**I seem to be catching a little heat for this one. Hahaha. Just remember as you read through this tutorial, as I said above... I have tried SO MANY different ways of organizing. This is the BEST way I have found so far that works for me and the way I scrap. I have tried organizing by color... splitting paper and elements up... by theme and mood. However... the way I scrap and with the way my mind works... none of these worked for me. Sorting by color and splitting kits up between paper and elements simply kept me from finding the paper I "had in mind" as I sifted through the bazillion different papers I had accumulated. It drove me crazy going down a list that never ended. Sorting by theme and mood did not serve me well, again because of the way I scrap. I am not an event scrapper... therefore theme doesn't mean much to me when going for a paper... in fact... I don't really own a lot of "themed kits" for this reason... I don't really use them. When I get a new kit, I immediately open it up to reaveal all of my new goodies. This somehow "stamps" it in my mind and I can remember when scrapping... "Ok... let's try that fabulous new orangy-yellow paper by Paislee Press." Again... it's just how my mind works. :)
Organization, again depends a LOT on the organizer. My methods will probably not work for some because our scrap style is different. I just know that I have had MANY requests on a tutorial for organization because no one can seem to find them. I think it is simply because so many people do things differently. Also, being a designer myself... it may be a little more important to me to document what I am using, who made it, and where it came from. As a designer, it means a LOT to me when someone uses my products on a layout and they list those items in their layout credits. The galleries are not only the biggest form of advertising for designers, it is the BEST way to show how versatile our products are, and we want people to know exactly where they can go to get these things. This is the way I do it and I so hope that it is helpful to you.
In the meantime, I will compile a list of the most frequently asked questions I have gotten so far about my methods of organization and I will try to get that posted for you in the next day or two. Hopefully, that will help as well. THANK you soooo very much for ALL of your feedback. That is so important to me and I appreciate every bit of it, so keep it coming!!
It is really important that we keep track of the elements we use as we are scrapping... ESPECIALLY if we post our pages to scrapbook galleries. This serves 2 purposes. It allows other digital scrappers to see and identify exactly what we are using and know who made and where they can get it. It also allows us to give each product's designer "credit" and helps promote their products and show how versatile they can be and how they can work with virtually any style. I've tried MANY, MANY, MANY different ways of organization before I was finally able to serve these purposes with the least amount of time.
I organize my scrapbook supplies by SHOP, then by DESIGNER, then by PRODUCT. This allows me to quickily document where I got it, who designed it, the name of the kit it came from, as well as the exact element I am using from that kit. Here is what my files look like.
I start with a file saved in My Documents called 0_Scrapbook Supplies (and 0_Pages for organizing my layouts). I put the "0_" (that's the number zero and an underscore) in front of the file name so that it always appears at the top of my list of files. This way, I don't have to go searching for it no matter how many files I have saved in My Documents. (Be sure to notice the "file trail" along the top of the screenshots... this will help you keep up with where I am.)
Within that o_Scrapbook Supplies folder, I have folders set up for the different websites I shop at.
So let's take Oscraps as our example. Within that folder, I have seperate folders for each designer I buy from.
So using my Joanne Brisebois folder (a FABULOUSLY talented designer at oscraps from which I use a TON of stuff!) Within that folder, I have a seperate folder for each of the kits I have downloaded from her designs. (Note: You can change the view of your file folders by clicking the "Views" button. I usually keep this part of my folders as "View Large". This way, i get a glimpse of the items inside... usually the preview.)
Now... let's she puts out a new kit that I must have... which she, of course HAS with her new Lost in Translation kit. (hahaha) Here's a preview... YUM!
Now, since the files are zipped when I download them, I keep a folder within each designer's folder called ZIPPED. This is where I save any new products that I download until I can get them unzipped and ready to use. This way, I can find it easily when it comes time to unzip it. Here are the steps I take when downloading something new:
Once I make my purchase, I click the Download Link:
Then, when the File Download box pops up, I click Save.
When the Save As box pops up, I choose 0_Scrapbook Supples --> Oscraps --> Joanne Brisebois --> ZIPPED. Then click Open.
When the ZIPPED folder opens, I just click Save.
