks so much, I did go back and read through the forum for about an hour last night. I decided on Windows Photo Gallery....I am familiar with it, and I feel if I get my current stash manageable I can focus more on creating some pages...thanks for the advice

if I get my current stash manageable I can focus more on creating some pages...thanks for the advice

YW... that's the most important thing... smiley

This sounds very similar to what I've done but I did not keep kits together. I just dragged the individual items to the appropriate folder. Such as papers, embellishments, etc. I really love your right idea of keeping kits together and labels with the artists name/site etc. I've only recently gotten into this , as in this week, and I've become completely obsessed!!!! smiley This has been very helpful. TY! Now I'm dredging going back and fixing it all back up.

I just started using the LingoApp for organizing my files. I really like it because I can sort by kit but search by color or item like Pixalscrapper.

Small accounts are free. Unlimited are $7 a month.

My files are somewhat organized! LOL
I set up folders by Year and month, then sub folders in there for CT designers/ Stores, etc.
Whenever I download a kit and unzip, I have an EHD just for the zip files, so those get moved there.

Then I come back and organize each kit in the original folder, by kit, broken down into elements folder, papers, extras, and previews.
I don't like having to open several folders to find that one element I want to use.

Not the best system, but it works for me.

I have a "digital goodies" folder that has a ton of folders and subfolders and even more subfolders in it. It is working well for me. There is one for Kits so all of those goodies don't get split apart but I go through and organize the kits how it makes sense for me. Probably not the best way but it is what is easy for me. smiley

When I download a blog train, I rename everything (yes, I know I'm obsessed!)

Papers are named: TrainName Paper 001 (DesignerName), Elements are named: TrainName Ribbon 01 (DesignerName), and sorted into folders: Alphas, Elements, Papers. If there are a lot of one type of element, it gets its own subfolder: Brads, Flairs, Flowers, Frames, and so on.

I keep the whole train together in a folder : PSBT Year Month TRAIN NAME. For example: PSBT 2017 02 February WINTER FUN.

I am (slowly) working my way through all my files, and am currently going through all my fonts (so far, over 8000 have been renamed with the licence and download site (if I know where I got the font from) added to the font name(eg. Ardina Regular FB CU OK -- in this case, FB means Font Bundles) with probably the same amount still to go through. If not more!

Once they're all renamed, I'll go through them again to weed out any duplicates, trash any I don't absolutely LOVE, then sort into Alphas or Dingbats, then sort each of them into PU or CU. After all that's done, I want to sort them into categories like Script, Serif, Sans Serif, Hand Written, Hand Printed, Western, Manual Typewriter, and so on. Then another weeding out of which fonts are the best in that particular category... My eventual aim is, when I need a font, I'll be able to go straight to the appropriate category, and it will be a much easier and quicker task to find what I want.

Wow... very interesting organizing methods... I am so bad....

That is EXACTLY how I ended up organizing my stash of scrapping products, too, Lizanne! At first, I made the mistake of splitting apart entire kits and putting them into folders such as: Papers, elements, alpha, etc. That wasn't a good idea, especially when I wanted to create a coherent look on a page. I've since backed up and am keeping kits in their totality... but ALSO copying elements that I might want to use in other layouts. It can be tricky to assume I might find a specific element I'm looking for if I leave it in a kit. Not all kit's contents are known by just the title of the kit. It takes up more computer space to have copies of items (such as papers, elements, etc) but it works for me. As a matter of fact, my computer got so full of scrapbooking files that (for Christmas) my husband bought me a 2-terabyte external hard drive to put all my stuff on!
P.S. I'm still unzipping old files, too... and have come across lots that were corrupt, as well smiley

I am very organized with my kits and commercial use products. With Kits I keep separate folders by Designer Name then list their kits in individual folders. Then I unzip every thing in a collection or kit into one folder but I tend to leave things like alphas and dates and stuff like that in their individual folders to keep it manageable. I save store collabs by store in the same fashion. I do not separate my personal use out of those because I tend to use one kit for a layout, not individual elements from multiple kits. If I use different designers elements on a layout, I list the designer and kit name in a notepad doc that I keep open as i make the layout. I also store links to their products at their store that way.

I have a good memory and tend to remember what stores designers are at and keep bookmarks on my computer of their personal sites if they have one so I always know where they are at.

Because I'm a designer my commercial use product is very organized. I organize by type and I don't get too in depth because if I do it takes away some of my artistic flair because I design by going down the line of 'types' so that I have a well rounded kit and collection by the time I hit the bottom. For example. I have main folders for Attachments; Borders; Banners; Buttons; Ephemera; then for Elements I have Elements-Paper; Elements-Fabric; Elements-Mixed; Elements-real; Flowers; Foliage; Fauna; Papers-Edges; Papers-Transparences; Papers-Patterns; Papers-Worn, Papers-Textures and so on. I only break up things that make sense. Within each of these folders I sort by designer folder. So I always know whose items I'm using and keep a running record in my notepad.

I do break down elements into seasonal and holiday as well.

I don't order by color or theme unless it's themed cu.

I also keep a temp folder in both my PU and CU main folders so I can unpackage my product immediately and drag folders to their correct destinations. It's like a staging area.

The folder structure I use is Store -> Designer -> Kit and then I add tags to every item in ACDSee. I used to have tons of detailed categories (colour, style..), but the database got corrupted, so now I am keeping it simple with only the graphics type (paper, brush, overlay..).

The single most helpful thing I did was deleting half of my stash. I try to delete items in kits that I don't think I'll use to keep things manageable. I rarely download freebies anymore and I buy only kits I really like.

Photos: Organized by year, then within each year by event and/or season. I sent all my paper photos out to be digitized a few years ago then spent quite a bit of time organizing and am pretty happy with the results.
Materials: So far I have kept everything by kit, with other folders for individual items that are not part of a kit. I have moved some of my kits into topical folders (Winter, Christmas, etc.) and will probably do more of this as time goes on. I have not yet gotten into tagging or copying elements into their own folders (flowers, buttons, etc.) but can see that this might be helpful as my stash grows.
I am using PSE 15 Organizer.

I've been using ACDSee Pro for years now but still need to read this whole thread for all the great tips! The ones I've read so far are amazing!

there is some great tips. I have always kept mine organized by relavency (mom, dad, butterfly, etc) but now that I have a membership here I have noticed it is getting too scattered so before I get anymore I am going to have to organize even deeper before getting more.

I've been using ACDSee for years now and can't imagine trying to scrap without it. I don't use it for my photos though, only digi scrap supplies. Photos are organized by year and month, then in Lightroom. Digi supplies are in folders by store and designer, then organized in ACDSee. It takes a bit of time but is well worth it to be able to find specific items easily.

Hi, I organize my cliparts (which are all digital) in one folder. Then when saving a flower or ribbon I'll name the 'category' first, i.e., flower - yell blue green; ribbon - fabric blue, etc. Thus, when I'm looking for something like a yellow flower I simply search for flower yell - viola!

Can anyone tell me how to add labels or tags to pictures? I want to be able to look for "polka dot", "stripes", "red paper"....

I'm in the process today, of organizing my supplies. I'm grouping things up per kit and elements, I used to just drop them into one big folder, but it's getting out of hand.

Now should I save original .zip files or just the extracted folder?