Friday, May 24, 2013
Inventory Organization Tutorial - Day to Day Maintenance
Several people mentioned struggling with Day-to-Day organization after my last tutorial on how to set up folder organization, so I thought I'd say a few words on how I do it, and they get back to the incredibly important fact that exclamation points (!) make folders go up, and tilde's (~) make them go down. You can stack exclamation marks and tildes in order to impose order beyond the alphabet as well, and for my really top level folders I tend to use five or six to try to outsmart stores that use two or three. I'm also going to add a few notes for bloggers or people who pick up a lot of fatpacks about how I limit the effect on my inventory, while keeping my options open by not deleting too much. I'm a bit of a packrat because I'm never sure when something good but not usually my style will come in handy for an idea or challenge, which is part of why my inventory is so enormous.
The basis of my day to day organization is in the objects folder, where most things go except for landmarks and notecards, and how I keep things organized is through a combination of folders-with-purpose and five minutes here and there to move things out of the main folder and into the appropriate sub folder. Your sub-folders will most likely be very different from mine, but I tend to separate out by the different tasks I do in Second Life so that when I want to do something I can find what I need fairly easily. You'll see what I mean as I go.
My objects folder has a few different exclamation point folders, two important tilde folders, and a few in the middle showing what I'm up to now (or recently); some of these I'll go into more depth below, but now I'll just give a brief overview of each of them and why I have them.
At the top is my main working folder, marked out to show so by the sheer number of exclamation points and showing what I spend most of my time on - To Be Blogged. This includes not only promotional items from different stores, but also projects that I think of and things I'd like to blog, as opposed to filing away safely in my bodyparts and clothing folders for later use.
Below that is "Building Projects", which is the folder for anything I make for my own use, like props for pictures or the fountains I made early on in Second Life.
Below that is "Games," which includes anything HUD driven, records of past games, and the prizes form recent games where that has happened.
The final exclamation point folder is "Transfer Ok" which includes any extras from Gatchas I play, as well as lucky chair items or clothing items I no longer want on this account. Sometimes I'll transfer them to an alt account which is a holding space for transfer-ok items, and sometimes I'll pass them to friends on holidays or when they're a little sad, but it's essentially a pile of gifts waiting to be moved on.
Next are three normal folders, two of them events I am currently doing or recently finished, and one a standard hand-out for new players. "MadPea Inca Hunt" is just what it sounds like - the HUD and props for the current MadPea game (which I may not finish; the creepy/scary ones are never my favorites). "Fantasy Faire" is all of my things around the fantasy faire, both stores I officially blogged, stores that just passed me things, and things I bought. I just haven't gotten around to cleaning it up yet, so it hangs there.
"New Resident Kit" is a special folder of gifts and information for new residents when I run across them on the grid. It includes links to different tutorial areas, my Newbie and Introductory stuff on this blog, and ways to get some cool stuff in your first thirty days. It's always quasi out of date, since I check it maybe twice a year, but it's sometimes enough to give someone a foothold in Second Life.
The crux of how I organize myself is in the two tilde folders, though - "New" and "To Open". Anything new and already opened goes into "New" if it doesn't go into one of the other folders. Anything new and in a box goes into "To Open". Sometimes I mix things up between the folders - in fact "New" has a smaller "To Open" folder at the top of it for just this event - but it works well to keep things out of my main folders so I can keep track of what I have and what I'm doing.
I'm going to give you some more details on how I organize some of the main folders below, and then describe exactly how I keep organized toward the end.
"To Be Blogged" is probably my longest folder in terms of organization simply because it's the only place where I break things down by store instead of any other criteria. I may end up subdividing into "Body Parts", "Clothing," and "Jewelry" soon, but right now this is how it stands. Oddly, this folder says a lot about my relationships with creators and who I was very close with before I started getting releases from them - i.e. my "Charlie and Aydryan Like Me" folder, which appeared early in the genesis of this folder organization and still makes me smile, so I keep it. Both of them own stores, and when they branched out into clothing they started handing me stuff to blog; I have simply piles and piles since I'm so horrid at timely releases, but they still like me, and that is my balm. Below, I have items I'd like to blog, and you can also see the folder "Neat Packaging" where I keep one project I'm still working on, where I photograph myself with interesting packaging from different stores. This is a way to plan for things long term and keep the different stores organized so everything can be found quickly.
Next down is the building projects, which except for PhotoProjects and Photography Supplies is pretty much archives. I also keep other things I need handy, like a newbie box. You can see I use a tilde to knock "Old Projects" down to the bottom. I also keep boxed extra mesh items and my archives of different things like extra fish from fishing and that sort of thing under "archives". This way I can find everything, but it's not in my face all the time.
The Games folder is again, pretty straightforward. Each game gets a folder, and when I accumulate enough of one thing - like breedable animals - I make a "Breedable" folder and put everything under it. Again, I use a tilde to knock my "Solved/Finished/On Hold" games down to the bottom where they don't get in the way. You can see this folder is a bit less maintained because I just don't go into it often, and there's not much here.
That's the end of the organizational folders - the next section is all about using two folders to keep yourself from drowning in things while still being able to find what's new.
Tucked at the bottom of my "Objects" folder are the nerve center of how I keep myself organized - "New" and "To Open", both of them dropped to the bottom using a tilde. Like I said above, "New" is where things go when I think they're open, and "To Open" goes boxes and folders of boxes. This means that when I'm in the mood to open a whole bunch of boxes, I know where to go, and when I feel like putting things on, fitting, and trashing things I also know where to go. On the top of "New" are several folders of things which are harder to try on than clothing - like "Body Parts" (skins and eyes, for example) or "Petites" for when I'm trying on a petite avatar. I can't easily switch between these and clothing, so I separate them out to fit my mood. I use double exclamation points to keep them at the top of the folder even as I add in anything new.
The "To Open" folder is even simpler - I just put everything unopened into it. There's actually a second, smaller folder of the same name is at the top of my "New" folder, because it's a lot easier to move things up than to move them down. Any time I feel like opening a bunch of boxes, I just let loose on that folder, but when I feel like trying things on, I don't have to dig through a bunch of unopened boxes to find things. It really works wonderfully for me, letting me put things into separate folders and do what I want when I want to. It also keeps my Objects folder mostly cleared out, so it's easier to find new things and identify what I just received.
Every day or so, I move things into these three main folders and out of my objects folder, so that they're very clear and not at all cluttered. That's how I stay on top of things - I just keep things tucked into specially designed folders for me to dig through later.
A final note on keeping my inventory under control, having to do with extra pieces - like for mesh or the clothing parts of a color changing item. What I do is keep the master box which has everything in it, and pull things out as I need them. This only works if something is copy-ok, but it actually works a real treat. The box stays inside of my inventory, and all I have to do is wear or rez it to pull out what I need, without having to keep everything in my inventory.
I hope this helps you with keeping your inventory organized and wonderful; use any of my ideas with my blessing.