The Economical Embroiderer here, bringing you important computer information: clean up your computer desktop and keep your embroidery designs organized!
OK, that may not seem like a big deal, but eventually, it may be. I am making it a part of the Economical Embroiderer series because eventually having tons of embroidery designs on your computer will take up too much space and everything will slow down. If you take the time now to organize your designs and keep up with it every time you download a new set of designs, it will take up less room, and your computer will be faster for longer. True story!
DON’T HAVE EMBROIDERY DESIGNS ON YOUR DESKTOP. Yep, people don’t realize this, but the more you have on your desktop, the longer it takes your computer to boot up and get ready to work. Keep your desktop clean! On all 4 of my computers, I have only 4 folders on my desktop – and my computer functions very well. All of the icons for the programs that you use are simply shortcuts – get rid of them they are just clutter. All you need to do is RIGHT-CLICK on your programs, and select “pin to taskbar” and they will appear at the very bottom of your screen, for easy access. Then all you have to do is take the icon and drop it in the recycle bin. Do that with all of your programs and clean up your desktop.
FILES ON YOUR DESKTOP NEED TO BE CLEANED UP TOO. As I said above, keep your desktop nice and tidy. If you have a ton of embroidery designs, you need to organize them on your desktop, or better yet, take them right off of your desktop! If you must have them on the desktop, then organize them by putting them in folders. You can create a folder easily. All you have to do is RIGHT-CLICK anywhere on the desktop and a list will pop up (similar to the image above) and you can navigate down to NEW FOLDER and name it! That’s it! Then all you have to do is drag and drop (left click and hold) all of your designs into that folder. Double click on the folder and it will open up to show you all of the embroidery designs that you have put in there! Now your desktop should look a bit better – some folders, a file here or there, but you should be able to see the background now! If you can’t see your background picture, keep organizing!
ORGANIZE THE REST OF YOUR EMBROIDERY FILES: At this point, it may be a huge job to get organized BUT if you can find the exact embroidery design that you are looking for in a short amount of time, then it is worth it – time is money, and saving time before embroidery leaves you more time for embroidery, right? Well, that is how I see it – I don’t really want to waste time finding stuff when I can use that time to create and stitch.
People ask what is the best way to organize all of your files. By digitizer? by design name? by design subject? My answer is YES. Each of those or even a combination of those ideas will work just fine. It really depends on what you like. If you would like to know how I do it, hold on because it is a big job. I have been creating embroidery designs for around 15 years, and I have a big BIG list of embroidery files on my computer. The list is so big that I have around 8TB of storage space on my computer. No, I don’t use nearly all of that, but I can if I need to. I think probably if I wasn’t so organized, that hard drive would be filling up faster. Here is how I keep organized.
I keep work files separate from “fun” embroidery files. That is the first “branch” of my folder organization. WORK is one, and Embroidery is the second one, and everything is organized into those two big files. If I am working, I am only using the work folder. Yes, there are many subfolders, etc, but I don’t have to see any embroidery files that are not work-related, so that saves me time.
Let’s look into my Embroidery organization methods. This file folder contains my non-work related digitizing files as well as files from other digitizers. I have some files that are organized into general categories that are easy to find. For example Dogs, Cats, Christmas, Halloween etc. That way if I am looking for some Halloween designs, I am going to have a whole folder full of them. I also have a few digitizers with separate folders. I do that for a few reasons – time-saving would be the main one. When I am downloading designs from Kreative Kiwi, it is easier and faster to put them in one folder directory. I also want to know exactly where Kreative Kiwi’s designs are because I know they will all stitch perfectly, so I don’t have to worry about any of those designs – I have confidence and I just pick what I want and send it directly to my machine. I do have some other digitizer’s work from big companies, and I like to put them in separate folders so I know where they came from.
If I am starting a big project or planning a big project, I like to make a folder specifically for that project so I can keep everything in one place. All the designs that I am thinking about using, I COPY them into that folder. If I don’t end up doing the project, I can simply delete the entire folder, and I am only deleting copies of files – the original files are still organized on my computer. It’s a simple way to keep organized and keep the right designs exactly where you need them.
KEEPING DUPLICATES OF THE SAME FILES: When you are downloading embroidery files, you quite often get ALL versions of that file: PES, DST, JEF, and XXX (singer, if you didn’t know). While it may not seem like a lot of extra files, if you are downloading files that are separated into sizes too, you may have a few extra hundred files that you really don’t need. After a while, that can quickly pile up and take up a lot of space on your computer. The solution is pretty easy and fast and if you do this EVERY TIME you download files, it will simply become a habit. All you have to do is delete the files that you don’t want! Personally, I only keep the EMB files (of course) and PES files, because I only have Brother Machines. You may want to keep the DST files, as that is the commercial version and you can use it on most machines. But cutting out a few hundred files on each design will end up saving you space on your computer.
Computer housekeeping is important and will help you get stitching faster – and a faster computer, too.
COMMENT on how many files/folders you have on your desktop and how many embroidery designs you have on your computer.
Here are my answers: 4 folders and no files on my desktop and….more than 400,000 embroidery files. Can you beat that???
Until next time,
The Economical Embroiderer