Manic Monday Photoshop Tips: Organizing Your Digital Supplies

Monday, January 03, 2011
January 3, 2011

Happy New Year and welcome to this week’s edition of Manic Monday Photoshop Tips. This week’s tip is isn’t specifically about using Photoshop but about organizing your digi stash so that you are more organized and efficient when you use Photoshop. I’m going to share my system with you and also give you links to some popular organizing software and tutorials for setting up your own organizing system.

Having a defined system is a key part of organizing your digital supplies. Your system needs to be set up for the way you think and scrapbook. It can be simple or complex but the main thing is that it needs to be something that works for you and that you can keep up with. I personally use ACDSee Pro 3 for all my tagging and organizing and love it. Other popular organizing software include Adobe Bride and Picassa (free Google program).

My system has evolved over the 4 years I’ve been digi scrapping and it works well for me. Feel free to adapt it to your scrapping style.

Set Up
  • My basic system has 5 folders: Download Folder, Unzipped Folder, Digital Files Folder, Toolbox Folder, Digital Library Folder.  
    • Download Folder: all downloads go here and are moved out to appropriate folders
    • Unzipped Folder: I extract all files to this folder for processing.
    • Digital Files Folder: this folder has subfolders for classes I’ve taken, pdf’s, and tutorials.
    • Toolbox Folder: this folder contains subfolders with things I use frequently in Photoshop and scrapbooking. I have subfolders for my favorite brushes, textures, stock photographs, my digital designs and a folder for all my layouts.
    • Digital Library: this is the final folder where all digital scrapbooking kits live. Within the Digital Library folder I have folders for my favorite designers and shops plus a miscellaneous folder.
  • All downloads go into one download folder
  • Downloads are extracted to the Unzipped File Folder and then the original zip file is moved to a monthly archive folder. At the end of each month I move that folder off of my hard drive to a back up EHD.
  • While in the Unzipped File Folder I perform 3 basic task with each kit:
    • Kits with multiple folders are combined into one single folder (with the exception of alphabets which are kept in their own folder).
    • File names are cleaned up. Example: Cilenia_BlueWinter Part 1 will be changed to Cilenia_BlueWinter Kit.
    • Next each kit is tagged by keyword in ACDSee.
  • Finally once the kits are cleaned up and tagged I move them to the appropriate folder within Digital Library and I’m done.

Software and Tutorial Links

ACDSee Pro 3 (Sorry it’s Windows only but a Mac Beta is in the works)
Heidi Vanyo is an ACDSee guru and instructor. Her website, DigiScrapInfo,  features ACDSee information and she teaches an excellent ACDSee class on  Jessica Sprague’s website.  

Adobe Bridge (part of Photoshop)
Here is a fantastic tutorial for using Bridge to organize and tag your supplies. Bridge is my 2nd choice for organizing after ACDSee.

Here is an awesome tutorial about using Picasa for organizing from The Daily Digi

I hope this information helps you get organized. I’d love to hear your organization suggestions and ideas. 
See you next week


  1. latz said...:

    I use Picasa and have for the past 1.5 years after using ACDSee for about 2 years. I download to a DOWNLOAD folder, then unzip and tag, then copy to my backup EHD, then move to the final folder which is organized by shop and designer. Only problem is things tend to hang out in the download folder for awhile until I get to them.

  1. CraftCrave said...:

    Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [04 Jan 01:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  1. Marcy said...:

    thanks for the information. it gives me a start with ACDSee again since I purchased a new computer and upgraded ACDSee. now I can go back over the class and organize with a better understanding of digi scrapping.

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