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Old 08-25-2010, 12:00 PM   #1  
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Default drowning in project instructions--help!

Hi,
I am trying to clean up my craft/sewing area and have found my biggest problem is that I have all these projects/patterns/instructions printed out from a bazillion different places and cannot seem to get it organized. I have a little ADHD going so that doesn't help. I'm one of those out of sight/out of mind people so it tends to be everywhere. I'd appreciate any tips for someone like me.
Thanks!
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:40 PM   #2  
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I use file folders in my filing cabinet, separate files for different themes, whatever works well for you.
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:40 PM   #3  
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I had the same problem, so I got a pkg. of 2 huge binders at Sam's and organized them by catagory. It works for me, however, I am very interested to see what others do!!
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:49 PM   #4  
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I keep my instructions in a binder with a card sample paper-clipped to the instructions. I go thru them every once in a while and purge. Sometimes I just HAVE to have them, and then I don't touch them again. Those get tossed. It's hard to part with them, but I remind myself that other ideas/instructions will come along and I'm making more room for them.
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:49 PM   #5  
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I put all my instruction sheets into a binder too. If they are odd sizes you can put them into sheet protectors and then into the binder.
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Old 08-25-2010, 04:12 PM   #6  
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Same here.. I put them in a binder.
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Old 08-25-2010, 04:23 PM   #7  
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I keep them all on the computer in files. I love to scan stuff!
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Old 08-25-2010, 04:26 PM   #8  
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I second the computer. Takes up so much less space.
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Old 08-26-2010, 05:46 AM   #9  
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I have binders that I try to keep categorized -- Techniques, Templates, Projects, Swaps. I also have one binder of card samples sorted by the main stamp set. Then I have an alphabetical index by book. When I print new instructions, I file it in the proper area and then pencil it into the index. When my index gets too scribbly, I update it and print a new "clean" copy. I also have alphabetical tabs in the binders, for example: Techniques A-D; Techniques E-H; etc. That helps me get closer to the actual document without having to thumb through lots of pages. I also have one binder dedicated to Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hope this makes sense. /p
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:15 AM   #10  
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Thanks to everyone for their ideas. I'm thinking I might try the binders--I like the computer idea, too, but does that take up a lot of memory on your computer?
Thanks
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:21 AM   #11  
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not if you do just text or if you resize the pic/jpeg to save bytes...i do a combo of both...and if i need a "hard copy" i print it out on scratch paper...that way i don't feel bad when i send it to shredded paper heaven

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Thanks to everyone for their ideas. I'm thinking I might try the binders--I like the computer idea, too, but does that take up a lot of memory on your computer?
Thanks
TJo
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Old 08-27-2010, 02:17 PM   #12  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by TJo1View Post
Thanks to everyone for their ideas. I'm thinking I might try the binders--I like the computer idea, too, but does that take up a lot of memory on your computer?
Thanks
TJo
Really with cheap external hard drives available who cares how much room it takes up. Just don't forget to organize those files on the computer so you can find what you want easily. Most files are text or pdf, they don't take much room. It's the videos and music that eat hard drive space.
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Old 08-28-2010, 03:34 PM   #13  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by TJo1View Post
Hi,
I am trying to clean up my craft/sewing area and have found my biggest problem is that I have all these projects/patterns/instructions printed out from a bazillion different places and cannot seem to get it organized. I have a little ADHD going so that doesn't help. I'm one of those out of sight/out of mind people so it tends to be everywhere. I'd appreciate any tips for someone like me.
Thanks!
TJo
I, too, am a little (ok, ok....a lot) OCD about keeping magazine pages for the projects or printing out a web project, mainly because I am afraid I will forget about it. But I couldn't find a specific one now if I wanted to! So that doesn't work. I had never thought of scanning the magazine pages; wonderful idea. I could even scan the pretty color of photos that come with the dies I buy! Doing a happy dance! Thanks and I'll keep watching this thread, definitely!! Have a great weekend everyone.
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Old 08-31-2010, 04:39 AM   #14  
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Some on the PC and some in Binders. The problem for me with the PC files are giving them names that mean something. I have them stored in specific folders for types of techniques (watercolor, markers, boxes & bags, etc) but the file names are an issue so I end up having to open each file to see what it is. Not sure I like just having them on my pc but I also hate to maintain my binders. Alas - where are the fairies to file and orgnaize for me....
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:16 AM   #15  
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Think a file cabinet would be the best way because binders are so big and bulky to store.
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:31 PM   #16  
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I find a binder much easier for me to browse through than searching through file folders to find what I need.
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:22 PM   #17  
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I keep everything on the computer. Space and all that yeah... but it's searchable. I can find exactly what I'm looking for in a heartbeat... and have access to any other media related to it.

Scan it if it's from a magazine, add photos of my own samples or downloaded the instructions from the web.

Put it all into one document with links to videos or online information. I can then add notes, modifications, questions that would need to be answered - etc.

