Organizing Your Digital Supplies

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On my last computer, I had a folder with sub folders (papers, elements, ribbons, etc) and pieces I've thrown into titled folders for quicker layouts. On my new computer, I had to start fresh. For some reason my external hard drive kept shutting down, on the new pc, it better not be done for (everything is on it)!

The new folder is and the sub folders are current kits I've downloaded. I've yet to work on the new titled folders and/or go back to the external drive. I've realized, I don't want to "build my own kit" for layouts. You know... that piece from Kit A, Kit B, Kit C and just use Kit A. Maybe one day, when I'm caught up, I'll add other pieces to my future layouts.

This is how I organize mine too. Folders and subfolders with categories by season/holiday ect. It helps to unzip and organize as you download them so u know what u have. I have almost 200GB of just scrap kits so I store them on an external hard drive.

I am starting to organise my files. I have them already grouped by designer and I have folder shortcuts set up in additional folders by category so that I'm not duplicating large files and taking up additional memory. (ie. all files by designer but then a templates folder with a folder shorcut that takes me to the different designer folder with templates in)

I've just downloaded Adobe Bridge as it's free, so that I can tag things with keywords (like templates with size, number of photos etc, or colours on the file) it's going to take me a long time though but it should help me find certain things easier once it's done!
(I'm on Windows)

I am not sure if my system of organization is unique (probably not) but I have found it really helpful for both searching and for browsing.

I have a File with 2 main sub-files: "Bundles" and "Master Bundle Images". In the "Bundles" folder, I keep a separate folder for each bundle or single kit containing all images from the bundle removed from their kit subfolders. In the "Master Bundle Images" folder, I save a copy of each bundle or single kit's thumbnail.

This allows me to browse the bundle thumbnails for colors, theme, or inspiration, and then I can go directly to the corresponding bundle if I see something I like in the thumbnail. I can also search the parent Bundle folder for things like "papers" if I want to browse my papers, or "frame," "blue," "heart," or whatever I'm needing at the moment. I'm on a Mac, so if the files in the bundles stay in their kit subfolders, searching is an absolute nightmare.

It's been time consuming getting to this point, but it makes it so much easier when I have an idea and I want to find the various elements I need quickly.

I am currently storing things on my computer hard drive and do regular time machine back ups, but I am going to need to invest in cloud storage as I will be working across multiple devices as soon as I save up enough for an iPad. I use the Affinity Suite for designing projects, and will be switching back and forth between them often and want access to my files.

Anyways, thanks for this awesome community and resource! It is greatly appreciated from this crafty beaver! smiley

I'm just using folders and subfolders. I will try Picasa.Thank you. smiley

I organize my pictures/photographs first by date, that keeps them lined up chronologically, then after the date I add the name of the location or event. Scrapbook pages are named for what's on the page or the theme, these would be grouped by person or events. My paper and element files are not organized, I'm thinking I will sort by color unless it's a strong theme like a holiday, those will be grouped with similar themed papers and elements.

@Louyse sadly Picasa doesn't exist anymore.


I'm slowly making progress with my Adobe Bridge Keyword system smiley I doubt I will get much done with my son being home from school on his Easter break, but I will get cracking back on it when he goes back and will try and squeeze bits in when I can. Tackling a few big projects at the moment lol.

I really wish Picasa were still around! It was definitely in a class of its own for certain functionality.

Has anyone tried Eagle for this? ( - Windows/Mac) It's not a good option for storing the images, but maybe for keeping track of what kits and other elements you have. (I haven't used it for that -- am just getting into digiscrapping so I don't have much yet -- but I've used it for other things.)

Since losing my own seven year old designs and scraps in a 2013 drive crash,
I now secure it three times on external Drives and the most beautiful works or rare embellishments again on sticks.

I've just started organising my stuff as I am starting from scratch with digital after some time.
I'm doing folders, listed by place I got them from so far. In that folder is themes eg "beach" etc in relation to how I store my physical papers from traditional scrapping.

