Organizing Your Digital Supplies

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This is a subject close to my heart. When I tried using Picasa before, it tended to bog my computer down, because it was having to open so many images and if I moved the images it took even more time for it to find them again. I stopped using Picasa because I felt like it was duplicating to many of my files when I made changes. Has anyone had that happen to them?

I really don't remember exactly but at this point, I need to stop using SEVERAL programs and stick to just one and find a better way to tag things.
I like like using Faststone Image Viewer which is free and I also like Zoner Studio 14 which is also free. They both do a pretty good job of tagging items and pictures. I don't know if they are for Mac but they are certainly for Windows.

Lately I've been using the Organizer in my PSE9. I seem to change with the wind because I get frustrated. I've found out that I'm a hoarder of digital scrapbook kits and in the paper scrapbooking, of paper!! HELP!

@Emily: I used to have the same problem. Unfortunately I waited way too long to start organizing so things aren't so perfect for me either. But at least now I have a system, and it's not taking me forever to find things.

@Emily: I would suggest at the very least to get you started when you unzip them, to unzip them to a folder with the name of the folder having the Designer Name_Designer File Kit Name. This way at least when you use them you know where you got it from or can do a search on google for that designer and kit name and usually find their blog or store they sell at.

@Debbie: I just recently started using FastStone as my batch file renamer, etc. and I'm pretty impressed at it's abilities for a Free program. I didn't even realize you could tag items... This is something I may have to look into learning a little more about them. I did notice on their site about paying for a full version (well a donation and then earning a key for the full lifetime version) Does the free version have something left out/missing? or do you know the program that well?

@Shawna, I'm sorry I mislead you about FastStone. I went into the program and looked again and I found out it does let you tag but NOT in a very useful way compared to that of the Organizer in PSE and Zoner Photo Studio 14 Free does. Like I said, I use several and they are all beginning to blur in my mind just a bit on how they each function! Have you checked out Zoner Photo Studio 14, the free version? Again, sorry I misinformed you.

@Debbie: No worries... I was just really new to FastStone and was already impressed with a lot I could do with it, like I said I originally just downloaded it because my program I was using to batch rename files wasn't available any longer to work on a 64bit installation of Windows 7, so DH recommend I try it and I was impressed with the ease of use. I wish I would have found it a long time ago...

Currently I have been using an older version of ACDSee 12 (15, is the latest I think) to catalog and/or tag. It works great! I'm just about a year behind since I didn't even think to organize my supplies when I first started digi scrapping AND I learned the hard way, IF I do anything in the windows folders directly (like batch renaming) and NOT do it within ACDSee I lose stuff. smiley This may be something they've fixed in newer versions, but I have been too cheap to upgrade all of the programs I own to find out. LoL smiley

You would think that I would learn my lesson..but oh no!! Last night I decided to try and organize my files and I have really made a mess of it. I am so frustrated! That's what I get for having so many files. Now Organizer can't find half of them and when it searched for them, it stop responding! Now I've got to figure something out. I've wasted way too much time on all of this! Oh well.. I'm just happy I still have a working computer! smiley

@Debbie: That can be frustrating. I'm not sure what organizer you are using, but Picassa just points to the files on your computer, so if you move them around, it adjusts automatically, and doesn't "lose" anything.

This is a great thread. Using Adobe Bridge seems a little overwhelming to me in renaming files, etc. I appreciate everyone's comments about their experiences and favorite programs. Leads me to try new things - my favorite part of interacting with the community!

@Marisa: Frustrating is at this point putting it mildly!! smiley I've used many different programs to try and organize my files to the point I can't remember some of them!! I have also used Picasa in the past. One of the programs I was using was taking a long time to load and it seems I found duplicates everywhere! That is why I switched completely over to PSE 7 Organizer. Strangely, after I either moved my PSE 7 file or when I tried out trial versions of PSE 11 and CSE6 my exe file is missing to PSE 7. I can't find my disk anywhere so I'm stuck using my PSE 9. I had so many file cataloged. I seem to be spinning my wheels with this organizing thing and not getting any work accomplished. Not to mention, I can't find things when I do want to do layouts. Can you see the viscous circle I have here? smiley I may try to check out Picasa again. Thanks for the suggestion.

I understand your difficulties. Picassa is in no way perfect, but it's the best I can find. I don't know why someone doesn't just make something that works well!

Question to anyone... during DSD on Saturday, I was in a downloading frenzy. I noticed at one point on a site that it was downloading my files to something which I thought was Goggle docs. It had a picture of a cloud. That happened at least 4 or 5 downloads and then it started to once again download to my machine on the remaining.

Can someone PLEASE!!! tell me how in the world to get to those docs? I can't find them for the life of me and it wanted to me install that cloud thing (sorry can't remember what it's called). I read where if you do this..that it deletes all of your docs in the Google docs!

