Craft Storage and Filing Systems

As promised, I decided to write a bit about how I catalog patterns and ideas for upcoming projects.  This isn’t anything terribly complex or earthshaking–just my personal system.

I gather ideas in several different ways. I spend a lot of time surfing between Ravelry, Craftsy, Pinterest, and the Reddit’s /r/crochet. I also bop around on the LionBrand website (there are some nice, free patterns there), some blogs, and Google in general. I’m always searching for a new pattern, even if I don’t have time to make most of the ones I find.

I also used to receive Crochet Today Magazine and Crochet magazine (now defunct), but eventually discontinued my subscriptions because they tend to be heavily garment focused and I don’t often make sweaters.  (I don’t really have the patience for small-hook projects unless they’re amis…and the one doily I made cause my tendinitis to flare up so badly that I couldn’t crochet for a month.)  I saved all my back issues of these magazines into binders that I store with my craft books (mostly stitch guides and how-to tomes that are gifts from friends and family).

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A binder full of old magazines.

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Crafting 101 Shelf

The best part of the storage system, however, is the online stuff.  There’s such a wealth of free patterning, blogs, tutorials, and inspiration boards out there!  I’ve ended up using Evernote to preserve my ventures through the Interwebs, and am a fan of both their Chrome plugin and their desktop app.

The desktop app is what I use to sort all of my patterns. It’s handy as it allows me to create notebooks (Crochet, Crafts, Quilting, etc) as well as tags (scarf, afghan, colorblock, etc), so I can sort and find patterns at will.  The system archives the entire article but ALSO saves the link so I can return to it. The free version limits how much stuff I can save per month, but I’ve never approached that limit (even though I save articles left and right on topics ranging from political op-eds to pop culture reviews, to research).

desktop app

The browser plugin is great for when I’m surfing and just want to preserve the page I’m on quickly. I simply clip and store using the “Article” option. Evernote is predictive and will offer you a suggested notebook from your account, so I can pop the pattern in right away!

browser app

There’s even a phone app that I use when I need to look up a stitch count and don’t feel like booting up my computer. I don’t find it as handy for archiving stuff as the Evernote phone app seems to be geared toward saving personal notes (such as shopping lists), but it is a handy tool for quick look-ups.

I don’t know how helpful this will actually be to anyone–everyone I know has a different storage system that works for them! Feel free to suggest improvements or show off your system in the comments.