I keep kits intact in folders from whichever site I got them from. All others have their own type of folder, such as frames > rectangle. That took a very long time to do, but now that it's been done for years, I find it a blessing how easily I can find an element, paper, or template.

Oh Ladies, I am loving these ideas. I am about to set up a craft room after doing an extension! Woohoo! I am so excited to have a craft space for me!

Wow Ladies,
So many amazing tips and information. I am finding it very hard to find my digital resources and I am only just starting digitally!

Great ideas! I'm needing to get all my stuff organized....which is going to be a heck of a task.... smiley ....but I think implementing a few of these ideas is definitely going to help!!!!

Since I use PS and PSE for everything, I use the Organizer to organize my digi stuff. One massive album, but lots of Keyword Tags. Love keywords because you can apply more than one to an item and search any of those. I use very broad categories, so I can narrow down what I'm looking for by searching several keyword categories. I don't really use folders except for backup, because I like to see my items. With a folder, for me, I have to know it's there in order to go looking in a folder for it, which I won't remember. That's why I like the keyword idea...I can search "pink" and "flower" to find a pink rose for instance, rather than go to a "flower" folder" to search for one. With keywords, I usually end up finding things I didn't remember I had as well, so that's fun!
I organize photos in basically the same way - keywords here would be the person, the year, theme, even, and such.
If you've ever read Stacy Julian's book "Photo Freedom", it's very similar to her photo organizing method. Works for me!

Great ideas for organizing! I keep everything on an external hard drive, but will definitely be starting to implement some of your ideas! Thanks for sharing.

Thank you all for the great ideas here. I only started digital scrapbooking about six months ago, but I'm already at the point where I need to rethink my organizational strategy!


For storage I use both cloud, and "My Book" that I got from Best Buy, I'm afraid to discard anything. But I have started to clean things up a bit, which is not nearly as fun and creative as Making graphics and experimenting.

Thanks for all the tips! I struggle keeping everything I download organized.

Hi Lizanne,
I found your post very helpful and we seem to think along the same lines when it comes to organization. A good start in my opinion. I, too, have amassed a huge amount of "kits" and there's the rub. "Kits". If I understood you correctly you break your kits apart and then file the "pieces" separately. Doesn't that get confusing? Or did I miss something? Do you keep a copy of the original "kit" intact and then use a separate "copy" to break apart and file under, papers, elements, alphas, etc?

Hi Fellow Scrappers!
I am a newly retired teacher and I recently found this site.
Thanks for the advice, Marisa Lerin. I'm new to scrapbooking (I've only been at it 3 months) and you are right this is a HOT topic because there are so many different ways to organize your stuff. I have amassed enough kits now that I need to find a "better" way to organize my stuff than I am currently using.

Let me give you a brief backstory to this post. Not only was I a teacher, but I am also a writer (3 books), artist and an avid journaler (is that even a word?). What I am trying to say about my journaling is that I have been writing or typing a personal journal of my life for over 30 years. I hope to pass it down to my grandchildren after I die. I want it to be a testament to who I am (was) and to show some of my creativity as an artist as well. Scrapbooking fits the bill perfectly!

Scrapbooking has taken my journal pages to a whole new level that I am thoroughly enjoying. I visit several sites faithfully every day and each day I create several pages for what I find inspirational on those pages. Two of those sites are wacky holiday sites. I choose a holiday that grabs my fancy for that day from the ones listed and start scrapbooking. I also do my devotions and create those pages. (there are 3 of those), then I see what happened on this day in history (another scrapbook page) and finally a recipe for the day. Yep, another page. So, you can see how involved my days in front of my laptop can get. Also, how quickly I can amass kits. For instance, today (Dec 13) is National Ice Cream Day, National Cocoa Day, National Horse Day and Green Day. There were 4 other choices but these spoke to me. So, I needed to find kits for those 4 themes. And that's just TODAY! This happens EVERY day.