I know I had some really neat kits that I downloaded and neither do I remember where I got them nor do I remember what they were but now I fear they are lost!

Sorry if I sound confused but I really am!
Any help would be appreciated!! Thanks in advance!!

I didn't know I could see .psd images in Picasa! YAY! I use Picasa but hate that I can't view .png files there. I just started using Photoshop too, so this will help me so much!

I've just finally found the program i had a while ago that will let you show your PSD files in windows smiley FINALLY!!! smiley It's called Mystic thumbs but latley i've only found it to buy... I knew it had free version so after some time, here it is for anyone who wants it:
Mystic thumb

This is awesome Jessica! I use to have that but when I got my new laptop (about a year ago) I couldn't remember what it was called... I looked for a long time and finally gave up cause everyone wanted me to buy a program. I kept telling hubby there use to be a free one we installed on my Windows XP but her couldn't remember either. I just started saving all the jpgs of each psd file I downloaded so I could see it. This will take windows folders view back to perfect... THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for finding it and sharing it with us all. smiley

@Debbbie: I'm sorry I don't know the answer to much about the google docs stuff. Maybe someone else around here will see this and know the answer for you. smiley

@ Debbie: i don't know if it is this but it really sound like you pushed a downloadbutton that only lets you download when you install there program... Sites like spendsafe etc have a lot of "download here" and if you push the wrong button you end up with "downloading software" witch in some cases are virus... Wasn't so long ago i got this bad ass virus from spendsafe.. I'm lucky that my boyfriend is an expert on this stuff or else my whole computer would have been lost...

A cloud makes me automaticly think of apple... Icloud and stuff like that...

Can you search for the items you downloaded in windows and find them that way? smiley If you have google crome as your browser you can just download a freebie (anyone) and when it appear click on show all downloadfiles and it gets you a list of the files you've reasonly downloaded and you can fins the filename, where they where downloaded etc smiley

@Shawna, it's ok. I think I will go back to my history and see if I can make list of all I downloaded and check off the ones I can find. I have a program called "Search Everything" which is so much faster than windows and will list where all the files with that name are on any drive and it does it super fast! It's a free program or was when I downloaded it. I love it and use it all the time.

Search Everything

@Jessica, thank you for your suggestions. I really do think Google downloaded it to their docs because they have changed things in there but when I didn't know where to look, I went ahead and downloaded that cloud thing. Somewhere my husband read that on the free space Google gives you that if you have files on there and don't go to them or use them that they delete them in a short time if they have not been used. But I would hope from Saturday until Tuesday they would not have done so.

Yes, I so know what you speak of about being careful about downloading a virus. I almost downloaded something that was on one of the download sites and just happen to see that I didn't click the correct button. I quickly stopped the download and find the correct button. I didn't need any spamware! I have a pretty good virus checker.

I was just too excited about all the download files I found in that one place that I was not paying close attention. I've learned my lesson!!
Smart phones.. browsers.. and the like are taxing my brain-cells these days!

I am a huge Picasa fan! I just get extremely good about tagging in Picasa, and I do it by kit, by designer, and by theme as well. In Picasa, there are also features where you can search by color - this often gives me the idea for which kit I want to use.

It can definitely take awhile for a lot of items, but I plug and unplug an EHD in and out a lot, and I have no problems once pics have already been uploaded to Picasa. Once the EHD is plugged back in, it's a snap to get back all the work you put in previously.

@Danelle, do you put your kits on the EHD or is that just for your pictures?

Thanks everybody for the great tips!! I recently started digi scrapbooking and my files are very simple - paper, embellishments, kits, alpha, etc. However, I can already see that I will need to dial it in a bit more! I'm already overwhelmed! smiley

Marisa, I love your files, and I really like this idea...but I have one problem with it.
Because I organize several folders deep, i.e. Scrapbooking>Digiscrap>Designing>MarisaLerin>PaperOverlays>(ItemName) sometimes my computer says that the name/path is too long. So I have been changing the names of all your items to just MarisaL then the info, (removing all the double underscore or hyphens), then changing Personal Use or Commercial Use to just PU or CU (these seem to be pretty much accepted abbreviations and it sure shortens the name so my computer will let me store it where I want. I would love it if you could shorten just those two designations to CU or PU on your files, as most of the time that would be all the change needed to make them work on my computer.

Welcome Lindsay! Glad to have you here with us. smiley
Yep... you can get overwhelmed really quickly with "stuff" especially scrapping digitally because it's not like paper scrapping... It's more of the old adage: out of sight, out of mind. smiley Good for you for realizing up front here in the beginning to keep it reigned in and under control. Some of us (u'hhmmm, myself included) it's too late for and we are in a 12 step recovery program with no hope of survival. smiley LoL

@Lindsay.. good for you. Get organized early! At least you are attempting to get organized.

I tried the other night to use Picasa again and found out that it's changed a lot since the last time I used it! I got frustrated and gave up! I think I'm going back to either Zoner or PSE Organizer..

