Organize with Pinterest

Originally posted in 2015. Notes for changes have been added in time to the very end of the post.

One of the best embroidery tips I received from my friends when I started this new hobby obsession was from my friend Susan, of Creations by Suebella.  (I am so blessed to have paper crafting friends who helped me get started in embroidery and were so generous to share what they learned and helped me know what to get.)  Susan shared that she had pinned her embroidery files to a pinboard on her Pinterest account!  It allowed her to use her computer or her phone to easily scan through to find a file and, since it linked back to the vendor, she had all the info she needed about her files.

I resisted doing this because I had a couple hundred or so files, but I did it because I could see this was going to be a good way to keep track of them.  And it was FREE!

And just so you know, I had already been saving my files on my external hard drive by vendor, and already backing that up with Carbonite, and already printing off a hard copy of my files so that I had a visual representation of my files arranged by vendor in binders.  I also already had thumbnailing software in place to see my files as a picture on my computer screen, and not just as a name or number.

But the idea of having a picture of my growing collection of embroidery files in my phone and on my (or any!) computer...that opened my eyes to the possibility of cataloging my files visually!  So I did it.  I made a set of pinboards and all of my files were cataloged on one of those boards.  This was my initial list of pinboards: 
Faux Smocked
Fonts, Alphas
Frames, Patches
FSL (Free-standing lace)
ITH (In-the-hoop)
Quilt Blocks

Every file I bought went into one of those categories.  I started those boards with "AAA -" so that they would come up first as I was pinning.  I also added a board-- a secret board!-- called AAA-HOLDING.  That would allow me to pin things as I was adding them to my shopping cart on sites.  They were all in one place and easy to remove if I changed my mind or got distracted and didn't buy them.  Once purchased and downloaded, I could easily move them onto their correct board.

And it seemed perfect...until I started doing baby gift sets in themes and I realized that I had a lot of files with similar themes and that it would be really, really helpful to have them together.  And I was getting more files-- sales and freebies are EVERYWHERE!!  I figured it might also help me to avoid buying things that I already had that were similar...since I was finding myself starting to do that.  I added duplicated pinboards.  Every file would go on one of those listed above AND they might also get pinned onto a theme board if they applied.  These are the themes I added:

Alice in Wonderland
Beach, Sea, Sand
Easter, Spring
Frog Turtle
Hooded Towels
Robots, Space

These files I added and gave the prefix "AAA - ZD -" because I wanted them to come up right after my initial categories. I add new themes as my buying habits or needs dictate.  (The "D" stands for duplicate).

That was working great...until...I decided that in addition to being able to look up files by theme or type, I also wanted to be able to do so by vendor.  At this same time, I realized that seeing the files on my phone on my Dropbox would be very helpful as I repinned every file to a vendor board...and I uploaded all of my files to my Drop Box. 

I gave the vendor files the prefix "AAA - ZV -" and that made sure that they appeared after the theme boards.  (The "V" stands for vendor).

On my computer, the embroidery pinboards were my last added so they were automatically at the bottom of my Pinterest page.  I dragged them to make them alphabetical within type, theme, and vendor and added an empty board (that I later added an arrow to) that serves as a placeholder so that it is easy to find where my embroidery catalog begins since it starts after all of my regular pinboards on my account.

Between my Pinterest pinboards and my dropbox, I can see exactly what I own.  My daughter can easily pick fonts she wants me to embroider for her and I can easily see what I have already in my crafty arsenal.  It was so helpful that I plan to organize my SVGs and sewing patterns this way too!
I hope this is helpful to you if you are thinking of using Pinterest to organize your crafty world!

Organizing Embroidery Files Quick Tips from this Post (in case the subtleties passed you by):
  • Find a way to store your files so that they don't slow your computer.  I use an External Hard Drive.  (Beware using thumb drives for long-term storage.  The hard drive is the house for your embroidery files; the thumb drive is the car that gets them to the embroidery machine!)  Some people store exclusively on the cloud.  
  • Be sure to have a back up of your files on the cloud.  I use both Carbonite and Dropbox.
  • Give yourself a visual catalog of your embroidery files.  I used to make a paper printout of my files that I kept in binders, set up alphabetically by vendor as well as using Pinterest pinboards for a digital catalog.  Almost immediately, I found that I did not use my physical printouts and they became burdensome to maintain.  Now, with thousands of files, they would have taken up dozens of binders which is totally impractical.  
  • To catalog my embroidery files I have on Pinterest, I first pin them to a basic type (filled, applique, font, etc.), then by theme (as many as apply), and then I pin by vendor. Everything gets pinned twice (type and vendor).  Some things get pinned multiple times on various theme boards as well.
  • To see your file as a picture on your computer hard drive, you will need thumbnailing software.  I got SewIconz by S and S.  I was gifted Embrilliance Thumbnailer, which works with Mac as well as PC.  The added benefit to crafters is that the software will also show SVGs and quilting files.
Edited on August 7, 2016 to add:  When this was originally posted, my prefixes were perfect and could be read (original prefix for vendors, for instance, was AAA - ZZVendor).  I changed the prefixes to be shorter after Pinterest made a change to their fonts which made my boards with prefixes unreadable.  I changed them above too in this article.  I have also added more categories and more vendors to work for my needs as I discover things that make sense for me.  It is my hope that this info will give you a place to start and ideas to get you started to make your boards work best for you.

Edited November 29, 2017 to add:  Pinterest now allows unlimited "Secret" boards so I have made all of my embroidery pin boards secret.  This not only allows me the privacy of my purchases, but it also prevents people from having to see my same file pinned multiple times!  Since originally writing this post, I can say that I use my phone infinitely more to simply peruse my boards because my phone keeps my pinboards alphabetized.  They are all alphabetized using my prefixes when I am pinning and the list pops up, but only on my phone do they stay alphabetized for simple browsing board-by-board.  And an added feature that I hadn't predicted:  when Hang To Dry went out of business and shut down their website, all of my pins remained, even though they don't link back to the original listing.  

1 comment:

Ladybug said...

Thank you sooooo much for this info, Nadia. How wonderful! :-)

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