For me, collecting patterns is just as much a hobby as crocheting & collecting yarn. I might even guess that my pattern collection is much larger than my yarn stash!! Which means, I need a way to organise it, so I can remember what I have purchased, & can easily sort through when i am looking for a new project, or a specific one - e.g. a new dress for Layla.
Since I purchase my digital patterns from a variety of designers, over a variety of websites - personal websites, etsy, ravelry etc, it easily gets all messed up & i struggle to find or remember what I have. So i created this system to make it easier.
I also store my patterns digitally, & read them straight from my iPad while i am working, only occasionally printing them out. I don't want to keep folders of patterns, as I am not likely to make the same pattern again, or for anytime soon, & it feels like a waste of paper, & space. Plus with the magnitude of patterns I have, i would need filing cabinets full to store them.
The other option i wanted to have was to be able to access my patterns on any device - my laptop, iPad or phone, & whether i was at home or out. I never want to be caught out somewhere without the pattern. For example, going to a doctors appointment with my WIP, i want to be able to bring the pattern up on my phone, instead of having to bring my iPad.
This is how i have set up my filing system:
Create a free email account ONLY for your patterns. I use Gmail, & have created the email address email@example.com. You do not want to use this email address for anything else. It is simply a storage facility for your patterns.
Every time you purchase a digital download pattern, get into the habit of downloading it straight away, or as soon can, so you can stay organised.
Step Three Once downloaded, email the digital file to your new pattern email. I send the file to my pattern email from my regular email - firstname.lastname@example.org to email@example.com that way i am ensuring i only use the pattern email as a database.
In the email subject line, write the name of the design, the designer, and what the pattern is making. For example "Belle Dress - The Moule Hole - girls crochet dress"
Use the body of the email to include any notes you want to include to yourself about the pattern. I usually leave it blank, but you could include information like where you purchased the pattern - ie. etsy or ravelry, the designers instagram handle, or yarn that you are thinking of using for the pattern etc.
Now you will be able to access and download the pattern, on any of your devices by just logging into your pattern email via the web browser or an app.
By writing the details in the subject line, you are also able to easily search for patterns you have. Whether it be that you are wanting to find any dress or blanket patterns you have, or hunting for a pattern from a certain designer, or craft too. Since i knit and crochet, i like to include in the subject line if it is a knit or crochet pattern too.
By saving your patterns in the email, rather than a hard drive or a cloud database, you can easily search and retrieve from anywhere, without clogging up drive space. Some patterns can be very large files, and will chew through any data.
I hope this helps keep your digital patterns organised, and at your fingertips ready to make more!
Please leave me a comment below if you find it useful or start organising your patterns this way as well, would love to hear :) xx