I save it with the following naming system:

Type of Project - category - workability - level - date

1 Types -- Card, Scrap, 3-D, GiftSet, Sew, Home Dec, Bookbinding, Misc
2 Categories -- Event, Holiday, theme
3 Workability -- tested, new
4 Level - easy, intermediate, advanced

Sounds complicated, but it's not. Plus, I have cheater files at the top of the list to give me clues to acceptable categories. They are blank notepad files named exactly as I have the list above. The numbers keep it at the top of the list of projects and tells me the order to put the categories.
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:48 AM   #18  
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More than a little ADHD here, so organization schemes are difficult for me to keep up with. Back before carpal tunnel made me stop, I kept my knitting patterns in binders full of clear page protectors. I could take the page protector with a project and not worry about ruining the paper. I had no trouble slipping each new project/technique/stitch into a binder.

If you interested in using the computer to manage a lot of resources, I recommend Evernote. You can use it to clip sections of a web site, save videos, images, scanned text, etc. Because it's online, you can access it from any computer and don't have to worry about filling up your harddrive. Best of all, it's highly searchable.
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:35 AM   #19  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by criminalgraceView Post

If you interested in using the computer to manage a lot of resources, I recommend Evernote. You can use it to clip sections of a web site, save videos, images, scanned text, etc. Because it's online, you can access it from any computer and don't have to worry about filling up your harddrive. Best of all, it's highly searchable.
Also if you MS Office, I think the student version and the more advance versions have OneNote, which is fantastic, it's like a notebook on your computer.
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:40 PM   #20  
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I'm kind of a hybrid. The things I think I'm going to refer to go into binders. I separate by types of projects using tabbed separators. I also use the computer to store the rest of the instructions/patterns, but I put them all on flash (thumb) drives. Doesn't take up so much computer space and I can take them with me if need be. Picked up some 4 GB drives at Fry's on sale, so I'm set!
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:42 PM   #21  
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I keep things in a magazine holder separated into catagories. Takes up less space then binders. If I haven't used the idea in some way within 6 months, it goes into the recycle bin.
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Old 09-03-2010, 07:53 AM   #22  
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I know what you mean about storage. I get several subscriptions and also go to classes so I get a lot of handouts and magazine ideas stacked up too! I scan these into my computer and then later copy it onto CDs. Once that's done and I'm absolutely sure the CD is fine, I go back and delete the scans off of my computer.
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Old 09-05-2010, 09:57 AM   #23  
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I kept mine in binders. I organized them by category. I ended up with about a dozen large binders. I began to realize that when I needed something I went to the internet instead of my binders...............it was quick, easy and didn't take up any space. I recycled all of the paper in those binders and now I don't need that storage space so I can fit more stamps! LOL
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Old 09-08-2010, 02:13 PM   #24  
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I'm in the same boat. I think I'm going to scan mine and save on a flash drive. Our copier at work has the scan to email feature that saves the document as a PDF file so that's my plan.

A few I'm going to keep in either files or binders -- especially those that I've printed in living color!
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:50 AM   #25  
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I have instructions/templates/ideas in different binders...but the only binder I use is the template binder, so I really should purge the others. When I need inspiration, I usually come to Split Coast or Blogs I've saved, so really, my binders are just taking up precious space. Hmmmmm.....maybe I'll get busy and get rid of them, but you know what I'll be doing? Just looking and looking and getting more ideas from them once I open them! Now, as I'm reading this back, I'm thinking I could put all the instructions into a computer file, take pics of ideas and save them....OK then...bye bye...gotta get busy!
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Old 09-09-2010, 05:12 AM   #26  
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I have enough of a task keeping my card stock and scrappapers under control, without adding more stuff to the crafting clutter. So I rarely print anything out. If I really am going to use something (not I think I might use it, I mean really use it), then I may just print off a template. Otherwise I just save a few things onto my computer, but only if I'm really, really going to use it.

I have not bought a ream of printing paper in several years and I've saved heaps of money on printer ink. Once upon a time I use to print off stuff, but in truth I can't say that I utilized a tenth of what I 'thought' I'd like to get around to doing. But I did end up with a stack of disorderly papers that eventually ended up in the landfill.
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Old 09-13-2010, 05:29 PM   #27  
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The computer file system also works fine, if you use a USB memory stick to save your instructions and pages on this unit only. Won't have to worry either if your computer crashes, as this device is plugged in where your camera jack goes. Just save the little gem into a mini tote for future use.
Use it all the time for my digital images



Quote:

Originally Posted by TJo1View Post
Thanks to everyone for their ideas. I'm thinking I might try the binders--I like the computer idea, too, but does that take up a lot of memory on your computer?
Thanks
TJo
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Old 09-22-2010, 05:14 AM   #28  
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Not so long ago I was introduced to delicious.com. This is where I now store all of my bookmarks with different tags. I love that they're all at my fingertips.
Best wishes with whatever method you choose that works best for you!
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Old 09-22-2010, 05:28 AM   #29  
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I scan or download everything, instructions, templates, samples ideas etc and keep it all on a hard drive so I don't lose anything when the computer packs up
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Old 09-22-2010, 06:05 AM   #30  
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Default Storing instruction sheets

