So continuing on with how using your computer to organize your craft room to save you both time and money, not to mention making your room more of a creative space and less of a cluttered mess.
How do I use the computer? Let me count the ways.
1. I am constantly cruising various sites like facebook, pintrest, ebay, blogs, utube and numerous other ones for ideas on everything from organization, to how to videos. At first I use to simply bookmark these sites into my favorites, but soon it became clear I needed to be a wee bit more organized on that aspect. After all I research constantly on information I post in my blogs, how to do something I previously didn’t know how to do, homesteading info, travel info and much more. That meant I needed to be organized about my book marks. It’s simple enough to do, just create subfolders and when you save a bookmark or a favorite you save it to the correct subfolder. Here’s an example:
a. Main favorite folder-crafts
1. Pop-up Cards
By doing the folders in my favorites/bookmarks this way should I want to watch a utube video on how to distress cards I can go to just those websites on that subject. Or if I want to look at ideas for Christmas cards, they are all grouped together. This can save hours of searching for a video you watched back in June in the month of November.
2. As mentioned in the previous post, warranty files and other important data on my equipment are readily accessible.
3. I create a lot of greeting cards and I use the various fonts on my computer to put the verses in them by using Word to do so. Once I create a card I create a file for that card that includes a photo of it, any construction notes such as which cartridge, die or embossing folder I used, a saved copy of the word file I made, sometimes even a scanned image of the paper or cardstock I used if I want to duplicate identically, so when I got to make another copy of the card all I need to do is print it. Time saved for certain.
Because we are working again on our small card business this file also includes the stock number, what papers were used and any other valuable notes. Including sales records on it.
4. What do you have and where is it stored? Many people find they feel they don’t need this file, but I do. The what more than anything. It’s easy to say you know exactly what embossing folders you have when you only have a few and are using those few constantly. But what about when your inventory of folders grows? Are you really going to remember all 100 folders, what they look like, what brand and what size they are? If so your memory is far better than mine. I keep this file not only on my computer, but also on phone, because I never leave home without my phone and you never know when you will stumble upon a sale.
5. Photos of completed projects, items you would like to create, etc. This one is self explanatory. Far easier to scan or take a photo from a craft book or magazine and store that rather than a whole magazine for one item. Many magazines are now sold in digital form as well. I’d much rather have a digital file I could electronically search in a matter of seconds for a specific project than spend an entire afternoon looking for a project I need the how to’s in a hurry for. Don’t get me wrong, I love looking through hard print books and magazines on a leisurely afternoon, but not when I am looking for a specific idea I saw somewhere in a hurry.
6. Recipes for homemade supplies, like glimmer spray, alcohol inks, modgepodge, paper etc. Create a folder for them, put the info there titled exactly what it is and you never have to dig through paper files again looking for that note you jotted down when you saw the how to on it. I often include the website or utube video address when applicable in that note as well.
7. I also keep a list of consumables that I use the most on both my computer and my phone so when I find a sale, I can take advantage of it. In that file I keep records of what it costs normally and what I generally get it for on sale. I’ve actually created this file in my Grocery Tracker ap on my phone.
8. An I want list. Ever get to the craft store and think “there was something I really needed to pick up the next time I was out but now I can’t remember what it was?” Well keep a list, on your phone and on your computer, use the ap GroceryTracker if need be. I do I have the store labeled “Craft Store” and then can keep a running “needs” list in it
9. Inventory is essential to keep a record of on the computer if you sell what you produce in your craft room.
10. Tax records if you are running a home based business with your crafts.
11. Photos, we all have tons and tons of them. They take up a lot of space, get lost, torn, fade or otherwise become unusable in our various projects.
These I scan into various folders, based on who or what they are of, family tree, family vacations, completed craft projects, holidays, the list goes on.
Once they are scanned and copied to a back-up or two then I disperse the photos to other people. I start by offering them to the people in the photos, and other family genealogists. If they are of historical landmarks and are really good photos I will send them to a historical society. Some will get used immediately in craft work, but immediate means immediate. After I have covered all my possible sources to give them to then I disperse them to the trash. I know that sounds harsh, but like any other excess paper they are taking up valuable space and are a fire hazard. Not to mention they fade over time.
12. If you use certain die cutting machines they use svg or digital files,of course you want to store them on your computer for easy access.
13. I recently read on one of the facebook groups I’m on that more and more scrapbookers are printing their own cardstock and paper. I can see definite advantages to this.
For example: if you were doing a two page layout on your trip to the Grand Canyon and had a beautiful panoramic photo of the canyon you could water color print your cardstock with that photo for a one of a kind background.
Another example: was if you were creating for an income and a particular paper or cardstock needed to be used for numerous items there is always a chance you would not be able to find that particular paper product, then what do you do? Enter your computer and printer to save the day.
Yes, they do sell printers that will print 12 x 12, we have an HP 7610 that does exactly that, and it will handle cardstock easily. So after reading that helpful hint I foresee me using that printer more and more instead of strictly using my all in one like I normally do.
14. On an organizational group I am on for scrapbooking I recently saw a notebook a woman had put together that had all the images from her various Cricut cartridges in it. I decided to take this one step further.
Again because I have so few cartridges at this point this little project didn’t take me long at all and now I can look to see what images are available in my library without having to pull every single cartridge off the shelf.
I scanned the front and back of each cartridge box, including the ones I made into a file labeled Cricut cartridges. I titled the scans by their cartridge names with frt and bk on the end of the name meaning front and back. This put all the images into one general file that I could simply scroll through.
However, I also copied the scan a second time with the name of each cartridge in a subfolder with 1 and 2 as the end of the name so there would be no problem with duplicate files alerts popping up. Ie: Damask Decor 1, Damask Decor 2
The computer automatically puts the cartridges in alphabetical order. That way if I want to look at what is on Damask Décor and compare it to Winter Lace I can do so easily without having to scroll through all the other cartridges.
A third thing I did with this folder was I made notation of the following website address: http://mycutsearch.com/ at this website if you are wanting to know what cartridge you would find a certain image on you can put in a search term like “rose” and it will bring up all roses on the various cartridges, along with any phrase or word cartridges with the word rose from the Cricut library. That way you can instantly see if you have a cartridge with a rose on it, or if you were to purchase a cartridge which ones would have roses on them.
A note here about scanning your cartridge boxes. Most scanners do not have a lid that will adjust for scanning things as thick as a cartridge box and you may have trouble getting a clear scan. That problem can be remedied easily by placing something flexible and light colored over the box as you scan it. A white bath towel works great.
Another plus about scanning these images is the ability to enlarge the size on the screen to see if the detail of the particular image is what you want for your project.
15. Designing your layouts, whether it is with the Cricut Craftroom, Design Space, Autocad or simply the design software of your die cutting machines you can design on the computer and save instantly when Aunt Jane calls on the phone without fear of something being spilled on your design while you are away from it.
Those are but a few of the uses, but I bet once you start thinking you will be able to come up with more ways to cut the clutter in your craft room/home office.
Jan who will next do a short post on how doing this project will save you money.