Organizing Your Digital Supplies

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Oh I hope someone has an answer for this! I just switched to Win 8 recently. I tried following the "tutorial" I found online but it just doesn't do it. I get the same thing of the edges of the papers. I think it was a right click on the folder & maybe there was an advanced option or something? It didn't seem too hard, but it didn't work (I'm on a Mac at work right now so I can't check).

OK - I got some information from another forum.

Go to the folder you want to change the "picture" on
Right click and pick "Open Folder Location" - it will take you to another screen with a list of your folders again
Right click on the folder again and pick "Properties"
There should now be a tab named "customize".
Click on it > choose file > New screen will open and you can highlight your picture > open > OK

When you open your browser again you should have the picture sticking out of the folder. It is not as good as it was in XP, but it is much better than it was with all the different edges poking out.

Thanks for the link for renaming several files. I will check it out as I am sure it will save me time. I like to have the designer's name on each element and paper so I can give them credit.

I have several folders and then sub-folders inside of those. I try to group like items together, such as Brushes, Styles, Shapes, Patterns, and Textures are all in one folder. I have a Spring-Spring Holidays folder and do the same for each season. Because a lot of Christmas themed kits also cover winter I have those two themes in one folder called Christmas-Winter.

Because I sell my kits I also have all my Commercial Use items in a CU folder, and all my CU4CU items in a folder with that name. All my PU items are in a folder called Scrapbooking which has sub-folders. It took me a while to figure out the system that works for me but I am happy with it. I don't like to have to open several folders to get to an element so I keep it pretty simple.

The only capability that I am not utilizing is tags to find items. I haven't found a system I like yet. I tried Picasa but it made a mess of all my photos, placing them in areas I didn't want.

I am totally downloading Picasa and giving it a try. I have been unzipping to a folder with the zip name on it, then categorizing by cu or pu and then by designer. Not being able to sort dynamically by tag really frustrates creativity. So, I'll try tagging. This may take a while...

I use the tagging system with ACDsee, but what I do when I first download something is, in the zip file that I am downloading, I put the designer name, then a dash... like this: DesignerName-ItemOrKitName-PUOrCUOrS4H-WebsiteName. It takes a bit more time to download, but that way no matter when I get to organizing that item, I've got all the info that I need. Then I tag color, element type etc... I even tag if its PU or CU or S4H, that way when I'm searching for items I don't have to go back and check. ACDsee embeds the tags into the file itself, so I just have to do this once and it stays with the file.
I've never scrapbooked using just one kit, I always use something from this kit and that kit, so this systems works out great. I also tag the designer name and everything, so if I search for 'green' and 'button', all my green buttons will appear with the designers name, the TOU and the website.

We think alike. My folders are stored very similar to how you store yours. Thanks for posting this information to help others.

uff how amazing it all is , I am a beginner , it's good to know about programs , I only work with PowerPoint or publisher.Organizo by rename items , I use some feature of the material to find better

Ouch my head hurts just thinking about this.... I'm still trying to move files off a flaky external drive and dumping and organizing files on to a new one for weeks now. At least I am able to read the forums to gain some insight as well as community points while the files are transferring. smiley

Appreciate everyone sharing how they organize before I start experimenting with digi kits.

I've been searching how to do this best, what works for me.
I started out years ago, splitting every kit up. But as i read before, i forgot what was in that kit and i ended up with a bunch uncoordinated pages, lot of different colors. Ofcourse, they have their own charm, but i could never get a clean layout.

i choose to keep a preview of every kit in one big folder, and all the kits in the other. I make sure i name the folder and the preview matching, so i can find the kit if i need it. Just looking trough my preview folder makes me happy ( i can glow like an extreme-couponlady when i see al my gathered treasures smiley )

For me this works amazingly well.

All i have to reorganise now, is my CU section. That's becoming the monster on my HD. Since the TOU's are only getting longer and bigger, (not to mention that they change a LOT these days, even from the same designer) i want to keep every piece with its own TOU but that's horrific. I have it all in one big folder now, and i am not happy. How do you guys organize your CU items?

