Blog Trains are awesome. They allow me to discover new designers and see what’s new with my old familiar favorites. And you know how much I love freebies! If you don’t have a lot of money for digiscrapping supplies, blog trains are a great way to fluff out your stash. And there are new ones every month, so if a particular theme or color scheme doesn’t float your boat, there will be another train to check out soon.
The downside to blog trains is that they can take a lot of time. Some trains have as many as 100 designers. Visiting each blog, downloading the kits, and unzipping the files can take days. And then what are you supposed to do with all that STUFF?
My organization flow goes like this-
I make a new note in Evernote with the name of the blog train as the title. (You can also use a regular Word document too). Then I copy and paste the whole list of participants into the note. This should copy the links to each designer’s blog. As I go to each designer’s blog to get their piece of the kit, I’ll delete them from the note. That way I know where I’ve already been. This is especially helpful for really long trains where everyone is on different time zones.
As my files are downloading, I start my Pre-Organization Process. I make a new folder in my main scrapbook kits folder and title it with the name or theme of the blog train. Inside this folder I make several subfolders. I’ve developed this system because you can get hundreds of files in blog trains and my standard “elements” and “papers” folders are way too overwhelming with the amount of stuff you get. Here are my sub-folders:
Buttons, Clips, and Fasteners (including stitches)
Flowers, Trees, and Leaves
Scatters, Smudges, etc.
Tags and Journaling
If there is a specific theme for the blog train, like animals, I’ll sometimes make another folder for that specific thing so my “Other ellies” folder doesn’t get too out of hand.
Then as I go through my newly downloaded goodies, I just plop them into the appropriate folder. It makes things so much easier to find.
I especially like to use blog train kits for recipe type challenges or speed scraps that require you to use certain items. There’s nothing worse than being in the middle of a speed scrap and realizing the kit you’re using doesn’t have stitches and you need them to complete your page. If you use a blog train kit that almost never happens because out of 20 designers, someone’s bound to have put stitches in their kit!
I hope this helps anyone who’s overwhelmed by blog trains. Do you use blog trains? If so, how do you deal with all the files?