Aug 24 2012

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5 Days of Organizing & Cleaning – Day 5 – Digital Scrapbooking supplies

Digital Scrapbooking Supplies

I have read different ideas on how to organize digital scrapbooking supplies. There are two main ways scrappers tend to do it: keep kits together by designer/company or divide up by elements. Here are some thoughts about both:

By designer/store


  • Kits are designed to be used together. Matching the same style is already done.
  • It is easy to give credit to the originator because you know its source.
  • When downloading the files, it is already together.


  • If you want to see other styles, you have to jump through the different folders to do that.
  • If you use a image browser software like iPhoto, Lightbox or Picasa, and want to view different elements together, you need to tag the elements.

By element


  • The like elements are together. If you want to look at brads, you have all your brads together.


  • It takes time to move the files to different categories.
  • Sometimes elements may fit into multiple categories.
  • Files must be renamed (if they don’t already have a good pattern) to show details like designer, kit name, etc.

My conclusion is to leave the files together within their kits. Keep the files by company and then by designer. I have a subfiles for free, purchased, personal-use, and commercial-use. All of my creations, so far, have been for personal use, but I don’t want to break copy write just because I can’t remember if something is personal use only. Then, I leave the organizing to my software. Again, I will use Picasa as my example, but most other image browser/organizer/editor software will work similarly.


Yesterday, I mentioned tagging. Tagging for digital scrapbooking elements will provide instant access to the elements you want. As far as I know, there isn’t a limit to the number of tags a file can be labeled. Here are some suggestions for tags:

Picasa has the ability to search for color in a picture (Tools>experimental>Search for…) like red. Or, in the search bar, type in “color:” and then the color. It’s pretty fun.

More on searching

Searching can be done by tags, faces, time, star. You can combine searches too. If you have good file/folder names, tags aren’t as important. If “button” is in the file name, all of those files plus any that you have tagged with “button” will show. Want to search for blue buttons? Enter–color:blue button. The search is fast.


I found in iPhoto that searches for files do not pick up on file names or folder names, but it does in Picasa. If


using Picasa, the search will collect any data that has those words in key words or file/folder name. I want to see just paper not paperclips or files under the folder “paper….” I have the option to create an album. (Creating an album doesn’t move the file.) To create an album, go to File>New Album. Name the file and add any other details you want. Or, right click over selected files:

Add to album. It will give you an option to create a new album or add to an already created album.

Once the album is created, all the files in the album are organized and are ready for your use.



Photo Editing Software

I use Photoshop Elements 8 for my digital scrapbook creations. There is a newer version, PSE 10, but PSE 8 is working fine for my needs. There are other programs , like Photoshop CS6 and Paintshop Pro, too. There’s a big digital scrapbooking world.

Using PSE 8, there are other scrapbooking supplies like brushes and actions. Here are some ideas for organizing these elements from some of my favorite digital scrapbooking sites:

actions (from Texas Chicks)

brushes (from Digital Scrapper) or brushes (from Scrapgirls)

Scrapgirls also has a general article on organizing digital scrapbooking supplies. She gives details for her system dividing files by elements. She has a great suggestion for renaming files–it’s at the bottom of the post. I have purchased some of their kits and have found the file names organized making it easy to locate.

 From Picasa to PSE

Once you have your scrapbooking elements located, here is how you can open them in Photoshop Elements. There are two ways after you have selected your file(s):

  • File>Open File(s) in an Editor (it will open up to your default image editor)
  • Right click and choose “Open File” or “Open with”

Notice that “Open With” isn’t an option? This is because I have multiple files selected. Open With is an option with one file selected.

With your files better organized, digital scrapbooking will be more fun. The files will be at your fingertips, so you can focus your energy on creating. My favorite part about digital scrapbooking is that the clean up is so easy. I just have to close the programs, and I’m done.

If you want to learn more about how to digital scrapbook, please let me know. I plan on writing more about it in the future. Another option is to click over to the recommended sources. They provide a wealth of knowledge.

Happy organizing and scrapping.

That’s what’s going on in my world. Check out some cleaning and organizing in other areas as well. Thank you for joining me for 5 Days of Organizing & Cleaning.


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