Is this what your desktop looks like?
"Where do I put my files once I download them?" or "How do I organize my files?" are two of the most common questions we receive. There's nothing worse than sitting down to work on a project only to spend minutes (hopefully not hours) looking for your SVG files.
Your File Cabinet
It doesn't matter if you're on a Mac or PC, pretend that your computer is a file cabinet. Just like a file cabinet, your computer stores documents (SVG files, pictures, word documents etc). And just like a file cabinet, your computer gives you the ability to group similar documents in folders. Are you with me so far?
You know that screen that you see when you first boot up your computer? Yeah, the messy one with all of that stuff on it. That is your desktop and is NOT to be used as your file cabinet! I like to pretend that the desktop is like the table in your craft room. In a perfect world, you would only leave your current projects and/or commonly used items on your craft table. You don't use your craft table to store your ribbon and paper, right? The desktop should be a fairly clean space that allows you to get to where you want to go quickly!
1. If you are running Windows Vista, XP, 7 or 8, you have a personal folder that Windows automatically creates for you when you first login to your computer. In my case, the folder is my name (Leo Kowal) because that is the username I created when I first purchased my computer. Click the Windows Start button. Click your username to open your personal folder.
2. Your personal folder should look something like this. This is where any and all of your files should go. I'm not just talking about SVG files, I'm talking about your photos (into the My Pictures folder), Tax forms (into the My Documents folder) etc. Note: You may have more folders depending on what programs you have installed. In the next step, we're going to create a new dedicated folder for your entire collection of SVG files!
3. Right-click on an empty area of your personal folder. Highlight New from the pop-up menu and click Folder.
4. Give your folder a name! It can be anything you want. I named mine "Leo's SVG Library".
5. Double-click on your new folder. This is where you're going to start saving your SVG files.
6. Now that you have a folder dedicated to your SVG files, you can begin to organize it however you'd like! By theme, holiday, color and even by the source of the SVG files (SVGCuts.com). Simply drag your existing SVG files into the new folder(s) and if you're downloading a file for the first time, just save it directly to your new folder!
While it's important to keep your SVG files together in one main folder, there is no right or wrong way to organize your SVG files inside that folder.
Create folders for specific holidays, seasons etc.
By Design Type
Keep your bags, cards, scrapbook layouts and 3D projects in specific folders.
Keep all of your SVG files organized based on where they are from.
Advanced Users and Backups
I'm aware that many of you are advanced users and have no issues with file management and organization, this tutorial isn't for you! I also know that some of you like to store your files on an external hard drives and that is totally fine in my book! Just don't forget to backup your files! Internal or external, all hard drives are the same and at some point, they will CRASH. The best way to backup your files is to a CD or DVD. Never backup your files on a flash drive. They are way too volatile for long-term storage.
As I mentioned before, there is no wrong way to organize your SVG files. You can feel free to organize your SVG files by company first and then add themed sub-folders inside the company folder. The possibilities are endless and personal preference will play a big role in determining what is right for YOU. The goal of this article is to help you find a home for your files and help you understand a little more about how your computer stores files and how to make your life easier by learning how to customize the way they are stored.