My eyes are glazing over but I am glad you are all here sharing all this information!

I am about midway through cleaning up my EHD and I've been using a method very similar to what many of you have mentioned - separating into folders by season, theme, etc., and making sure that kit folders are labeled with designer info. I have also been saving the preview of each kit into a subfolder, so if I want to pick out, say, a Valentine's Day kit, I can go through all the kit previews quickly and easily to find just the right one - like Soro mentioned above, it's also a great pick-me-up to flip through the previews and see all the fun goodies I have to play with!

Right now I'm only a scrapper, not a designer, so I'm hoping that this level of organization will be enough for me.

Thanks! I am new and glad to know about Picasa. I am learning so much at this site! There's hope for me yet!

Thanks so much for all the information. I just my things on my computer, not that I have that much. I quess I really need to start thinking about a back-up system. I'll read all the post again and come up with a plan I like.

Oy, this is a tricky thought.

I had minesorted strictly by the NAME of the kit or mini kit or add on or whatever, but now that i've discovered that there are WAY more than just ONE person out there designing kits, it's all sorted by who created it (to the best of my ability) or where I found it (if I don't know who created it) and then within those folders, I still have it divided by kit....
however I'm starting to have issues with file names that are WAY to long....I need a new way to do this...

This way sounds fantastic and how my mind works as well...I have done the first of the process and thought about the second part (dividing kits into folders after copying them) and it frankly scares me to pieces..I can't even imagine the time it will take to do that.....really like your ideas!

I really like the idea of putting a preview of kits in a gonna start doing that and it's so funny what you said about getting all giddy looking at all your goodies because I do the same exact thing...I really need to get out more. Ha!

Oh my...I so wish I would have started the whole tag thing in the beginning...I can sit for hours and download goodies and to think about going back and doing tag labels to them makes me crazy....a AMAZING idea for sure!!!!

I am still puzzled at how to organize all of my stash to its best, tagging is sooo tiresome, but of course it helps... Because what I really, really want is all buttons, all roses, all whatever. And then a linkback to the original kit.
Keeping the information of where stuff came from is elementary, but I rely on the author to provide that.
I just thought I'd mention here how very helpful I find the blog train topper information on the colour set in matching items which have not come from that particular train to it, or adapting elements in colour, for example.
As I have stressed many times during the past couple of days/weeks, I'm fairly new to this, even if not new to digital graphic design. But it seems to me that a lot of trains I hopped on in the past (purely looking for printable card making stuff) didn't offer that kind of information to the receiving crowd.
So matching colour codes is a key factor for creating pleasant layouts - how could one possibly provide for this in archiving? Any ideas? Hope I didn't miss anything already going on on this specific topic - I swear I read most of the 7 pages so far!

I also organize in folders, special ocassions, borders, frames, etc etc... Have an upper level where I store my photoshop brushes, layouts, etc... It's kinda tricky, and sure you have to spend a lot of time organizing, but it helps you when you're in a creative mood and you wanna certaing type of something in your layout.

As a retired teacher, I have much experience with data storage ... keeping on top of it is the KEY to relaxed usage.

I am a FREEBIE collector so I have lots of organizational tricks for organizing based on TOU documentation: S4H/S4O folder (with lots of subfolders!) PU folder (with matching subfolders) and CU folder (with lots of subfolders). Since I am on the Creative Teams of several designers, I also have a Designers folder with subfolders for each Designer, with subfolders in there for CT projects, kits, freebies made, promotional images.

It's working for me (until I don't stay on top of it ... )

Hi Marisa and everybody else here one pixelscrappers,

This thread has been going on for quite a while now, but I notice not everyone has picked up your beautiful key to filenaming yet. It helps so much!

