No layout again this week owing to the fact that my computer has crashed and has possibly even been burned too. Rather than spending time setting up my digi-stash on either Alfred’s or my mom’s laptop, and installing my software on either of the two devices, I decided I’d endure a weekend of no new downloads or actual scrapping. I just don’t want to spend all that time setting up and then when I’ve got me a better PC I’d be setting up on that again and taking things off of theirs.
Besides, not having the option to scrap on either of the two laptops will likely force me into action sooner than if I find that I can work on other people’s laptops comfortably. And truly, the sooner that I get new PC parts, the better.
But you all are not here to listen to me rant about my sleeping baby of a computer, are you? Nah, I didn’t think so.
So what is the organization method that I’ve found to work for me now?
It has to start from the time you download the files. Taking care of your stash then is so much easier, but I am first to admit that I don’t organize them that soon myself. Anyway, when you download your digiscrapping files, you must dedicate a folder for that – it just makes it all easier for them to be in one place.
I named a folder Scrapbooking – this was where my new downloads would go. In that folder, I create a new folder every week – using the start of the week as the date. So I have July 13, June 22, etcetera.
Remember my Digital Scrap Supply Store mega folder? When I’m ready to unzip files, I go to that folder and create a new folder with the same name as the folders I am getting the zipped files from (so I would also have July 13, June 22 and so on). These “dated” folders are only created as a guide for when I make backups of my files. It’s like a marker to remind me that a certain folder’s contents haven’t been backed up yet.
In the beginning, I organized the files with a folder for each designer – so in my Store you’ll see folders with designer names alongside folders with dates – but it was a nightmare to remember which files have backups already. Specially if you had something new to add to each designer’s folder every week or every couple of days. Now backing up is an entirely different story and I know there’s a more hassle free option for that. But until I decide to spend money on Carbonite, I would have to rely on manually backing up my stuff. I only back up the week’s folder when all the downloads have been unzipped.
Next comes the fun part. As soon as I unzip a download, I open the folder and add it to Windows Live Photo Gallery (my current free software of choice). I’ve used Picasa too and it is also a good one for this next purpose. Once the contents of the freshly unzipped folder show up in Gallery, I start tagging. I batch tag the designer name and kit name onto all the files that came from the same folder. Then I tag the individual files. Remember some of the folder names I came up with from my post number 2? Well most of those I use as tags now.
Samples of tags I’ve used: background, solid, grunge, alpha, acrylic, pink, blue, violet, yellow, christmas, hearts, kids, floral, flower, frame, glitter, doodle
I’ve used so many I’ve lost count. I don’t necessarily have to remember what I used to tag all those stuff because in Windows Live Photo Gallery (unlike in Picasa), your tags are conveniently listed on the menu to the left hand side. So if I needed to pull up only stash from a particular designer, all I need is to key in the name, or click on the tag and the thumbnails will be filtered accordingly. If I want to use predominantly blue for a layout, I key in that color tag.
Having the files zipped in their own folders as the zipped downloads makes it convenient for crediting too. If I use a file, I just right click the thumbnail and choose to open containing folder. I open the TOU file that is likely to be in that folder and take note of designer name/website.
This system is workig for me but it may not work for everyone. I know I’ll tire of this system someday or I may find a better one. You can rest assured I’ll be sharing that with you too.
So how do you organize your digital scrapbooking files?