I used to save every piece of paper that had something on it I wanted to make... eventually I had the same thing....Stacks and stacks of papers and I couldn't find anything!!
Now I scan everything!! I have a folder on my desktop for scrapbooking and in that folder I have folders for each category. When I find something I want to keep, I scan it and put it on my desktop. When that starts to look cluttered I put them into their correct folder. It saves time, paper and when I want to find something I just go to that folder and look thru all my scanned pages. It works great! If you want to be safe, put a copy on a CD and save it.....I do this periodically.
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Old 09-22-2010, 06:40 AM   #31  
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I just thought of this idea for you. If you are visual: store a photo of a project, or project using the technique, you want to reference. Before saving the photo, add text with the name of the location of the instructions: either the web location or the file name on your computer then store the photo using software that allows you to tag the photo. Windows Live Photo Gallery is awesome and helps you find photos by date topic and you can get it to recognize faces. Then you can tag the photo with multiple categories like paint, ink, stamping, 3D, boxes, cards etc, whatever applies. Later, you can search by one or more of your tags to find what you want.

I just thought of this because, like one of the above posters, I can't remember what a file contains unless it is very unique. I can't tell you how many 'candy box' files I have! If you don't have a scanner for all those magazine pages, I believe copy shops will do it or maybe you can offer to bring over a treat for a friend in exchange for using theirs.
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Old 09-22-2010, 06:57 AM   #32  
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A little addendum because the edit button won't work for me (weird!) You can download the program for free. Yeah! It also has basic but decent photo editing. I blog using Windows Live Writer which is free to download too!
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Old 09-22-2010, 08:10 AM   #33  
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I myself click and paste the instructions to word and print it out 2 colums to a page and reduce the size of the font so it's more compact. I also shrink the pictures down too. Then if I need to make notes on the page I do so and then I keep them in binders.

For things like Lauren Meaders templates and such that I've purchased I have a thumb drive 8gb that I save all those to and print as I need them.

I also keep another for my digi scrap papers & elements and such as well as one for my finished digi pages. I know which one is which and it makes storage so much easier, not to mention portable and it keeps your computer free'd up too!
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:05 AM   #34  
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I save all my ideas by theme--flowers, animals, buildings, (then subdivide into more specific categories), designs, baby, various holidays etc. If these come from a magazine, I cut out the picture and the instructions (making it smaller, if necessary) and paste it on 4X6 index cards. These fit into several shoe boxes which go into my file cabinet. If they come from an on-line source, I save them into identical categories in folders in my document files. When I make cards, I pick a theme, choose the ideas I want to try and, after using, throw away or delete the idea. I have so many ideas I will have to live to be 300. I have stopped my magazine subscriptions as there are so many ideas on SCS that I don't need any more. I'm OCD and love to organize, so this works for me. Hopefully you will find an idea here that helps you make use of your ideas. Good luck!
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:33 AM   #35  
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Red face Memory stick...

I love the memory stick idea!!! Guess what I'm buying payday??? And it will be an extra benefit by cleaning up my computer....thanks so much for sharing!
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Quote:

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The computer file system also works fine, if you use a USB memory stick to save your instructions and pages on this unit only. Won't have to worry either if your computer crashes, as this device is plugged in where your camera jack goes. Just save the little gem into a mini tote for future use.
Use it all the time for my digital images
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Old 09-22-2010, 12:34 PM   #36  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by psychspaView Post
I have binders that I try to keep categorized -- Techniques, Templates, Projects, Swaps. I also have one binder of card samples sorted by the main stamp set. Then I have an alphabetical index by book. When I print new instructions, I file it in the proper area and then pencil it into the index. When my index gets too scribbly, I update it and print a new "clean" copy. I also have alphabetical tabs in the binders, for example: Techniques A-D; Techniques E-H; etc. That helps me get closer to the actual document without having to thumb through lots of pages. I also have one binder dedicated to Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hope this makes sense. /p
Want to come organize me?????????? Yowza! I am totally impressed.
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Old 09-22-2010, 12:41 PM   #37  
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I store many things in binders: knitting and quilting patterns each have their own binders; I have several paper crafting binders which I mostly keep technique and project instructions in. I always use page protectors - to protect my patterns or to keep pieces together. I really like dragging the binders to the family room, the yard, my bedroom, the car to peruse ideas. I don't have a laptop so couldn't do that with my computer. Card ideas I frequently keep in computer files (organized by company, stamp set and theme) then search and print them when I need ideas.
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Old 09-22-2010, 07:53 PM   #38  
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Smile SORTING PROJECTS

I have ringbinders
Cards
Boxes & 3D
Anything else
The binder is full of clear pockets and you can put front to back 2 projects in each pocket.
The front page has the picture and followed by instructions.
You just have to remember to file them as they come in
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:14 PM   #39  
Cardstock Collector
 
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I keep mine in a file cabinet in folders and put a picture on the outside of the folder to save time and effort in looking for a specific project.

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Old 09-24-2010, 10:34 AM   #40  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by budooView Post
I keep them all on the computer in files. I love to scan stuff!
I used to tear out pictures & instructions from magazines. Now I just scan them & keep them organized in folders on my computer.
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