As promised in my inexpensive stamp and die storage post, I will show and explain how I organize my dies. Before I get into it, I want to explain a little of its background.
I wanted a system that allowed me to organize all my stamps and dies in a way that I can also add on to my collection, as well as switch or remove things in between without having to change the rest of the system. I also wanted to be able to easily search for exactly what I need without rummaging through my growing collection. Essentially, I needed a system similar to the Dewey Decimal Classification (but a lot more simplified) and a digital catalogue.
After months of thinking, I finally came up with a system and I’m happy to share with you all how I do it. My system makes it easy to search and find exactly what I need! Without further ado, here’s how I organize my stamps and dies (as well as some other craft things).
The foundation of my organizational system is Evernote. You can also use Microsoft OneNote, Google Keep, Apple Notes, etc. Basically, you need something that allows you to make digital notebooks and notes where you can add tags and pictures to the notes. I chose Evernote because it does all those things I mentioned, and I can access it from both my computer and phone.
Before I get into how Evernote is involved in my system, first you need to know how I split my stamps and dies into a few categories, or the identifier:
- SS – Stamps Small (optional)
- S – Stamps
- SL – Stamps Large (optional)
- SD – Stamps + coordinating Dies
- SDL – Stamps + coordinating Dies Large (optional)
- D – Dies
- DL – Dies Large (optional)
You basically only need 3 categories: Stamps, Stamps+Dies, and Dies. However, I split them up by size based on the plastic pocket sizes so everything looks neat when put away. Anyway, the categories are also in my Evernote, but not split by size. However, I also use Evernote to keep track of my stencils, punches, and embossing folders. Under “Other” is a list of my embossing powders and Distress Oxide inks. I’ll talk more about this later.
From there, I give every set an identifier and number. Stamps and dies have 3-digits each, and the rest are only 2-digits. This is because I know I would probably reach over 100 stamps and dies, but not for the rest.
Filing new items
So let’s say I bought a new stamp set. I check what is the highest S.XXX number – let’s say it is S.075. So I take a plastic pocket, put the stamps in, write a new label (that little white rectangle) with S.076, stick it on the plastic pocket, and then I catalogue it into Evernote.
For Evernote, I first go online to find a picture of my stamp by using the handy Evernote Web Clipper add-on to automatically makes a note with the picture embedded inside. If none is available, I will take my own picture and upload it to Google Drive, or directly add a note with the picture from my phone which will then get synced so I can finish working on the note on the computer (easier to work on the computer). In Evernote, I title the note beginning with the identifier and number, a name for the stamp set, and then the company. For example: S.076 Christmas Ostriches – Ctrlenew (yes, I just made this up). If it’s something I bought from Ali Express, then I will put Ali Express as the company. If the items from Ali are imitations of something, then I will add the name of the original item’s company in square brackets. So like this: S.076 Wiggly Worms – Ali Express [Ctrlenew].
[Side note: I do buy stuff from Ali Express and I make sure to note what are imitations so I do not get in serious trouble if I ever do decide to make cards to sell. I’m just your low-key hobbyist, not out to make money or get famous. So spending 5 to 10 times the cost for something is really not in my hobby budget. This is not to say I am proud of what I do, but that original stamps and dies cost WAY too much for it to be a fun hobby.]
Anyway, after I have the picture and title, I start writing tags. The tags describe the stamp or die. For example, if there is a dog, I will write “dog” as a tag. If there are sentiments, I will tag “sentiments” and write out every sentiment as a tag like “hello”, “happy birthday”, or key words in a sentiment if it’s a wordy sentiment. Once the tags are written, the note is filed into the appropriate notebook.
So that is pretty much my little organization system! The tags are the most important part of my system because I can easily do a search and find everything I need. For example, I’m going to make a birthday card and I want something with balloons. So I type in “balloons” in my Evernote search bar and everything I’ve filed that’s a balloon or balloon-related will show up.
Using Evernote Beyond Stamps and Dies
As I mentioned above, I also use Evernote to keep track of my other craft stuff like my stencils, punches, embossing powders, oxide inks, etc. This has come in very handy so I don’t end up buying doubles. For example, sometimes when I attend a craft fair, I’m there to buy stuff… but I can’t remember every single thing I own. Since Evernote is synced automatically between my computer and my phone and it’s all on the cloud, I can easily access my Craft Inventory notebook wherever I am with my phone.
So that’s how I organize most of my craft stuff! I hope my explanation of my craft stuff organization system was easy to understand. If you have any questions, please ask away in the reply box below and I will get back to you!
Have a good day and create some organized happiness today!