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Organizing Your Embroidery Design Collection

"Great!  I just downloaded 200 new designs yesterday and I can't find the one I want today!"

Ask me how I know!  : - ) 

Sooner or later everyone realizes that we accumulate a LOT of designs pretty quickly and that it's easy to forget where the one is that you wanted if you don't have a system.  Here is the system that most people use after their library gets pretty large.  Why not start now organizing your designs this way and when your collection gets huge, you will already have a system that works.

The basic question is "What's the best method of organizing my designs?"

We could just make one folder and put them all in there.  Of course, that would mean looking at every design every time we want to find a particular one.  Why spend the time waiting for thousands of design graphics to load when there's a better way?

We could make separate folders for every category of design and split our designs up by category.  That's a more usable plan because we can just go to the "Dogs" folder and look through our designs for the dog design we want.  But there's another problem with this method.  Who made the design and what are their covenants on it's use?

Some design makers allow you to sew out their design on something and then sell that item at a craft fair.  Other designers only allow "personal" usage.  How can you keep them straight if they are all mixed together?  And if a friend admires something you have done (that's part of the game isn't it?), then how will you tell them where to get that same design?

This brings us to the third method most people use for organizing their designs and the one that seems to work best as a long-term solution with thousands of designs.

What's the solution? Organizing Designs By Digitizer

The most popular method around our studios is to create one folder called "Embroidery Designs" then create several folders under it named for the site or company that created the designs going in that folder.  If you make items to sell then you make want to save a copy of that companies terms of use in their folder too.  Just copy their terms-of-use statement and save it as a .txt file using NotePad.

Here is a photo showing the file structure...

For some reason it's easy to remember who made a design so it's pretty easy to get the right folder on the first try.   Making backups is easy too.  Just copy the entire "Embroidery Designs" folder to your backup media. (CD, DVD, HDD, etc.) on a regular basis.

Once you have the digitizers folder created, add sub-folders for the categories of designs like this...

Then save your designs into the appropriate category folder.


Now when you are looking for designs, just look in the folder of the website you got the design from and in the category of the design you're looking for and it should be there.  If it's not there (once in a while we forget who made the design) then you can do a quick look in another digitizer's folder.  As long as you only create categories for designs that you have from that digitizer, it's  pretty easy to peak in a folder for a digitizer and see if you have a sub-folder for the category you want or not. 

I found this method to work very well for finding designs.  As I said before, backing up designs is easy, just drag the "Embroidery Designs" folder onto your backup CD or backup hard drive and go grab a cup of coffee while it backs up every design in the folder.  

You may have noticed that I can see what each design is without opening it.  That's Iconizer! It is part of Embird and you can download a 30-day free trial from their website.  





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