Ready – Set – DOWNLOAD!
Are you ready to Marie Kondo your craft files? Okay, so while I won’t be telling you to hold everything in your hands to see if it sparks joy or not, it is important to keep your digital files organized. Why you might ask? Well, let me set the scene for you. You are finally ready to sit down and craft using that one really cool skull with the flowers that you bought at that last Dollar Event (AFL link). You have your vinyl, your heat press on, and your Cricut Machine ready to roll. You go to upload the design and you search through your downloads folder – nothing. You search in your files – nothing. You search your desktop – nothing. You summon the computer fairy to search through your pc and still nothing. You start questioning yourself, did you download it? Did you delete it? Did you name it wrong? What did the designer name it? How much time have you wasted trying to search for something? By organizing your files, we can prevent the 30 minutes of search panic and get you to crafting even faster!
What is the best way to organize your files though? Year – Month – Category? Do we group by the size, the site, the price? While there are probably HUNDREDS of way to categorize them, I am going to show you the way that I do it which has worked for my craft business (although disclaimer – I still have more than I would like to admit on my desktop and downloads – we are working on that).
Downloading first starts with the actual act of downloading your files. Your PC should prompt you and ask where you want to save your folder, but if it doesn’t you should check under “Downloads”. If you want a spreadsheet to help you keep track of your digital purchases check out this link here.
So first it should be noted that the most popular downloads are
- Craft Files (these are you SVG, DXF, PNG, EPS)
- Fonts (OTF, TTF)
- Social Media Templates
- Sublimation Designs
Knowing this information, it’s only right that we include a folder for each one. Now if you don’t do a lot of social media templates or stickers, feel free to omit those from your folder structure. This is about making a system that will be best for YOU and only you know what that is. These 6 categories might seem specific and rightly so, however, after the 3rd Dollar Event and Freebie Friday, we could end up looking at hundreds of files inside these! Let’s be honest, starting inside of your closet can get a little crazy so we can’t expect our minds to be able to process that vast folder mess. We can go a little more specific with the craft files by creating categories like
- Adults (alcohol, recreational, not safe for work *wink* / dirty quotes)
- Holidays (because come on, there are so many!)
- Home Decor (kitchen, bathroom, doormats, etc)
- Occupational Designs
- School Designs (pre-k all the way to college)
- Sports or Hobbies
From there you can dive even further with specifics like Holiday SVG / Easter, St. Patrick Day, Valentines Day, etc., or Seasonal SVG – spring SVG, summer SVG, winter, fall SVG, and so on and so forth. Again this is a system structure that will best help YOU! Omit what you don’t need or go further. Some categories may overlap like a spring home decor sign. You can choose to copy and paste in both spots or pick the most relevant folder (I would choose spring). Repeat the process for each major category and have fun with it. You can even take it a step further and notate 2021 designs vs 2020 designs if you are good at keeping track of when you make a purchase. You can download the FREE folder system by clicking this link here
We are organized, now what?
Now that you can kind of get a feel for what we are going for, let’s talk about what files to keep and what you can toss. Most craft files will come with a few files inside of a zip folder. If you don’t know how to unzip the folder, be sure to check out this link here. Inside of those zip files, you will find files with extensions like SVG, PNG, DXF, EPS, PDF to name a few. SVG files stand for Scalable Vector Graphic – meaning that you can increase and decrease the size about 100 times and it will not lose its quality. These file types are used inside Cricut Design Space (and upgraded versions of Silhouette Studio) A PNG stands for Portable Network Graphics and is an image that has a transparent background. You can use these for print and cuts, stickers, and sublimation designs if the quality is high enough. A DXF file is Drawing Exchange Format. Similar to an SVG file, it’s a vector graphic that you can use inside Silhouette Studio. An EPS file is an Encapsulated PostScript – or another vector file. You can use these to open up certain editing properties inside of Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, or Inkscape.
So what does all of that mean for you? Well if you are a Cricut crafter, chances are you can delete the DXF file. Cameo users, unless you have the upgraded version of Studio, you can delete the SVG files. If you download a Google Chrome extension, you can preview the images without having to keep the PNG image (unless you want to of course – you can still do amazing things with a PNG file). Unless you are looking to edit a file inside of a robust vector program like Inkscape or Illustrator, you can probably delete the EPS file as well.
When it comes to fonts, more often than not, you will end up with 2 different file type extensions – TTF and OTF. TTF means TruType Font. This is your most basic font options – a real “what you see if what you get” type of font. OTF or OpenType font is the more complex of the two font types. They unlock alternative glyphs, characters, and more. Think about the pretty font that transforms when there are two T’s together. THIS is that OTF at work! So if you are purchasing a pretty font you will want to make sure that you install the OTF file. While you don’t have to keep either format after it’s installed on your computer, having a backup is never a bad idea! If you need to get rid of one though, it would be the TTF.
Mockups are a weakness of mine – I have SO many beautiful photos that I adore! If you are using a program like Canva to create your mockup images (and if you aren’t what are you waiting for?) changes are you can delete the PSD file that may come with your mockup purchase. Unless you are using a stand-alone program like Photoshop or something similar a PSD file is just taking up valuable space on your computer.
*Bonus if you are not a MAC user, you are more than welcome to delete any of the contents inside of the _MACOSX folder systems.
You can rename any file by right clicking and going towards the bottom of the popup menu under rename. Pick a naming system that will help you – especially if you end up having to search for something. “Cool SVG” will only get you so far with your computer – even with the folder structure. Try going for a name like “SVG – Sir Hops A Lot” or “Sir Hops A Lot – Easter” . When you search for that file, you can type in key terms like “Easter” and your pc will search for that term.
Don’t forget that you can still download the FREE folder system by clicking this link here .