Organizing Your Digital Resources
I can’t believe it’s already 2018! At the beginning of the year, a lot of people are thinking about resolutions and putting things in order, so it seems an appropriate time to write about organizing one’s digital resources. Whether you’re a scrapper or a designer, having your digi stash organized means you’ll be able to find what you need quicker, and that your scrapping/designing process will become more streamlined and effective. If you have thought about doing it, there’s no better time to start than now.
Below, I’m going to share some of the tools I use to organize my digi stash and design resources. There are tons of different ways of doing it, but this is what works for me.
The most basic organizational method is to have a clear file structure. My digital resources are all sorted into folders labelled with designers’ names, and those, in turn, are sorted into bigger folders in alphabetical order. On the off chance that I remember who designed the kit I want to use, or when I need to scrap with a specific designer’s kit (for a store’s challenge, for example), I can easily locate it by going to the designer’s folder.
It is also my habit to rename the preview image of each folder to “00preview.” This way, when I view the folders as “large icons” or “extra large icons,” I can see the preview image and have an idea of what’s in the folder.
Another way to make use of previews is to make your own catalog. I do this with my big collection of CU flower packs. First, I sort all the flower packs into their own separate folders. Then, I create an additional folder to hold the previews (called “000-Previews” so it’ll be at the very top).
Then I go through the flower packs, and move their preview images into the folder I created. I rename the previews and the folders holding the flower packs so they match. Now, I can easily find what I need by taking a quick glance in the preview folder and matching it to the flower pack.
So by simply utilizing preview thumbnails and a folder system, I’m able to have some form of organization for my digi stash. There are limitations to this system, but its advantage is you don’t need to get a special program.
Speaking of special programs, let me introduce you to Lightroom. Lightroom is my “tagging” program, the powerhouse of my organization system. There are other programs out there, like ACDSee, that can do the same thing, but Lightroom is what I use. My system is based on the one developed by Kayla Lamoreaux. Unfortunately, her site seems to have closed down. Without going into too much detail, I’ll show you what it does in terms of digital organization.
Lightroom has the capacity to create huge catalogs of images and to tag them with keywords, making it an ideal tool for organizing digital resources. My Lightroom catalog includes every single image I have in my digi stash!
I tag only the preview images with keywords. In Lightroom, I’m not confined by only one identifier (in the case of organizing with just folders, that would be the folder name). I can tag each preview with as many keywords as I want. For personal use items (such as kits and journal cards), I tag them with their main colors and themes. For commercial use items, I tag them by category (for example, a brush or a style). I can even create sub-keywords, which allow me to find, for instance, Easter kits among all other spring kits easily. Moreover, I can “rate” an image, a function I primarily use to mark resources I have already used. A “5-star” rating means that kit has been used already!
Clicking on a keyword will bring up all the previews tagged with it. Once I find what I want, I simply right-click on the preview and click “show in Explorer,” which opens up the folder the image is in.
Another tool I rely on a lot is Nexus Font. If you, like me, feel buried under all the fonts you have, you need a font manager. A font manager allows you to quickly see what you have in your collection, making it easier to choose the perfect font for journaling or creating word art. Using a font manager means I can access my fonts without installing them onto my computer. It also helps my organization by creating sets, such as “handwriting fonts,” “serif fonts,” “commercial use fonts,” and so on.
These are my main tools for organizing my digital resources. I have another system for organizing my photos and templates as well, but that will have to wait until my next blog post. What do you use to organize your digi stash? If there is anything else you would like to know about my organization process, be sure to let me know in the comments!