Ah the feeling of being organized. When everything is in its place and right where we need it. Because just as we promised ourselves we would back on January 1st 2009, we have contained not only our regular household clutter, but also kept all crafting supplies together by color, manufacturer, style, and type right?
Ha! Me neither.
While the Virgo in me screams for color coding and alphabetizing wherever I can manage it, sometimes the task of getting to that organized point seems just too daunting to tackle. Where I have the most trouble lately isn’t household or crafting clutter however, but rather in one of my new found hobbies, digital scrapbooking. Any digi-scrapper can tell you (or I’m sure you know if you are one) that there are so many wonderful digital supplies to be had at affordable prices online (if not free), that downloading a new kit or alphabet soon becomes a cheap thrill that you just can’t get enough of. Before you know it, your hard drive becomes a haven of digitized ribbons and papers that isn’t as easy to navigate through as it once was. You forget what you have, or don’t realize how perfectly some pieces fit together, or just plain get tired of searching through files and files of supplies and give up.
Though I still consider myself a beginner digital scrapbooker, I definitely have my fair share of supplies collected. I heard about ACDSee Photo Organizing software from a few friends and also saw it discussed on a couple of message boards. Many swore by it, and said it made putting together a digital layout so easy. So, when I discovered that there is a free trial offered on their website, I decided it couldn’t hurt to download it and see for myself.
The download from start to finish was very quick, about 5-6 minutes. You must enter your first name and email address to access the download, so be sure to uncheck the special offers box if you do not want to receive any additional email from ACDSee (future coupons, tips, etc) when you sign up.
I decided the try out the software not to organize my digital photos at this time however (we’ll save that for January 1, 2010), but to get all those digi-supplies managed. Therefore now came the time to navigate through the program itself and see how simple it really was to do so. The remainder of this article isn’t a tutorial for the software, they do offer help and tips if you decide to give it a try, but rather a report of my experience with it. With that in mind, I consider myself only slightly tech-savvy, meaning if it was too much of a hassle to figure out, then forget it.
Once all folders that I wished to organize were added to the wizard, I was warned by the software that cataloging a large amount of files could take some time. Cataloging each of my chosen items into the “Digital Scrapbooking Supplies” category took 6 minutes to do so for 873 items. So it didn’t seem very long at all, especially since a small thumbnail preview of each image is shown as it is added to the database. It was kind of fun to see those supplies I forgot I had already!
I had a bit of an “Ok…. now what” moment once the files were categorized into the Digital Scrapbooking Supplies database. I didn’t find the software as informative on the steps to take next (though I can’t state that I read the help menu, I’m more of a touch and do rather than a read and do person). I knew from experience of using other photo organizing software that I could add “tags” or “categories” to each image to organize them even further, so that’s what I set out to do next.
- Drag and drop them onto the category name
- Right click the item and select the appropriate category.
You can also assign each item to more than one category, as many as you wish. It’s all about creating a filtering system for the software to help you find what you are looking for. This can be addictive, but you’ll learn what you need to stay organized as you go along. I quickly discovered that categorizing into “Ribbon”, “Blue”, “Polka-Dot”, “Tied” was getting a little too ambitious.
And again when I searched for a frame, I clicked on the “Frames” category which I had created and quickly found the one I wanted.
The cost of the photo manager alone with added download fees and a back up copy is around $40 which I do find a little pricey, but I also feel as if I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what the software can do, and plan to test drive it until the trial expires and make my decision.
- Lighting fast viewing of photos once they are in the software, including full-screen. This also makes the organizing easier to do.
- The software recognizes many file types, making the organization of all image files on your computer possible.
- Endless categories which you create based on your needs make it very user-friendly.
- Easy and quick to drag and drop files into Photoshop.
- It seems the more organized you are to start, the easier it will be to use the software’s capabilities (putting all of your supplies into one file for example).
- The categorizing itself is a bit tedious and requires work.
- I feel the software is pricey, especially since I already have organizing capability for photos with Photoshop Elements.
All in all, if you have digital supplies on your computer I really don’t see how you can go wrong by not downloading the free trial to see for yourself how it will work for you.
How about you? Have you used ACDSee before and can offer any tips or suggestions? Any fantastic features that I haven’t touched on here? We’d love to hear what you have to say.