A reader sent me this excellent question. She wants to be able to easily view the many items in her growing digital scrapbook stash.
I am new to digi-scrapping but have been saving digital freebie kits, etc. over the last year. How is the best way to organize and be able to see what I have without opening everything up and taking up so much memory?
While there are many ways to organize your digital supplies, there is one system that I find super simple and perfect for beginners like this reader. For every new kit or collection, I create a folder labeled as follows: Designer – Kit/Collection Name type of product.
For example, this week’s new kit by Kristin Cronin-Barrow is called Bookworm. I would label the folder: KristinCB – Bookworm kit.
For me, that last portion of the folder name is what is critical. Labeling a download as kit, mini kit, template, quick page, papers, word art, stitching, etc. is oh-so-helpful when you’re browsing.
In addition to these folders, I also separate freebies from purchased kits. This helps keeps your stash clutter-free, making it easy to toss freebies you’re aren’t ever going to use!
Tips for stash browsing
The second part of this reader’s question is arguably most critical. There are a couple of ways to view digital products without opening them.
1. Slideshow view – With both PC and Mac, the slideshow view in the file browser can be used to scroll through items with just a press of an arrow or click of the mouse. On a Mac, you get the added bonus of popping up a slideshow using the space bar.
2. Photo organization software – Tools like Adobe Bridge, ACDSee, Picasa and iPhoto allow you to browse and sort supplies. Each of these has some sort of tagging system, allowing you to classify each item to your own specification.
3. Folder images – When using Windows on a PC, an image in a folder called folder.jpg will show up as the folder’s cover. Many designers create this image for you, helping you to remember what a kit looked like.
4. Thumbnail view – Once I select a kit, I often use the slideshow view to get a better feel for each element and paper. Then, when I am placing new items on a layout I turn on the thumbnail view. Since I know what a particular element looks like, I can feel more confident adding it for a small thumbnail.
Try one or a combination of these techniques to make browsing your stash easier. While any method for organizing takes time to implement, you’ll see the rewards when you can quickly locate a favorite item.