Thursday, January 1, 2009

How I Organize my Scrap files

I've noticed a lot of talk these days on scrap kit organization. It took me awhile to figure out how to go about doing my stuff, but I finally found a system that I like - so I thought I would try to share.

I am writing these as a step by step instruction sheet - I have added some commentary throughout, noted by a *

Step 1: Consolidate Files
Divide the kit into three separate folders titled:
1) Papers
2) Elements
3)Designer_KitName_Alpha (For alphabet files)

*If the kit comes with other stuff that doesn't fit these categories, create folders for each or one called "More" or "Other" the main reason I use these names is that all of my kits are filed the same way, which makes it much easier to find what I need.

Step 2: File Papers and Elements

Find the place you plan to store your kit. Create a folder called "Designer Name", and inside that folder create a folder called "Kit Name". Put the Paper and Elements folders in the kit folder.

You should have a path that looks like this

Designer Name --> Kit Name -->Paper/Elements

*I download all of my kits to one folder and they stay there until I am ready to put them away. This folder is in a separate location then the one I keep everything in.

Step 3: File Alpha

Go back to the place you store your kits, this time instead of creating a folder called "Designer" create once called "_Alphabets" and place the Designer_KitName_Alpha folder inside.

**Note I organize my alphabets by color, so I place the folder in the correct color folder too.

Want to be insane like me? Follow these additional steps!

Step 1a: (Prior to step 1) Find the Preview

*If you had multiple downloads for the same kit, chances are you have multiple copies of the preview (and TOU file). Delete the duplicates and place you preview file in a folder called "Kits to File" These files may not be large in size, but if you have 100 kits with 3 downloads/kit that means you have 3 copies of each preview, 200 more then you need and that is a lot of space!

Step 5: List Kit

Create an Excel spreadsheet with the following columns and fill in the rows for the kit you just filed away:
Designer - The name of the designer, this should match the name you put on the folder in Step 2
Abbreviation - This is optional, I find that some designers have really long names. This bugs me on my Alpha folders, so I often use an abbreviation (many designers with long names have them already). Ex. A Work in Progress = AWP
Kit Name - The name of the kit, this should also match what you used in step 2.
Alpha - Does the kit have an alpha with it? If so, put an x in this column

Step 6: File Preview

Much like filing the kit, start by creating a folder called "Previews" inside this folder create another folder called "Designer Name" and inside that folder put the preview file that you have in "Kits to File"

*Note: I use the "Kits to File" folder because I don't put each kit away immediately. I also don't move the preview out of this folder until I have it accounted for in my spreadsheet. You may find this an unnecessary step.

*I also want to create and print contact sheets of the previews. I just haven't decided the best way to do this yet as I add to each folder on a regular basis!

I also have a few additional columns in my spreadsheet that may help you, but are not as important and the ones above (in my mind).

Add On: I put an x in this folder if the kit is an add on to another designers work. I actually file the Add On Kit in the folder of the designer who made the original kit so I have easy access to it if I am designing with that kit. I simply name the folder of the Add On "Kit Name Add On by Designer"

Quick Page: If the kit has a quick page that I downloaded, I note this with an x. I file the QP's in the same way I file Paper and Elements in a folder called Quick Pages.

Please, let me know if you have any questions!! Good luck organizing your Scrapping Stuff!

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