I've been a die hard Photoshop Elements user since version 2, I believe. One of my favorite things about Photoshop Elements (besides RadLab) is the Organizer. I love having all my supplies organized and being able to use the organizer when I'm creating a layout to find exactly what I need.
I thought I'd write up a post to walk you through how I use Organizer. First, when you open Organizer for the first time, it will ask if you want it to search for all photo files and add them to Organizer. For me, the answer is "no." I only want my Project Life supplies in Organizer... not every photo file I own. Now if you want to include all your photos in Organizer, you certainly can. You can take photos with dates, by who is in the photos, by place, etc. if you'd like. I'm choosing to only organize my supplies.
Here's a screen shot of how I add supplies into Organizer:
And now I see that I cropped that a little too much. I choose Get Photos and Video>From Files and Folders. I point Organizer to one folder of supplies.
Then all the items in that folder will show up like this:
One thing I find very helpful to do is select all my items, right click and choose "Add caption to selected items." In the caption I add the designer's name and the product name. Lately, I have actually been going to the website where I purchased the items and copying and pasting the product name from the website. This makes it easy for me because when I'm using Organizer, I tend to have really long supply lists, which I then link here on the blog directly to the product. If I put the product name from the website, I can simply copy and paste that right into google and usually, the product page will be the first search result. Really easy for me to find it to link it that way.
Second, I tag with the name of the designer. In the right hand column, you'll find keyword tags. Organizer will set you up with some common tags. I tend to delete all these and create my own categories. You can do this by clicking on the green plus sign at the top of the column.
You can set this up however you'd like. You can always go back and edit your tags, combine them, etc. Here's my list of tags:
Category: Project Life
- 12x12 Backgrounds
- 3x4 Cards
- 4x4 Cards
- 4x6 Cards
- Word Art
Next I have colors and designers. These are pretty obvious, so I won't list them here.
Then I have my Themes. This has been a work in progress for me. My broad categories are:
- Friends & Family
- Letters & Numbers
- Project Life Themes
- Things We Do
Each of these has a variety of sub-catgories. The "project life themes" category is the biggest. It features sub-categories like today, you, life, best day, bad day, etc. Anything that I find recurring in my supplies but that isn't something that easily fits in one of the other categories. I'm constantly adding to this area and I don't think it will ever be complete.
To tag, simply click on the appropriate tag on the right and drag it over onto the photo. You can ctrl+click on a bunch of files and the tag will appear on all the highlighted files. It goes pretty fast if you sit and do it while watching TV. Or during six snow days.
The best part of having all my items organized? When I go to create my weekly layout, I know I'm going to use black and white filler cards, for example. I can click the 3x4 filler card box and the black box... and all my black filler cards will magically appear in the Organizer. And only my black filler cards. If want a 4x6 filler card, just unclick 3x4 and click 4x6. If I want word art for a photo of someone laughing, I click Word Art and Laughter. Having my files in Organizer allows me to look with out bias for the original intent of a file (for example, I've used Project Mouse for my regular weekly layouts rather than just Disney) or for who created a file (I tend to go for Ali Edwards when it comes to word art, but I have a lot of other stuff that I'm more likely to use when I see it all in front of me instead of having to search through folders). My Project Life spreads seem much more detailed and fun now that I'm using Organizer.
Plus, organizing makes me so darn happy. :P