Let's get organized!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Was a big debate if I should make this a blog post or send out in our Newsletter.  I'm sure you can guess what the final decision was.  I felt I could share with more people if I posted on our blog and it would be more accessible for everyone.

So each new year I reanalyze how I organize my digi products and albums.  Following Marcie's post from yesterday I decided to share how I do things and also how I organize my albums.   I shared some of this last year in our forum, but it is buried deep and difficult to find now.

I will be expanding on this throughout the month too as I've switched over to a Mac this past year and want to look into using iPhoto to organize my scrapbooking items.  I have read several articles that this works well for Mac users and will share what I learn.  

First things first
Develop a consistent routine for downloading new items, unzipping, tagging and finally moving to it’s final home on my hard drive. And let’s not forget ARCHIVING the zip to an external hard drive or DVD!  
I download to a download folder with “Type” named folders.  Kits, brushes, textures etc.

I unzip there within the folder and tag accordingly.
I archive my zip file to my EHD
I rename the designer's preview file with the word "_preview" on the end so a simple search can pull all my previews up at once for quick reference if need be.  
I then MOVED my tagged items to their final resting home within my folder structure of "Graphics". (More on that later.)
Set up a time slot that you can live with for organizing daily or weekly. If you’re starting from scratch, I suggest taking 15 minutes a day to get a handle on things. Hopefully after that it will not take much and by then you will have developed a system that fits you and your download habits.
I’m not going to pretend to be all knowing here, but I will pass on what I have learned and how I personally organize. You’d think I’d be really good at it now that I have revised it three times as my uses and scrapping styles have changed considerably since I started. And now I have had to divide my stash from purchased personal use, commercial use, professional use and of course my own creations.
I personally used ACDSee on my PC before I went Mac and loved it. Will not work on my Mac and thank goodness I have had some type of directory folder system in place on my PC before I started with ACDSee.
My Hard Drive Folder structure is also set up the way I work and look for things.  Everyone's should be set up in how they search for things.  So for now, think about "how" you scrap.  Make notes while making a page next time.  do you look for a kit to use or do you "shop your stash" per-say pulling papers and elements from many kits as you go?  I will share my personal style this month also. 

Today I'm going to focus on how I work my albums first as this is at the top of my list as I put 000 in front of the name so it stays on top of my folder list.  I have been using this system for many many years and it works well for me.  I took Anna Aspnes's Album Magic class last year at Renee Pearson's site and found she and I think a lot of like.  I did tweak some, but felt very validated and learned a lot of little tricks also.  Highly recommend her class!  

This is my folder structure for my scrap albums and pages:
Working Albums: This is where I keep all my currently working albums that are in progress. Within each Album folder are sub folders for that particular album.
000 Working Albums
Land of Fae – Name of Album
  1. Photos – These are a COPY of the photos that I have chosen for this album to use.
  2. Art – COPY of all the Papers, elements etc that I want to use throughout the album.
  3. Journaling – Copy of my personal journal pages for this album. All the word files I have written for the album.
  4. PSD Files – These are the working files for the pages
  5. Printing Files – Files saved as JPGs for later printing.
  6. Web Files – Files saved smaller to a web format for uploading to a gallery if I want.
When the album is completed:
  1. I upload all the printing files to my printing service and wait for printed copy before moving on.
  2. I zip all the printing files.
  3. I delete the Photos folder. It is only the copy of the photos.
  4. I delete all the copied art. (If I made new art, I MOVE it to my art folder)
  5. I zip my PSD files. (Cause I’m anal like that). I have pulled them up later to create templates and new pages though. I know many who don’t keep at all.
  6. I delete the Journaling folder
  7. I delete the Web Files folder
  8. I then take the album and copy to my EHD for archiving. This gives me 3 copies of the printed pages as one is archived for life at my printers also.
All of my artwork and scrapping fits into some type of album or project somehow. pastedGraphic.pdf
80% of my scrapping goes into albums or Storybooks... and I have many going throughout the year. (Have a couple I've been working on for a couple years). 
Page or by the Album? 
If I do a page that doesn't seem to belong to one of the themed books (vacation, holiday, messages to my children etc.), it goes into the annual family album. That's where all the misc. pages are printed for that year. 
If it's a long ongoing album that will take me over a year (Like Messages to My Children), I archive what's completed by sections... I think of it like chapters.  I do the same for very large albums (100 pages like the annual album). 
The other 20% is artwork for my walls or Art journal. I have a folder for "Art Projects". This is where I keep my subfolders for posters I do, canvas art I do, and single items for framing when printed. I archive this one the same way only after the project is finished. I tend to have these single item projects in two directories only. A simplified version.
Photos and Art and IF I had any journaling with the PSD Files 
Printing Files – Files saved as JPGs for later printing.
Guess I'm never able to work on a project WHEN I have the idea... so I quickly pull the items together I do know I want to use into a project so they are there when I have the time. Many times I find or create something that I think "Oh that would go well with..." and I stick a copy in that items folder for later when I have time to scrap.
OR I create a project "sketch" page as a PSD in my ART Projects folder... and save as "Proj_RockPoster.psd" for example as one I did for my daughter. In this sketch page I have the photo and notes and colors I want to use for the item. Sometimes I even pull in digi items like paper and elements too I will use... all in one PSD file for the project.

I hope you have found something useful reading this and would love to hear your ideas too.  Join the DDS team this month and let's get organized!  


  1. CraftCrave said...:

    Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [05 Jan 01:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  1. Maybelline said...:

    Love all that you do...thanks for the great wise tutorials.

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