APRIL'S TIP OF THE MONTH: Organzing your digital files
Do you have a lot of digital scrapbooking files like us? Do you have trouble finding the files that you need? Well I know that Bobbi and I have had the same issues. Since we both love to do paper piecings for our scrapbook pages, our collections have grown over time. At first I just saved them in a file called "paper piecing patterns". This worked GREAT when I had just a handful of patterns and knew at all times exactly what I owned.
Over time it became more and more difficult to remember or even find particular patterns. At first I tried to segregate them to seasons or types. I set up a bunch of files labeled "patterns - Easter" and "patterns - animals", etc. I even set up a catalog of images so I could visually see pictures of all of my patterns and the quickly find them to cut them. Well this worked fine at first, but then I kept running into problems like, "where did I file this cute little chick pattern? was it under animals or Easter?" I still ended up wasting A LOT of time looking for the pattern.
Recently, I redid my entire filing system. Instead of filing my patterns under type (Easter, summer, People, etc), I just numbered them 001- Train, 002 - Bugs and Friends (the super cute new pattern from Treasure Box Designs), etc.
Next I set up a file called 000 - Catalog of images. In this file, I copied a picture of the pattern(s) and number them the exact same way as the cutting file.
This now allows me to quickly take a visual look to find the pattern that I want to cut and then find the corresponding cutting file. WOW, has this saved a lot of time!
When we buy new files (like we did yesterday), I just assign them the next number and insert a picture of my new files into my image catalog. Our files will never be bunched together by season or type, but it is a simple, efficient, and painless way to find your digital files quickly.