I have scanned most of the previous replies, so I hope you won't say "nnaaaah, had all that!!!".
But I find everybody has their own way of doing things, similar, but not identical. This is how I do it: I organize all my downloads by designer and source into folders, then break that down by tagging "paper" "QP" and so forth. I thought about this quite thoroughly and found that my main issue was not to loose the designer/TOU information, and also from which location I downloaded content from a certain designer. Because I do stray to other places, I have to admit - but rarely! So I have a folder "designers" and for each designer folder, I include info like "pixelscrappers", "..." (not going to create revenue here for other sites, nonoNO.) So Marisa's folder is named "Marisa Lerin Pixelscrappers". It again has individual folders for bundles, templates, what have you. With every item I download to her folder, I tag (paper, button, QP etc.) and I enter her name into the "author" field. That way, I can group in PSP for the tag and for the author. Why would I want items grouped by author rather than by topic? Because there's a certain style to every authour, and sometimes I find it easier to combine or adjust odd colours than to combine contributions from different authours working on the same topic (as in the blog trains, for example).
I am still working on how to save references to sources to files I join into something new. But it'll come to me.

Thank you for the topic Jessica Fors and thank you Marisa for the info about Picasa and the bulk renaming program. I had been using ACDSee for a couple years but threw in the towel a few months ago because your tags can be lost so easily if you haven't backed that up least it has been my experience. Right now I'm just using windows folder system and searching by words. All of this information will be helpful to me to sort out my next moves regarding organization.

I started scrapbooking 17 yrs ago with Creative memories. Probably 10 yrs ago I bought their Memory manager. I started organizing my digital photos. then they went out of business and the comparable company that took them over had a Historian program. I have not bought it but miss the organization of the programs. I bought an external hard drive for the Memory Manager and it has worked out well.

I just got a new file manager called XYplorer. (pretty sure it works on Windows only) It is simply AWESOME!!!!

You can tag all your files and search that way. Tagging is super easy, with a one-click pop-up "used tags list" to drag and drop. So if you need a snowflake, or something red, no problem. There aren't enough subfolders in the world that can replace this!! Imagine putting that snowflake in an Embellishment folder, a Snowflake folder, a Silver folder, a Christmas folder, a Winter folder, a Glitter folder, a certain Designer's folder, OMG!!
Plus, this way, you only take up space for that file ONCE in your computer.

You can also create your own columns for info (when in "List" mode) such as file size, file type, dimensions, designer, date, color, label, or whatever is important to you, and delete the default columns that you don't want such as "date modified" (who needs that?) Then just click on any column header to instantly sort alphabetically.

You can add one or more checkbox columns where you can check files off for whatever reason is important to you.
You can effortlessly switch between "List" and "Thumbnail" views, as always.

It has more thumbnail size options that include 3x3 and 4x4 inch squares, so that you can really see those papers when you're browsing! (Thank You Lord Jesus!!!) Then, at any point, if you want to REALLY see that paper up close, just left-click (hold down) on the picture and it pops up to its FULL SIZE, then disappears instantly when you release the click. So if the paper is 12x12 inches, it fills the whole screen, and if it's only, say, 6x6 inches, it pops up to only 6x6 inches on your screen. This is important for me, because I have LOTS of patterned papers that are too small to be used as a background. Even better though, I can TAG those papers "12x12", so I can search for a background effortlessly.

It has dual pane option for easy moving/copying. It has customizable tabs (as many as you want) for easier navigation. There is literally SO much more!! It will take time to learn how to use all that it offers, but you can use it right away, just like the one you're used to, and just enjoy the Large Thumbnails and the One-Click Preview, until you have time to explore, tag, and customize.

There is a free feature-limited version, but I got the $40 Pro version just to make sure I got everything I wanted. I am pretty sure that the free version comes with Most of this stuff though, and it says it has no nags, no ads, and no hassles. I researched this company before downloading, and all sources say that it is a long-time trusted and safe file manager. It has multi-lingual support. It has been coming out with newer & better versions for 15 years (started in 1999).

Another thing I like is that you can still use the original file manager that came with your PC. And when you want to use this one, just click on its icon in your tool bar, and voila!!

It's portable, so if you want to, you can install it on a little thumb drive and use it on any computer.

