Designers...Getting Organized.

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Designers...Getting Organized.

I am wondering how you that design keep all of your files organized. I've read a lot from the scrapper side and find it simple enough to keep my kits organized, but what about your design stuff?

Trying to organize my design elements, templates, graphics, etc. does NOT work if I try to do it the same as kits. I started with items divided into folders by type: overlays, elements, graphics, and so on. But then I had to keep adding subfolders like flowers, tags, etc. In the midst of it, I wanted to keep some designer stuff together, but still had to separate items like the elements from the overlays for search reasons. When I want a ribbon, I'm moire likely to go to a ribbon folder than a designer folder. So now I have a mix of designer folders and item type folders and not sure which direction to go. Does it sound confusing? LOL!

Anyway - I got a new, larger ehd and am hopefully spending today/tomorrow moving stuff over (using the smaller ehd for pictures and other things). I would like to start on the new drive with a system that works well. Any suggestions? Thanks! smiley

I have an ehd ... terabyte and just got another for backup. I put all my designs in one folder and have subfolders and even that doesn't always fit because I may have an overlay and a png or jpg depending on what I've made. And on top of that I may have the original jpegs/pngs that went into making that piece which I want with it in case I want to expand on that topic and then what do you do with any finished pieces and ..... I try my best lol

I´m doing like that: I have a CU folder, and two folders inside it: Papers and elies (to be true I had a full mess inside it, because I´m rearranging as I go, but the idea is to keep it as organised as I go. Inside paper folders I have

01_Floral Patterns
01_Geoemetrical patterns

and so on. The numbers help to get the things I use the most together.

Then, inside these folders, for now, I have everything inside their folders kits. But I´m not sure if it´s the better choice. I´m thinking to put out of the folders, and keep a sub-folder for previews and TOUs. As the CU designers are less, and there aren´t any who didn´t put the initials in the beginning of the file name, I hope it will be somehow managable to give credits.

A good friend of mine shared something with me that I´ll do too: She has a word document for each designer she has CU stuff from. And on this documents she pastes 6 previews on each page and print all the pages that are full. Doing so, she avoids buying twice the same thing, as she look at the print docs before buying something. But, for now, I´m still organising my CU stuff.

BTW, my way to organise stuff that I download here on PS is a bit different: It´s neither totally the way that I use to organise the PU/S4H kits, but they´re not also along with other designers/sites CU stuff...

LOL Susan - it can get so cluttery so fast, huh?

Lorien - I like the way you have it. The numbers are a good tip. I found this blog post from Karen Diamond who hits how she labels her folders. ( It's similar. I started writing some ideas out today and maybe tomorrow will actually touch the hard! smiley

I´d love to hear back from you as how you´ve organised it when you finish. As I said, I´m in the very beginning of this process (and OMG, after that I need to organise my templates, project life stuff and art journaling stuff - It´s hard to find them in the middle of traditional digiscrap stuff...

I have a separate EHD for my cu stuff.. and the way I do it is folders by type (ex. overlays, ribbons, buttons..etc..) and then on the more general folder types (ex. overlays) I do sub folders, stripes, plaids, dots, textures.. etc..
But then for cu designers that have a certain "style" that I am familiar with (ex.. Miss Tiina.. vector doodles).. I give them their own folder.
The reason I did it this way is so if i'm looking to add a button to a kit, I just have to look in my button folder (and not 30 different folders).. it just makes it a bit easier.
One thing I would suggest though.. if you have a lot of cu (or plan to) is to put in each folder.. like the button (etc) folders- put a sub folder in with the element/paper designers preview & tou. It can be a big pain in the butt trying to track down all the different tou's & not everyone names their stuff (as i'm sure you know smiley. I didn't do this at first and am still trying to figure out what belongs to who..

I like the separate folder for the previews/TOU. I may incorporate that. I have a mix of folders divided up by store/designer/kits with their previews and TOU in the kit folder, but like you said Bre, it's a pain to have to look thru a bunch of designers folders. It's easier to just go to a button folder. I also started re-naming files as I downloaded them if they needed it. That REALLY helps save time in the long run.

I actually have two main cu folders. One is for resources that I can use without attribution and the other for stuff that requires attribution. I usually use the stuff that doesn't require attribution... Within that folder I break it down like most of you have said - overlays (then by category), embellishments, actions, styles, brushes, etc. In the folder that has stuff that required attribution, I keep a folder with all the TOUs and I rename the files with the designers name so I know who it came from. Its a pain in the butt to keep track of that stuff, so that's why I've moved to using more stuff that does't require attribution. I've had to delete a lot of files because I couldn't find who made it or the tou file that went with it which was a shame because there was some really cute stuff...