Repeat this step for all files that come with that kit. Once I have them all saved to my ZIPPED folder, they are ready to be extracted. I pull up My Documents --> 0_Scrapbook Supples --> Oscraps --> Joanne Brisebois --> ZIPPED. Then, I double-click on one of the zipped files and then click Extract All Files.
Now, when my Extract Compressed Files box pops up... instead of having to click Browse and go through all of that again, since my ZIPPED folder is located within my Joanne Brisebois file, I can simply highlight and delete everything after Joanne Brisebois. Then I simply click Extract and it places in my Joanne Brisebois file.
That's it. Now my new goodies are easily accessible and ready to be used.
Can I just say here that since they *were* so accessible... I IMMEDIATELY pulled them out and scrapped a page... I couldn't help myself! HA!
Now... say that what you are using is a freebie on someone's blog, not an actual shop. Let's take the amazingly talented Vinnie Pearce for example. Within my 0_Scrapbook Supplies folder, I make a separate folder just for her.
Within that folder, I have separate folders for each of her products that I have.
Now... notice the little Word document I have in her folder. This simply contains her blog address so that when I use her elements, I know exactly where to direct others to grab it for themselves. :)
I just open it up, copy and paste the url address and paste it into my credits... as you can see in the credits for this page...
Anyway... as you can see when you click on the above images... I have the credits all listed out. Thanks to this filing system, I knew exactly who made what I used, what it was called, and where others can find it. :) It makes life much easier. :)
Also, as digital scrapbookers, we need to be able to easily keep track of our pages. Since we have to save our pages in several different formats and sizes, this is essential. We need to be able to easily and quickly locate our layered files to make any necessary changes if need be, our JPG pages to be used for printing, and the low resolution JPG pages to be used for posting in galleries. I have certainly found that taking a few steps for each and every page I do as I do them makes keeping track of these things very easy.
First, I start with a folder in My Documents called 0_Pages. Again, using the "0_" so that it is always located at the top of my folder list (as well as to keep it right there with all of my supplies).
Within that folder, I have separate folders for each different type of file I need to save.
Now... I name mine a bit differently than others might. This is only because I learned the hard way when placing my pages into a printed Shutterfly album, I wanted for them to go in order by date to act as sort of a timeline of my children's lives. But before, when I simply named each file as the title of my page, that was near impossible to do because when uploading them to Shutterfly, they are by default sorted in ABC order. You can change that, but only by date uploaded. But since I print my books annually, they were all uploaded to the site at the same time... so that was no help. So I started naming my pages with the date I completed the layout listed before the title. Now when I upload my pages to Shutterfly, the ABC order works perfectly. :)
Last, but CERTAINLY not least... our photos. How I keep up with these is simply the way that works best for me and fits very well with the "way" I scrap. Hopefully, it will be of some help to you as well.
I organize all of my photo by Date Uploaded. This is because I upload literally hundreds of photos every month and upload about every 7 to 10 days. (hahaha.) So if I need a specific date, then I can just go to the photo and right-click and choose Properties and get the date it was taken.
Now... I am VERY MUCH a "real-time" scrapper. Meaning I LOVE scrapping something that happened yesterday or last week. Therefore, I only keep about 2 months (3 at the MOST) worth of photos on my computer and easily accessible. After that though, if I haven't scrapped it, it gets moved to the external hard drive. This way, I can still get to them if I want them, but they're not overtaking my computer and slowing it down.
I do want you to notice above though that I save the original photo AND the "processed" one that I scrapped. 2 reasons. 1.) Because if for some reason, my computer freezes or if I decided 1/2 through the layout that I hate where it's going, at LEAST I don't have to start over from scratch with the photo. 2.) I still have the original to play with in case I want to scrap that photo again with a different feel, or use it for other things (like blog headers... teehee).
I hope this method will help some of you. Again... it may not be for everyone, but I have tried sooooo many different methods, but have stuck with these methods now for almost a year. So it totally works for me.
I would LOVE to know what you think of this tutorial, so feel free to leave comments!!! If you have any questions about this tutorial or any of it's contents, you may certainly email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also find a printer-friendly version of this and all of my tutorials in the Tutorial Section at Oscraps!