Get Organized: Digital Supply Ideas

by Jessica Sprague
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As scrapbookers, we are generally sort of nuts about organization. There seems to be a whole industry built around helping us store and view and select JUST the right tool or supply for the project at hand. The digital world is no different! No doubt you’ve probably downloaded a thing or two—from a pretty swirly frame to a full digital kit. But after they hit your hard drive, what happens to them? Are they lost in the black hole of your file system, never to be found again?

You can use your Windows or Mac file browser to navigate to a folder full of digital supplies and search through them one by one to find what you need—but this approach can be difficult and tedious. Instead, I recommend a more visual method that uses browsing/organizing software. While many organization programs were developed to help organize photos, they work beautifully for supplies, too! Following are some popular choices.

Free options:
* Photoshop Elements Organizer (Windows) (installed with Photoshop Elements)
* Picasa (Windows and Mac) (download from Picasa.com)
* Adobe Bridge (free with Elements on a Mac, or the full version of Photoshop on either Windows or Mac)
* iPhoto (Mac) (installed on Mac)

Low-cost options:
* ACDSee Photo Manager (Windows) (ACDSee.com)
* Shoebox (Mac) (kavasoft.com)

Each of the options above lets you tag your digital items with keywords so you can find them again easily. You can also browse through your files visually to get a much better look at what you have. I like the ACDSee Photo Manager and Shoebox, because they provide you with the ability to view your items with a combination of file browsing, file previews and your tag collection. It makes finding things so much easier. I know exactly what I have, without having to plow through hundreds of folders.

Here is the basic overview of how to create an organization system. Each program uses a keyword or tag method to help you label and locate your various supplies. Actual steps may differ between programs.

Appeared in:

March 2009

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