Thursday, November 28, 2013

Organization: Part 1

Let's talk organization. I'm a scrap-hoarder. (Self-proclaimed, but still...) I can't resist a blog train or Facebook hop and with DSD just a few weeks ago I am up to my eyeballs in digiscrapping elements. (Freebies are uh-mazing!)  After trying to put together a layout with some of my new stuff, I realized I had no idea what I had or how to find it.  Enter organization.  I did a lot of research and learned that there really is no right or wrong way to organize your stash, it really just comes down to what works best for you.  After checking out a few different blogs, messing around with my own stash and quite a bit of trial and error, I finally figured out a system that works for me.  It's not perfect by any means, but for my current needs it works great.  I feel that organization - especially EARLY organization - is incredibly important, if not essential, for every digital scrapbooker. For that reason, I'm here to share my organization strategy.  Remember - there is no right or wrong way to do this, this is just what works best for me. So here is my organization, part 1. Hopefully it helps! 

I've found that I'm most comfortable with a folder/subfolder system and the one on my Mac is pretty basic and straight forward. On my desktop I have one folder titled "Digital Scrapbooking".  In that folder I have several subfolders representing broad categories. 

Most are self explanatory:
          "Alphas" contains subfolders dedicated to each individual alpha set.
          "Color Palettes" contains just that - color palettes. Palettes I'm currently working with, ones I've worked with previously and ones that I've found or chosen to work on later.
          "Edited Photos" contains photos I have edited and enhanced for use on current or future layouts.  They are broken down into subfolders such as 'beach', 'eating', 'family', 'vacations', etc. 
          "Elements" - I'll cover this folder in better detail in just a moment. 
          "Incomplete Layouts" holds all of the layouts I have started and just haven't managed to finish.
          "Kit TOUs" contains the Terms of Use files for all elements and kits I have downloaded, each labeled 'Designer_Kit/Element_TOU", just so I don't lose track of what TOU goes with which specific element I'm using. 
          "Kits to Open" contains .zip files of kits/bundles that need to be unzipped, renamed and organized.
          "Layouts" holds the .psd and .jpg versions of all the layouts I've completed. 
          "Photos" contains favorite photos I plan to use in the near future that have NOT yet been edited or enhanced. Also broken into subfolders just like the 'edited photos' folder.
          "Zipped DigiScrap Files" holds all of the .zip files of everything I download.  I never knew why I created this folder, but let me tell you - when I started trying to implement my new organizing system it came in handier than I ever would have imagined.  (More on that next week.)

Those are the broader folders.  Let's take a look inside my "Elements" folder, shall we? 

Everything you see above is self explanatory. This is where I keep all of my beloved elements! The only folder I have here that has subfolders is my 'papers' folder.  At one point I tried organizing my papers into 2 folders - 'prints' and 'solids'.  No bueno. It took me FOREVER to find what I was looking for.  So.......

I now go by colors. Which makes my life so much easier. You'll also notice this is the home of my overlays and paper templates. 

Now I can find everything I'm looking for quickly and easily, saving more time and energy for digitally documenting my family's memories! Yay! 

Check back next week for Organization Part 2! 

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