@Shawna..... holds hand up.. found out again I'm afraid! smiley


Because I organize several folders deep, i.e. Scrapbooking>Digiscrap>Designing>MarisaLerin>PaperOverlays>(ItemName) sometimes my computer says that the name/path is too long. So I have been changing the names of all your items to just MarisaL then the info, (removing all the double underscore or hyphens), then changing Personal Use or Commercial Use to just PU or CU

I have an EHD that sometimes tells me file names are too long, also. I do some renaming, but I like your method better than mine, Connie! Thanks!

My method, too is very similar to yours Connie. I have a folder for each designer or website, then subfolders in those for each kit name and/or type (Ie: Brushes, Fonts, Templates) then the actual files in those folders... In the kits that include Alphas. I can go as deep as 4 folders, having subfolders for LowerCase & Numbers/Punct separated out within the Alphas folder, too. I also rename files to say only {CU} if they are PU, I don't include that because I know that all of the items I download are at the very least Personal Use. Why else would I download them? LoL

PS The reason I rename {CU} is it's a unique delimiter so when and if I do a search for items I can edit to make items for sale and I can't remember a specific designer... I can just type that in and search in windows at the very least for all {CU} items. smiley -- It works for me for now anyway. smiley

Shawna, Like you I have things several folders deep, i.e. for the stores that I CT for I have all of their stuff in a store folder in my digiscrap folder, then the designer, then the kit, then whatever folders are in the names can get long at times. I only use the PU on files from designers like Marisa who do both PU and CU items...and where I get loose (not in kits) files. If I label those then I can keep the designer's stuff together but know at a glance if I can use it in designing. I try to rename everything that is commercial use (or at the very least the kit folder) with the CU so I can search for them if I can't find an item I know I have but can't remember the designer, or if I need something specific for a kit I am designing. It really helps when you have over 2 TB of digital files! I also and my little code (CrReq, NoFr, ALT, etc.) to the designer folders with CU to indicate if it can be used for Freebies, if credit is required, if it has to be altered before use etc. This makes it easier to find what I want also.

I started a thread in the support forum, so you can leave thoughts about file name length.

I also add my little code (CrReq, NoFr, ALT, etc.) to the designer folders with CU to indicate if it can be used for Freebies, if credit is required, if it has to be altered before use etc. This makes it easier to find what I want also.

Great idea!!! TFS smiley

I had been downloading scrap stuff for over two years when I started trying to organize my folders... I'm still in the process of going through everything I downloaded from before I started organizing... but now I usually organize the new stuff I download within a day or two of downloading it... I download it into a folder called "To Unzip" then I move the unzipped files into a "To Sort" Folder... The "To Sort" folder has a ton of subfolders... by categories... so "Alphas", "Elements", "Papers", "Kits" (I have two folders each for papers and kits... Full Size and Tagger) and I'm currently working on sorting the kit and element folders into themes and subjects... once I get caught up in my sorted folder then I will go back to trying to organize the multiple "To Sort" Folders from before I actually started I also convert all my psd files to tiff as I go and I just started making my windows explorer use the previews of each kit as the folder thumbnail... so I can just browse the folder and see the kit previews.

I too wish every designer would properly label their kits and elements... I forget who said it but I also don't share a ton of layouts cuz I have no idea who made the elements and kits I used... some of that is my fault from before I decided to start sharing... I didn't bother keeping track of what I used and who made it... but also as I'm sorting I'm finding a ton of kits without the designer names... a lot of them don't even have previews and a surprising amount have no TOUS either... I find this very frustrating now that I want to share my layouts...

But back to sorting... One problem I have with my sorting system though is I have some of my stuff sorted by Designer or Store... I think once I'm done organizing the "Kits" folder (finished the "Kits - Tagger Size" folder last night) I will see about renaming the folders of the kits I have in the "designer" and "store" folders to include the designer name or the store name so I can put them in with the other kits so I don't miss out on using them, cuz I find that I forget they're there (someone in this thread said... "Out of sight, out of mind" and that is so very true!)... I recently went to buy something from Scrap Matters only to look and see that I had already purchased some of the things in my cart.... and I had forgotten about most of the stuff in the Scrap Matters folder cuz I hadn't looked through it recently... so I think that's my next mission when I finish the "Kits" folder... though I also have to do the Elements folder, although I already have Clusters and Frames in separate folders...

It seems organizing is a never ending process... fortunately I find organizing files on my computer to be relaxing so when I'm stressed I sit down at the computer and sort for a while... I recently just finished unzipping all the old files I had downloaded although I occasionally find a blog train folder with unzipped files still in it... but for the most part I've unzipped everything and now I make it a point to unzip and sort within a couple of days... I find it is far less daunting if I do it right away.

I liked seeing how everyone else organizes their files, so thanks for that.