I needed to find a solution for organizing my kits and fast!
Traci, on, mentioned that it was easy to lose sight of what elements and papers she actually owned when she had kept in them in their original "kit" format. This had never dawned on me before. She went on to say that she had even mistakenly repurchased the same exact kit not realizing that she already had it. Guilty here as well. My biggest dilemma so far is how to keep it simple but efficient. The best method I have come up with so far is...

#1. to create an ZIPPED Kits file folder - this is where I keep all my original downloads - I don't mess with them AT ALL. They are my backup resource in case I mistakenly delete an item. I can always go back to my zipped file and find the missing item and click & paste it back into my working files.

#2. Next, I created an UNzipped Kits file.
In here, I started messing around a bit. I sorted my kits by THEME in one file and by ALPHABETICAL order in another. However, let me point out here that I quickly found out that I could easily have 3-4 complete copies of the SAME kit in different locations. This is not a very effective way of keeping storage space down to a minimum. smiley It was then that I realized that if I just used the PREVIEW IMAGE in my "Themes" file I could easily locate an intact kit in my Alphabetical file. It wasn't that troublesome to find the kit and it was only one click away. smiley

#3. However, today, I also learned from Traci, that she took her kits apart and filed the pieces separately. smiley
I didn't realize I could do this. It was one of those, "I could have had a V-8!" moments for me. So, now I am in the process of taking a SECOND copy of ALL of my UNzipped kits... apart.
I am still keep an intact working kit in my Alphabetical File.

I started by creating a central file called, ELEMENTS and then sorting the pieces from each kit by breaking them down into further categories (i.e. Alphas, Arrows, Strings, Ribbons & Bows etc). Next I created a central file for PAPERS. This "sorting process" is proving to be the most time consuming part of the whole scrapbooking process, but I believe in the long run it will be the most beneficial.

I am trying to not get obsessive with nit-picking color variances on papers and trying to keep them general. For example: under BROWN: I have two files - "warm" and "cool". I have done this with each basic color (think Crayola 8 color box - Yellow, Blue, Green, Brown, Red, Black, Orange and Violet. Oh, I also made a file for white, metallic and misc.) This kept things simple for me. Plus if I needed a visual, I just looked at a box of crayons for guidance. I found that getting any more complicated than that and I could easily lose my mind! smiley

Doing things this way has taken me from 16 scrapbooking files down to only 4! That's right...FOUR!

So far, for me at least, this has been the best way for me to be able to have access to my kits and all their varied pieces. I hope this helps someone...

Hi Everyone. My 1st time posting on the forums. I store my kits under the designer then under the kit names. I also tag the item if the name is not there which as said previously is very laborious. ( I do it now and again when bored LOL) Marisa's idea for designers to name elements is fantastic and will make life so much easier. Thank you Marisa. I do not have a specific program for storage and just use windows file explorer. Always on the look out for a good storage system Thanks

Thanks for the tip.

I'm using PSP but stored my Digi-Stuff in an extra file. The kits has extra folders who has the creator name.

Hello, thanks for the tips. I store all of mine by designer and title, but I'm seriously considering breaking a second copy down into individual pieces. I've been wanting to do this for some time, but it seems like a monumental task! So glad to see that others have tried it and like it!

My organization system is not very fabulous. Like Anna, I find the process overwhelming. I appreciate the ideas.

Wow Debbie! That sounds VERY involved, but also brilliant!

On another note, greetings from a fellow teacher. I am NOT retired yet. This is the start of my 25th year, and in Connecticut I think you need to teach 37 years to get full retirement. So it will be a while!

I am so impressed with the places you get inspiration for your layouts! Creative!

This is a great idea Brandi, I will have to use that idea. I store my CU products and designer kits even my own by designer name then kit name after this. Its easier this way. I have an external drive, on this I run Adobe photoshop directly from it, its an 8 gig drive so it never slows. This is also my 'scratch disk' obviously and within photoshop I have a file called embellishments and kits. That is where I store all my kits. Thye are filed under name areas like Autumn/fall, Fantasy (like unicorns), Celebration, spring Easter and so on. It makes it so easy to find what I want. Another file on the same drive has all my own designs and CU products and teaching products.