As Automated As Organizing Can Be

We’ve talked about different methods of organizing digital supplies quite a bit here on The Daily Digi. I’m sure this post won’t be the last. One thing I have learned is that, just as digital srapbooking evolves as technology advances, so does my organizing. I’ve mostly used a
folder based system for most of the time I’ve been a digi scrapper. I also tried (but did not stick with) the PSE organizer, Adobe Bridge, and ACDSee. I liked ACDSee pretty well, but tagging still took me longer than I wanted. I yearned for something more automated and less time consuming.

A few months ago, we had
Kayla Lamoreaux on The Digi Show and she talked about organizing supplies in Lightroom and why it’s a good idea. No, Lightroom is not meant to organize digital scrapbooking supplies, but it does. Lightroom is a good program for organizing digi supplies because:

  • it automatically writes information to the metadata (see Kayla and my post on what metadata is and why it’s important).
  • the metadata goes with the file anywhere it goes and metadata is supported and not stripped.
  • I can select one of my previews and choose “Show In Explorer” and a window opens where the supplies are located and I can start dragging and dropping stuff into Photoshop.
  • The search functions and smart collections save me a ton of time.

Since I started using Lightroom to organize my product previews, I have had a harddrive failure. I did a data restore from Crashplan and all of my tags and keywords I had entered in Lightroom were still in the files in the metadata. After I finished my restore, I pointed my Lightroom catalog to the new drive and everything showed up in the smart collections, and the keyword/tagging structure I had set up before the crash!! (Please take time to go through
Kayla’s free Lightroom class to get Lightroom set up the correct way from the beginning so you are sure to have a similar experience).

Because of the smart collections that Lightroom has, I was able to get all my previews (2300 I think at the time) tagged as previews and then sub-tagged as a supply or template in about 6 hours. I started to add thematic tags during that time as well. Since then, I have gone through and spent a couple more hours adding more thematic tags as well as the number of photo spots on a template. In preparation for this post, I spent another hour or so, just because it reminded me how much I like it
Smile . I talked about my process and how happy I was after my first organization session at the beginning of episode 6 of The Digi Show.

Does this mean you have to start using Lightroom to organize? NO! If you have a system that is working for you, GREAT! If you are using a tagging program, make sure you can actually write the data to the files. ACDSee says you can. I followed the directions I found online for doing it (not easy to find either). I tried to import that database into Lightroom and was disappointed when only 26 tags imported. I did a bit more research to find out that the tagging structure in ACDSee needs to be set up a specific way in order for it to work. Just be careful.

Lightroom works for me because it’s fast. I can also sort things how my brain works: by designer through text searches, by things that might be in the filename, or through my tags I set up. I keep my tagging to a minimal because I would rather scrap

For More Info:

  • You can see all of our organization posts here.
  • Kayla is the expert on organizing software and the good/bad things about each. Be sure to check out her classes and tutorials at her website!
  • Check out mrshobbes experience organizing her previews and how she adapted it to fit her needs.
  • See my answers to some questions here.
  • You can use my Smart Collection list, just copy from here:
    PREV, LRG, 500, 600, wc, prev, _prev, preview, _preview, folder,pre, pvw, bp_LRG, _folder, yin_template