While digital scrapbooking has the benefit of being less messy than traditional scrapbooking, it can still be overwhelming to keep all of your digital scrapbook supplies organized. In this tutorial we’ll talk about different strategies you can use to keep all of your digi stash neatly stored on your computer so you can quickly find and use your favorite papers and elements.
Choosing the Right Software Program
Being able to quickly find the right files is key, and there are many great programs out there that are free, easy to use, and make it a snap to quickly open and view your digital scrapbooking files and photos without taking up too much resources on your computer. We recommend Picasa, which allows you to not only quickly view files, locate them on your computer, but also gives you the added benefit of tagging the files also. Tags are words that help you search for an item, so for example you could list “purple flower” as a tag on the photo, and the next time you search for a purple flower it will be one of the first to display. You can download Picasa for free and then simply follow the installation instructions.
Once you have a good image viewer, it’ll be much easier to actually decide how to organize your items on your hard drive. If you have a lot of photos or digital scrapbooking supplies, it’s a good idea to use an external hard drive as that makes it easier to keep your computer running quickly. Of course, one of the benefits of a Scrapvine membership is that you can download kits any time – no worries about running out of space!
Photos are generally best organized by the date they were taken – this will help not only keep related photos together, but also help you remember the details of the events making it easier to scrapbook. This can be done simply by making file folders by the year and the sub-folders for the months or by event.
Of course, you may also want to tag your photos using image organizing software. One of the nice features of Picasa is it offers face recognition which can help you quickly label photos of different people you have photographed, making it easier to get photos for your pages or photo books about the special people in your life.
How to Organize Digital Scrapbook Supplies
Once all of your photos are neatly stored on your hard drive, the next step is to tackle all of your digital scrapbook supplies. This can be a little more difficult, since many people have different styles of scrapbooking or may want to categorize items differently. For example, you may want to keep matched sets and digital scrapbooking kits together so you can easily coordinate elements, or you may wish to instead label items by color or by the items name. For example, you could keep all ribbons together in one folder or keep all flowers together in one folder. The downside of breaking up kits is that you may easily forget which items you’ve used and find yourself using the same supplies over and over again on all of your layouts. (Though that is also one of the perks of digital scrapbooking!)
To do this in Picasa, simply browse the folder where you have all of your supplies and start tagging away. For example, you can select all of your lace or all of your ribbons and quickly tag them ribbon. You may also want to tag certain styles, such as “grunge” or “doodle” or “realistic” or “fantasy” if you use a lot of different styles for your pages.
Additional Tips for Organizing
Do a Little at a Time: If you have thousands of photos and scrapbook supplies, it’s really easy to feel completely overwhelmed. Instead of trying to do it all at once, just do little batches at a time. For example, maybe start with just one year of photos instead of trying to do the past five years. Or, give yourself a time limit every day to do some organizing – you’ll have it sorted out in no time!
Keep TOU Files and Previews Together: With nearly every kit, paper, and element coming with a TOU or a preview, you may be tempted to just delete these, but they can really come in handy later down the road when your memory might not recall where you downloaded an item from. This is a great way to also get inspiration for layouts and coordinating colors or combining sets.
Tag Specifically: The more specific your tagging is, the easier it will be to find elements you are looking for without trying to remember what folder it is in on your hard drive. Choose words that describe the element as close as possible, and be careful not to just use the same thing over and over again.
Now that you have some tips for organizing your digital scrapbooking files, you’ll find it easier than ever to keep all of your digital files organized so you can be more productive and spend more time being creative instead of searching your hard drive. Do you have any organizing tips you’d like to share? We’d love to hear them in the comments section below!