Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A bit of time to organize!

Organization.  Exciting topic, I know.  But to a crafter, organization can be a major issue so supplies are not lost or forgotten, so projects can be completed faster, and so your space allows your mind the freedom to think.  This is also true of digital arts!  But I think this point is easy to lose track of as you download goodies and know that they are all safely tucked into a folder.  Yes, folders, they seem so organized but without careful consideration, your digital stash can suddenly become an overwhelming mess of folders!
If I could start all over again, I would have organized everything using categories in Bridge, but I didn't have that then.  In the end, my stash is fairly well organized for me but it's not great.  I've flipped back and forth too many times - by designer, by kit, by theme...which should it be?  That's truly a personal question. 
Here's a little insight into my personal organization system (if one can call it a system!)
  • I for one cringe at separating a full kit into separate folders since not all designers have taken the time to name their files in a distinct manner.  I'm not saying I never mix and match, but by and large I want the same green on one page to match the green accent, etc. 
  • The one thing I did right away was to create a separate file for frames as they are generally very useable across kits.  I think another area where this would also apply would be fastners, especially anything that is metal in style.
  • Another biggie for me is to make a preview of a template file if one was not already provided by the designer.  That way you can easily see what your templates look like without having to open up each one.
  • Terms of Use.  Since I generally keep my kits together, I keep them in the folder as well.  However, if that is not your system you may want to consider setting up another folder to put these in so you have easy reference in case you need it.  I'm always a bit annoyed when a designer simply labels the file "Terms of Use" or "TOU" since then I need to rename it.
  • Fonts.  I keep all of my fonts in a separate folder with subfolders to identify where they were downloaded from. I find that it is helpful when I need to reference a font for a layout I've posted.  There is software you can purchase to organize your fonts but I haven't ventured into that just yet. :)
  • Brushes.  I won't go into this in much detail but if you use Photoshop Elements or Photoshop, I have found it helpful to organize my brushes into sets so I can simply load a set to work with.  For example, Floral, Grunge, etc.
Again, it's all personal based on the way you work and that's just a little bit of what is working for me.  And I do think it deserves some thought if you are starting out so you don't get buried in!

I was thinking about this over the past weekend as I had a few hours in the car returning from our trip.  I was able to make some stride in organizing what I call my Designer Toolkit.  I had started it a while back while taking The Art of Digital Design but I surely did not keep up with it.  Now, I can completely see the value of maintaining organization here as well.
So my point, give some thought to it so you don't lose out on taking advantage of all those useful goodies you have!
Here is a link that may help you out with some further ideas:

Happy organizing!

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