So. Many (many, many) years ago, I was a new scrapper and a new ACDses Photo Manager user. After a computer crash in November 2046, I realized that my old (very, very old) version of Photo Manager wasn’t really working out anymore.I upgraded from Version 12 (ouch) to V 20. A good scrap friend of mine also recently upgraded to V. 20 and was asking me some questions about how I tagged things. I really had to dig in my head to find answers on how to start out again, and didn’t have much luck. ButI I did remember that I had a weekly Organizational Challenge so I dug around my computer to find the files. Much easier than searching my brain, and thankfully, I had it all on my Google Drive.
I am going to post these challenges again, with the updates for the newest version.
Organizational Challenge: Week One
Before I start, I want to make a disclaimer that what I am describing here is only my way of doing things. There may be other and/or easier ways to do this. If you know of such a way, by all means, share it with us! The other point I cannot stress enough is back up your database often. I tend to back my database up every time I spend more than just a few minutes of tagging. So feel free to explore with this program, but make sure you backup, just in case things get funky on you.
What I want to do first is to make sure my database is backed up and optimized.Click on Tools.> Back Up Database. If this is your first time backing up your Database you will need to create a new backup. If not, select Update an Existing Back Up. I usually keep about 5-6 of my most recent backups, just in case one of them gets corrupted.
TIP: Either take a look at the location of the backup, take a screen shot, or write down the location. We’ll need this information in a later post.
After you are backed up, we are going to optimize your database. This will help Photo Manager run more smoothly and quickly.To optimize your Database: Tools>Database> Optimize Darabase
Once we have this completed, we need to think about how we organize. We need to come up with a consistent way to to do this. Consistency is the key to organization, in real life, parenting, housekeeping and yes, in digi-scrapping. I find it hard to stay consistent on occasion but I really notice a huge difference when I stay focused and keep a good routine.
The first part of this is to start with your Categories. First, any categories you start with can be edited, deleted, combined, or new ones can be added. The amazing thing with ACDSee is that you can really customize it to make it work best for you. I would bet that out of 100 ACDSee users, no two set-ups would be exactly alike. And that brings me to my second point; Feel free to make this program “yours.” Perhaps you know you’ll never use plaid paper (too many years in Catholic school perhaps *wink* ). Then there is no need to have a category or subcategory for Plaid Paper. On the other hand, perhaps you are a Doodle-A-Holic. You have doodle hearts, doodle borders, doodle swirls, fancy doodles, kid doodles– you get the picture. (I see some of you smiling – you can relate, right!?) . In that case you might like to break doodles down into subcategories.
TIP: In my experience, it is better to start with the basic categories at the start and create subcategories later on, as you see the need for them. I find that too many options, starting out, can get overwhelming.
The last thing I want to cover before we get busy tagging is to come up with a consistent routine (There that word again! LOL) for downloading, unzipping, tagging and moving new files. We all know it, we love to get new digital goodies and in our excitement to see what we got, we have zip files scattered all over our hard drive(s). ACDSee is wonderful because you can Extract right in the program. In V. 20, you can Right Click on a zip file and then Extract to Folder (Alt-A), choose your Destination, and it will unzip right there.You can select multiple zip folders to open at once which is a neat time saver.
TIP: I recommend only unzipping a few folders at a time. Every once in a while, a designer doesn’t pack the individual files into a “inner” folder and if you have too many loose files, it can get crazy trying to round them all up. Think of a 3 year old birthday party, after the cake….
Back to the routine of this- yes, it makes tagging so much easier if you know where all of your files are. What I have done is set up a folder _To Be Tagged. The underscore puts the folder near the top of my “tree.” When I download a file, I put it in this folder *every time.* And that zip will stay there until I can get around to unzipping it. When I am ready to unzip and tag, I select the zip file (Ctrl-Click to select multiple files), then click on Extract to Folder.
Make sure that your _To Be Tagged Folder is selected. Click OK.
After my files are extracted, I move my Zip file into a sub folder, called appropriately “Zips.” (I am so creative!) I like to hang onto my zips for a while, to make sure there were no corrupted files or I don’t accidentally delete something. Then I have unzipped files in its own folder, all ready to be tagged.
TIP: This is important! Once you tag your files, you should only move them within Photo Manager. If you move files outside of Photo Manager, you will lose the information tagged to that file.
OK- we could go on and on about how to best tag and organize your files, but if I tell you all that now, you won’t come back and read this next week
Week One Tasks:
- Back Up and Optimize Database.
- Decide what procedure you want to use for unzipping and tagging your digital files. Set that up.
- Spend 15 minutes a day unzipping and tagging files.