Well after a couple days of procrastinating, I finally worked out a list. It's pretty much the main folder by item, then subfolder way. I only have 6 main folders and then everything else broke down in those w/a TOU subfolder in each. I'm a little torn on the Elements folder because there is SO much in there - between actual elements and general graphics, it's A LOT. I have all the graphics I use for my etsy shop mixed with my digiscrap stuff since I use them interchangeably and it's almost overwhelming to look at lol!

This is what I ended up with (not everything is listed of course):

Backgrounds - wood, paint, fabric, stone, cardboard, metal (these are NOT digital paper size and I use them for a variety of things)

Paper Overlays - solid (grunge, paint, wrinkled paper, cardstock, etc.), patterns (stripes, plaid, etc), holiday (christmas, etc.), occasion (birthday, wedding, etc.), borders (these are full-sized paper borders)

Elements - flowers (real, paper, doodle, fabric), ribbons, etc. I included themed folders here as well: birthday, wedding, holidays, etc.

Patterns (these are .psd or other editable pattern files that I've made or downloaded) w/subfolders like the paper overlays: stripes, plaid, etc.

Tools - brushes, actions, layer styles (I keep these in folders outside of my PS system folders and load them as I use them so PS doesn't bog down every time it opens. Plus, I use them in both PS & PSE.)

Layout Templates - I used Karen Diamond's method here with subfolders for the number of photo slots in each.

In the end, it's a lot of folders but I think it will really help me out in the easy-access dept. I decided not to use the number system at the start of the folder names because knowing myself, I'm more an alphabetical-order person. I didn't even realize how quickly I accumulated so much. I have started deleting and hopefully will have this little project finished by the end of the week.

Thanks for all the input! smiley

Cat, I am sooo with you!!! In the beginning, I had 2 CU folders, one for attribution, and one without attribution...REAL quick, I figured out that this was too hard to keep up with and not conducive for designing at Pixel Scrapper. I need to be able to design stuff that anyone can use for anything...Now, I have one CU4CU folder organized into folders like "buttons, strings, borders, overlays, paper textures,etc....and then a "themes" folder just for miscellaneous themed template and such for Birthdays, Spring, Summer, Christmas, etc....In each folder, I have stuff I made or photo'd and extracted and MAYBE 3 folders of different designers, basically from Pixel Scrapper, maybe one or two other trusted sources, and that's basically it. My problem now is whenever I make a kit, I always have a scratch folder where I put everything I use to make the kit with, at the end of making the kit, I always have leftovers (things I make, but then decide not to use) and it just stays there and I forget about it. So I have all these scratch folders that I NEED to go through and sort everything out into the right cu4cu folders to be able to find it when I need it, but I never seem to MAKE myself do it, I just have stuff everywhere, And I am terrible at time management..maybe it would be easier if I didn't have so many subfolders to go through, maybe I just need to make sure the designers name is in the file name and just keep everything together in one folder to easily see. I don't know, I'll be watching though to see how others organize their files, there has got to be a better way:)

Omigosh Sheila! I totally know what you are talking about with the kit folders! I keep copies of templates, textures, etc. in the one I'm working on too so I have easy access as I'm working thru the kit. Then...forget about it after it's done. Though I have all my kits on another drive and am constantly moving stuff around/in-between folders there, so I tend to delete items as I am doing that. I don't ever put the original template there though. I always keep the orig in the CU folder so I just delete the copy when I notice I forgot about it.

I started putting the designer name/initials on any items that didn't already have them to save me a headache later on down the road. My individual file labeling is exactly the same as for my digiscrap kits - designer initials_item_color/pattern. If the designer doesn't label it that way, I change it. Makes searching SO much easier. smiley

A designer that I am familiar with told me how she organizes at least for CU: One EHD holds all the cu product. One folder where all of the designer previews and TOUs are placed. Within that folder the previews are arranged by Designer - mainly so that if you want to see if you already have something it's a quick way to check to see. Then there are folders for the papers, ellies, actions, styles. Within those folders there are sub folders for things such as textures, patterns, ribbons, buttons, flowers, leaves etc. Within the sub folders if you have some colored items there are color folders - why recolor if you have it already. Hopefully I have explained it pretty accurately. I like the preview folder the best as I have to say I have bought things more than once in the past and it does make it easier. When I want to use an item, I make a folder for the project and just copy the item from my folders so that when I am done I just have to delete the from my project folder instead of re-filing.

As for PU, I have a folder for "000000 Digi Scrapping Kits" the zeros are in front to make sure it is at the top of the list in the folder. Then within that I have sub folders for specific stores (00000 PS) that I participate in the challenges with. Within those folders I have the "kit" folder labeled with "Kit Name - Designer Store Abbreviation" (Frozen - Melo Vrijhof PS). Then all the rest of my kits are put in as I label the kit. Then if the designer pulls the kit out of the store where I do challenges, I move that kit out of the store folder and back into the "000000 Digi Scrapping Kits" so that it falls alphabetically with all the rest. Haven't done it yet but I plan also to put copies of all the previews into one folder too.

