Digi Downloading Tips


One of the first things a digi newbie needs to learn is how to download and unzip files. Surprisingly, there are many ways to manage downloading, so even a seasoned digi veteran can always learn a few tricks in this area as well. I (Katie) have been digital scrapbooking for almost 6 years now, and I only recently streamlined my own downloading process thanks to something that Steph mentioned to me in a podcast.

Here’s my current process:

  • As soon as I complete an online digital scrapbook purchase (or find a high-quality freebie), I immediately save the zip files to my computer hard drive. All my downloads go immediately to a folder labeled “downloads”.
  • After I’ve accumulated a few downloads (never waiting more than a day or two), I use the unzip them all tool (it’s free!) to quickly unzip multiple files at once.
  • I quickly check all unzipped downloads to be sure there were no corrupt files and that I got everything. That’s the main reason why I never wait too long to do this – many sites keep the download links active in your account for a few days. It’s also much easier for a shop owner to go in and reset download links on a recent purchase rather than having to wade back through months of orders to find yours.
  • I delete all my zip folders once I have unzipped the contents. I know many digi scrappers keep these for their files, but I don’t feel like there is any need to do this.
  • I like to consolidate my unzipped download folders at this point. I generally like to have only 1 file per kit or product. I may keep subfolders within that main folder (especially for alphas), but I like to keep it all neat & tidy. You can read more about my organization process in the post Digital Scrapbook Organization – 3 Ways.
  • Once my files are consolidated, I move them to my external hard drive organization system. Sometimes, if I plan to use the download right away, I will also keep a copy on my laptop so I can easily access it.

It’s a pretty simple system and it works for me. However, not everyone is the same and there are other ways to accomplish the same tasks, so I thought it would be helpful to share what some of our team members here at The Daily Digi do to manage their downloads.

Heddy’s process:

  • With scrap supplies, I download into my SCRAP DOWNLOADS folder and unzip right away. This is because I’ve had corrupt zip files in the past and it can be a pain to have a download reset by a store after a certain amount of time has passed.
  • With kits, once I unzip them, I organize them right away by renaming the main folder DESIGNER NAME – KIT NAME and creating sub-folders ALPHA, ELEMENTS, and PAPERS. If a kit has two or more paper zips, I consolidate them all in one PAPERS folder to make it easier to scrap with. I also drag the kit preview into the top folder and tag it in ACDSee right away. Later on, once I’m ready to actually use the kit, I tag the individual elements and papers. (This makes it very easy for me to know which kits I’ve scrapped with before and which ones haven’t been used.)
  • Once I’m done those quick steps, I delete the zip folder. I’m embarrassed to say that I used to keep my zip files in a folder up until last year! I had about 80 GB of them! After doing some research, I found out there’s no need to keep them and I happily deleted them (and freed a bunch of hard drive space!).

Melissa S.’s process:

  • I download zips into a folder, then unzip them using unzip them all onto my main HDD and re-download any corrupted files if necessary.
  • I unzip them into the designer’s name and then leave them however the designer organised them otherwise. I delete all the extra folders for the Mac.
  • I keep my zip files until I have about 4GB then burn them off on to a DVD as a backup. I delete the zips and then backup my supplies onto an external HDD using Synctoy. I don’t use the HDD all the time as they tend to go flakey. So I have 3 copies. I on DVD, one on my HDD and one on my External HDD.

Lauren’s process:

  • I use ALZIP and when you right click over the zip you can click on “extract ALL to folder” which i love!
  • I also agree on unzipping right away because of the issue w/ improper downloads and what not.
  • I also remove copies of previews (you know how sometimes the put them in EACH folder!) and i rename the preview I keep “folder” if it’s not already named that way.
    if the kits in multiple folders, I put them all into one (usually the paper folder). I like them nice and tidy!

Jenn’s process:

  • I download everything to my desktop so I can see it and it makes me organize and unzip it faster because it drives me crazy to have a bunch of files on my desktop.
  • I use Zip Genius, and I try to unzip as I’m downloading to make sure none of the files are corrupt, and as soon as I check to make sure the file contents are all there I’ll dump the zips into the recycle bin.
  • Any scrapbook products that I download get renamed by Designer_KitName. If the kit is broken up into individual folders I’ll put them all into one folder, with only a subfolder for an alpha if there was one included.  I don’t like to have to click through a bunch of folders to find things, and tend to scrap easier if I can just open 1 folder and find all of the paper/elements mixed together as it helps me to visualize the items together better.

Trina’s process:

  • I use UnzipThemAll as well, although it took me awhile to figure it out.  It is such a time saver!  I download to 2 spots – New Downloads (for stuff I’ve purchased) and CT Downloads.
  • I unzip right away and delete the zips.  I’ve found that when downloading some stores limit you to downloading 2 things at a time, but even if they don’t limit it, I tend to stick with downloading 2 zips at once, otherwise it downloads too slow and actually takes more time.  A lot of times I don’t have time to download something right away, so I keep the e-mail from the store with the download links in my inbox until I download.  I hate having a cluttered inbox, so this always reminds me to go download what I’ve purchased.
  • I use Mozilla Firefox, and I love the Download box that pops up, it comes in handy for remembering which was the last download link you’ve clicked on (I could never remember that using IE).

Tara’s process:

  • Currently when I download a file from a shop etc. I save it to my favourite place!!! My Desktop.
  • Then I right click and select Extract All. I move my Zip file into the Zip Folder I keep on a separate drive.
  • Then I file the folder in my scrap folders, I move it to my main folders and then to the back up I keep on an external drive.

Anne’s process:

  • I’ve recently started working on a Mac laptop, so I’m still trying to figure out the inns and outs on this one. But when I used PC I loved my 7-ZIP download manager. I could download up to seven files at once and I could adjust where I wanted the zips to be stored right away.


Who knew there were so many ways to download & manage files? Even though we all had differences in our downloading process, we all had a common goal – unzip & organize those digi goodies as quickly as possible so we can get scrappin!

Here are a few related links worth checking out:

Happy Downloading!

katie big