Here's the link to the wonderful Product Description and DOWNLOAD page. XYplorer
(You can get the Free one first, and then easily upgrade to Pro at any time, if you wish. Or just get Pro right off the bat, like I did.)

Your Welcome smiley smiley smiley

Although I am still new to digital and are only using it for myself and Try (!) to not get unnecessary stuff I too have acquired many more pixels to file than I thought I would. smiley
For now it seems best for me to keep designers together, with their kits separated under their name.
I do not know for how long this will work for me, because when I want to use something I go look through folders to see what I want. And to go back afterwards trying to see where I found what piece ... well I have not had a need to do it yet.

This is a great topic!! I myself use DropBox for all my organizing. And I mean ALL my organizing. lol.

I first label according to class:
Project Life, Scrapping Paper, Elements, etc.
Then by file type or paper size:
Project Life>3x4, 4x4, 4x6. Scrapping Paper>12x12, 8x8, etc. Elements>JPEG, PNG, etc.
From there I categorize into holidays, subjects, events, etc.
Then by color.

It makes it so easy to access all you digital files anywhere you have internet access!! I have DropBox on my phone also, so all my papers and elements are available right from my phone!! I can save my current project to DropBox and then open it on my phone to continue working on it while I'm at the doctor's office or waiting in line at the store. Then when I get home, I can pick up where I left off on my computer again! So convenient!!

Hope this helps!! And thanks to everyone for their processes!! I love exploring new ways to organize!!

Just wanted to put in another "Love it!" vote for ACDSee Photo Manager for my scrap supplies. I have been using it for about 6 years now and LOVE it for organizing. At this point I have thousands of files and would never be able to find anything without it. Yes, I do have to tag my items, but it really doesn't take that long once you get a system down.

But no matter which you choose, I can't imagine how you would find anything without a good File Management software!! (I have over 400 kits and counting, yikes! smiley )

I'm horrible at organizing. I have considered dumping everything I've download to date into one file, and printing contact sheets. Though before I do that I'm going look into a few options here.

Lots of good tips here!

I must admit, I have never been a fan of using a program to organize my stuff. I do, however, have my own system. I use, and always have used, Windows Explorer for all my filing needs and organization. I keep everything scrap related under one Scrapbooking folder, and break it down from there. I tend to group kits according to theme, and those that don't have a particular theme, I group according to color. Individual items I've downloaded that are not kits, I group according to item (masks, overlays, textures, elements, papers, quick pages, etc.) Under some of these headings, I further break them down (papers by color, elements by what specific element they are, etc.). I never use the organizer included in any programs because it's easier for me to go right to my desired folder by having a separate Windows Explorer window open and just copying and pasting, or dragging and dropping (if allowed). When I unzip my kits, I create a folder for that kit with the name of the kit followed by an underscore and the name or initials of the designer, just in case there's another kit with the same name or similar. This helps me in a search when I'm looking for the style of a particular designer. I have a separate folder for my own personal designs and extractions called My Projects, and things are categorized under there. After creating a layout, I save the original layered file in a folder named Layered Layouts, and a downsized merged JPG layout in a folder named Merged Layouts. Since I rarely ever use just one kit in a layout, I always open up a WordPad file when I begin a layout and record what items I used, what kit I used them from and the designer's name, and the fonts I used. I save that file with the saved layered layout with the same name as the layered layout so they will be side by side in the folder. When I go back later looking for something I used in a specific layout, the document file tells me what I used and whose kit it came from. I don't need to go back to the kit. I can just pull the desired item out of the saved layered layout and the document file tells me who to credit.


I use Picasa for organising mij scrapsupplies. When I download a kit, i put everything in a folder. In picasa I give everything in that folder tag for designer, a tag with the kitname and sometimes even a tag for the shop I bought it. After that I break up the entire kit: papers, stitching, ribbons, button for everything I have a folder to which I drag it. After that I can just search on kit or designer. I love Picasa. When I'm scrapping I first open photoshop and picasa, and I load my stuf from picasa to photoshop.