Monday, March 21, 2011

HOW do I organize????

I am LOVING digital! I am 100% caught up with my scrapbooking and have LOTS of time to work on my clients stuff. I think part of what makes it so appealing to me is that I don't have to get out all the STUFF to work. I can just sit down and open up a few files and make a page. It used to take me more time to get everything out and get organized than it was worth. I can now get a page finished in that same amount of time.

One of the hardest things for me was keeping my stuff organized. I have come up with a system that works GREAT for me and thought I would share it with you.

FIRST - When I download a new kit, file or printable I leave it in my DOWNLOADS file until I have time to put it "away". Then I know that everything in this file needs to be "finished".

NEXT - I use the cool little unzippy tool to UNZIP ALL my files at one time. You can get it HERE.

Now, I combine all the files for a kit together. I put all of the elements, paper, etc together in one folder and then leave the alphabet in a separate folder inside of the folder named for the kit. So, lets take this STAY THIS WAY kit and I would put all the paper and elements into one folder and leave the alpha in a folder inside of the main folder... and I will name it: 5 GIRLS Stay this Way {I'll explain the 5 in a minute}. I put it under girls because of the flowers and the words. It can go either way, but I think it's a little more girly.

Then you can just move this folder into your DIGITAL LIBRARY {or under another folder named SCRAPBOOK STUFF} or whatever you want to STORE it.

{If you are using Creative Memories Storybook Creator you will now import everything into your software, still using the numbering system} This way your folders are still numbered if you need to access them through another program {i.e. Photoshop}.

I use both Creative Memories Storybook Creator and Photoshop Elements so I keep my files organized under the CM Program and access it through Photoshop when I need to.

So WHAT is the number and how does it work???? Let me explain.

I identify with the months of the year. It's how my brain works. January is cold and winter. February is all about I made up an identification system using the months of the year. I put the corresponding number in FRONT of the kit name/folder name so they stay in the order I want them too. For example, Halloween kits are in October, which is 10.

Let me show you how my numbers work:

0 - Calendars, Date tags, anything to do with dates
1 - New Years, Winter and Snow
2 - Valentines Day, Love, Wedding, Vintage
3 - St. Patricks and Misc Kits {I use this for scout stuff, church stuff and missionary stuff} You can use it for whatever works for you.}
4 - Easter, Spring and Flowers
5 - Mother's Day, moms, about me and GIRLS {anything girly}. {I also but Birthday's here because it's the first birthday in our family and it makes sense for me, you might want to put birthdays in another place or make a whole category for birthdays}
6 - Father's Day, Baby and all things BOY.
7 - America and 4th of July
8 - Travel, Beach, Camping and the Zoo
9 - School, Graduation and Sports
10- Halloween
11 - Thanksgiving and Fall
12 - Christmas

Then I decided I needed a few more categories, so I added:

13 - Elements {not from all the kits, just random ones that don't go with anything else}
14 - Alphabets {again, not the ones that go in kits, just misc ones that I've purchased separately}
15 - JUST Paper {no elements}
16 - FREEBIES {sorted by company or website}

Next, I named my kits so that like things would stay together, for example, all the BABY kits are called 6 BABY {name of kit, or designer}, all the TRAVEL ones are called 8 TRAVEL {name of kit}, etc. This helps keep like kits together in your folder view.

Is it all clear as MUD????

I love how easy it is to find a kit...if I am looking for Christmas, I just go to the 12 section and I don't have to remember what each kit is named. I can still keep them organized by designer, or theme or however I want BUT with the number they all stay together.

Hope this is helpful. Let me know what you think! I love to hear if you use my ideas!


  1. awesome!!! great organization post!!! first i need to decide if I'm keeping everything on my EHD or my laptop... but once I decide that I can start organizing!

  2. thank you for such a wonderful and much needed post! I have my things basically organized but have needed to revamp things for a while and now I'm super inspired by your post.

  3. I am so glad you told me about this idea. It has helped me organized my mostly disorganized files. I did much the same but organized my files into folders. It makes it easier for me to find a specific file easier. I also use the numbering system, of course mine are a bit different. But different is good. Thanks for the post. Very good idea.

  4. I've been thinking about asking you how you organize your stuff for a while now - you read my mind. Thanks for the post!

  5. How do you unzip a file so you don't have a folder within a folder and the main folders in that folder? I hate having to move the main folders and then delete the ones that are then empty after doing that. Any tips?

    Also, I've downloaded so many things that I wish I would have renamed the kit when I downloaded it so that when I unzipped them it would be a lot easier to see what it was. I use categories when I rename my files, and then use key words if there's something specific I know I want to use something in the kit for. That way I can do a search for that specific thing.... i.e., I downloaded a kit that would go under my 'Autumn' category and then because it had yellows and browns it in I also put in the key words 'shawns wedding'. That way I don't have to look in all the Autumn kits for that one I wanted to use (then after I use it I can delete those key words).

    Anyway, any tips on how to extract files so you don't have all the folders within folders would be helpful. I currently use Extract Now but maybe the one you use is better?

  6. P.S. I subscribed to the comments so if you reply I will get it. :)

  7. Kim, I don't know any way to get the files to all be in one file and to not have all the extra folders. The designer puts the files together and I don't know of any way to not get them. I usually just combine everything and delete the extra folders. It's a pain, but I haven't figured out any way to get around it....if you find a way, please let me know. Thanks.



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