My main suggestion to anyone is figure it out early on because trying to catch up later is awful! Oh and if you do nothing else, unzip and sort right after downloading things...again catch up is awful....take it from one who knows!

Oh thank heaven! I've needed to organize both my design stash and digiscrap in general for a while! So helpful, thank you smiley

My problem now is whenever I make a kit, I always have a scratch folder where I put everything I use to make the kit with, at the end of making the kit, I always have leftovers (things I make, but then decide not to use) and it just stays there and I forget about it. So I have all these scratch folders that I NEED to go through and sort everything out into the right cu4cu folders to be able to find it when I need it, but I never seem to MAKE myself do it, I just have stuff everywhere

This is also a problem for me... What I do when design is having a folder called "Base - name of the kit" and there I have a mix of the stuff I actually used in the kit, the stuff that I planned to use but didnt, scans in different stages of extracting process, patterns, templates, doodles good to use, awful doodles... But I still don´t have the routine to sort it out after the kit being made, and I´m not sure on how to use it... So, sometimes I just start thinking "did I made something like this before?" and then... a long time browsing...

I have that folder too! Hopefully someone knows a solution.. all those AI & PSD files take up a lot of room smiley

Oh yes, I have everything organized, overlays, textures, templates, everything has it's own folder and when get something new I add it directly to it's folder, that way is easier to find it! smiley

I think my system is pretty close to what everyone is describing. I keep all my stuff in a folder called "Things Made," which isn't accurate any more since I put things from other PS designers there now too.

Here's my basic breakdown:

The only thing I really have subdivided after that is paper templates:

I can generally find what I'm looking for pretty quick. If I can't, I'll go onto Pixel Scrapper and search for it there.

Also, I made this blog post about my design process a while back.

Very helpful blog post for the workspace Marisa. Thanks. smiley

Oh Marisa, your folder identifications are great....some I had not thought of. Thank you!

Solidish... I am going to steal that one!

I finally got my method of organizing down and have spent the last 2 days moving file around, dumping some things I've accumulated that I find that I either never use or are not good quality (as I'm learning more and more about quality). The hard part is over lol! Now I'm left unzipping a few more files tonight and can say, Thank the Lord I'm done! haha smiley

It's great that you're nearly done and I hope it works out for you. I wanted to ask you though, have you considered using software to organize and keyword? I keep my CU supplies on their own external hard drive but organized by designer rather than by resource type (so I can easily find the corresponding TOU documents and give proper credit when required)and using Adobe Bridge I keyword everything as I unzip them. Adobe bridge can quickly find and display every item by a specific keyword keyword (like buttons or ribbons) or multiple keywords (for instance, if I were to keyword the color as well as the element - which I don't, I could look for say maybe 'pink ribbons').

Some people use ACDC software to organize but I hated it and it has a bug that destroys layered .tif files ( so I dropped that like a hot potato.

Happy Organizing.

Most everything is named that way already. I just do it by hand (if the designer hasn't already) at the time that I unzip and move the items to their folders. I'm down to a limited # of designers whose CU items I use, so I don't save every single TOU. Plus, my favorite designers don't require credit and that saves me the headache of TOUs when I'm designing a kit. If I do use someone new, then I have a separate folder for their info. The separate folder not only helps to have their info handy but to see what I already have and don't have. For example, in my paper overlays folder I have a folder dedicated to PS previews because I have a lot of PS overlay packs and I don't want to waste time downloading something I might already have. Especially since I pieced them out into specific folders (circles, stripes, etc.) The search function is great, that's why I add keywords to the file names, but in reality I RARELY use it. I am a creature of habit and my first instinct is to find a flower in the flower folder. I tend to browse lol! I actually found quite a few elements I could've used for recent kits but they were buried within a designer folder that I didn't go look through. Not once did the thought of searching come to mind. So...this seems to be the best method for my work habits. We'll see as time goes on.

Thanks for the info though. smiley

Amanda, don't change what works for you but I just want to point out that when Adobe Bridge presents the results, it displays all the thumbnails (if you set it that way) of everything meeting the search criteria so, you could still see everything you have. I keyword my previews too so those come up in my searches if I want... All this saves me from having to rename files.

But like I said, do what works for you.

Folders and TAGGING! I have become obsessive about it. As soon as I download an asset, I tag it and put it in it's proper folder. If I don't have time to tag, I put it in a folder call "Untagged" until I tag it. I do a lot tagging while sitting in front of the TV at night.

Just used the batch rename in XNview. You can insert extra info into an existing file. This is so quick and easy. I am putting designer & kit info in one batch then adding colours and other info either in small batches or individual if there is only one. I am sailing through. So happy. This is the same programme that I am using to change file formats and resize. It is a freebie.