SL Inventory Management for Bloggers

Some of my friends who are just starting out in Review Blogging have asked me how I manage to keep on top of all the Review Items I receive from Designers, Salerooms, Events and Hunts.  So I thought I would do a small blog post to help them, and any other Bloggers who might want a little help on a management system for Review Items.  Please remember this is what works for me and the way my strange little mind works.  It is not the one-for-all answer to controlling your deadlines and blogging commitments.

Please note I use Firestorm viewer…so how I do things may not work if you are not using that viewer.

Okay let’s get started!

I tend to work on my Review Items in a weekly cycle, creating my posts ahead of time and scheduling them on my blog to automatically post during the week. Doing this allows me down time to be able to sort and organize my Review Items and plan my next photo shoot with minimum pressure. There are several steps I do:

First step is setting up my OBJECT Folder.

In my OBJECT Folder, I have folders for each Event, Sale, Blog Group, or Hunt I have made a commitment to be an Official Blogger. I call these project folders.  Along with the project folders I have a "REVIEW ITEMS" folder where I place items received from Designers that are not associated with a project folder.

When a Review Item lands in my Object Folder I try to take a second to slip them into the appropriate project folder. If I do not move it when I get it, I make it a point to sort the items in my Object Folder before I go for the night so I start out with a clear Object Folder for the next day.

 This keeps the clutter down in my Object Folder and helps me keep straight on who the item is from and what it is for. Also, I do this instead of instantly opening these items, because I usually already have a batch of unboxed and sorted items for blogging.  I want to make sure to blog stuff in a semi-first-come-first-blogged basis if possible.

Next is Sorting through the Review Items, there are two parts to this step.

1. A Good Sorting System is a MUST:

I know a lot of my Blogger friends sort their Review Items by Designers and just dig through the Designer’s folder when they want to feature that Designer. I tried that method and found it highly frustrating to find anything that I wanted, as I would quickly forget after a day or two what I had. So I came up with my really, really, anal folder system.

I created a primary folder called “![SITB]” Sorted Items to Blog (clever I know), that I use to organize all the items I have unboxed and sorted to blog. This is completely different from the project folders in the OBJECT folder – it is the next step in the process.

Some side questions you might have:

Why do I use a “!” in the name of the folder?
 It is to keep it at the top of any folders I unpack. I keep my inventory folders sorted by name, with system folders at top; naming a folder with the “!” keeps it at the top of all open folders right under the trash folder.  

 What is that odd “! ===========” Folder?
 I have that weird divider line because I have in the past accidently thrown stuff away and that’s my visual cue to pay attention to what folder I am placing stuff in.

Okay back to sorting….

In the “![SITB]“ folder, I created matching project folders to the ones I created in my OBJECT folder, along with a “REVIEW COPIES“ folder.  In each of these folders, I have placed a set of subfolders labeled with common types of Review Items, like “dresses”, “shirts”, “pants”, “shoes”, “poses”, “furniture” etc. 

This makes it easier for me to compile a picture for a post. For example, if I have selected a cute dress I want to feature and I want to find some jewelry I can go through my project folders and look in each of the jewelry folders to find a complimentary piece instead of digging through a dozen Designer folders.

You most likely are thinking:  “Okay… but why not just have one project folder called “REVIEW COPIES” and sort all the items into one set of subfolders, instead of having all these different project folders and subfolders to dig through?”  

Well, I tried the single REVIEW COPIES folder and found that I had trouble knowing what event/sale/hunt an item went to and even missed deadlines to get it blogged before the event/sale/hunt was over. It left me feeling like a totally unorganized Blogger no Designer would trust their time sensitive designs with.  So I came up with the separate project folders for those big events/sales/hunts that I wanted to be sure I covered in a timely manner and credited properly.

Also in the “![SITB]” folder I have created a “BLOGGED ITEMS“ folder. This folder is where I move stuff after I have used it in a picture. I will explain the use of this folder in more detail later. It is pertinent you have something like this in order to notify Designers that you have blogged their items.

2) Effectively Sorting Review Items:

Okay now to get down and dirty with those lovely Review Items:

I do this step once a week usually on a Saturday since it can take a little time to work through everything I get in a week. I know as a Beginner Review Blogger you might not get many Review Items from Designers but as you become better known as a Blogger and start becoming involved in salerooms/events/hunts you will be swimming in stuff to blog. So it’s important to develop a system early to ensure that you don’t drown later on.

Now my crazy system:

First I do a little house keeping before sorting:

1) I  clean up all the odd item folders in my inventory below the System Folders, so that the only non-System Folders I have out in my inventory are the Divider Line (because I am accident prone) and my “![SITB]” folder.

2) I go through the notices in all my Blogger Groups and make sure I have all the items sent through the group notices.

3)  In the OBJECT folder, I sort all the items into their proper project folder.

Then on to the Sorting Process:

My project folders fall into three categories:
1)      Events/Sales/Hunts (Any that I have made a commitment to be an Official Blogger)
2)      Individual Designers  (Items from Designers that are not associated with category 1)
3)      Blogging Groups (These are not individual Designer groups. They are groups that have a lot of different Designers in the group and are not affiliated to a single Event/Sale/Hunt).

Events/Sales/Hunts Category 
This category is for any Events, Sales or Hunts that I have made a commitment to be an official Blogger for.

1)      I REZ all the objects out around my avatar until that folder is empty.

2)      I select the biggest most tempting item and unpack it to my inventory.

3)      This is where it gets interesting…

a.   Did the Designer put multiple items in the box?
If so, REZ those out and unpack them too. WAIT! Don’t delete that first folder till you read the following….

b.  Did the Designer place a note card describing the multiple items in the box?
If so, right-click, copy the note card and paste it in each Item’s folder. Now delete the first folder with the Boxed Items or move them to your Back Up Folder, if you have one. I find the note cards invaluable for information.


4)      Now peek in the folder. What is it? Oh … a dress! Let’s try it on! Do I like it? Does it fit my style? YES!  Great slide it over into the “DRESS" sub-folder in the project folder in the
“![SITB]” folder.

5)      Repeat these steps for all the items on the ground around you. Then continue until you have gone through all the Events/Sales/Hunt project folders.

Individual Designers Category
These are located in the “Review Item” folder. They are various Designer’s Items that are not associated with any Event/Sale/Hunt I am an official Blogger for.

1)      REZ all the objects out on the ground until you have an empty folder.

2)      Select an item on the ground and unpack to inventory.

a. Did the Designer put multiple items in the box?
 If so, REZ those out and unpack them too. WAIT! Don’t delete that first folder till you read the following….

b. Is one of the items for a special event/sale/hunt that you are not an official blogger for?
Tag it for the Event by creating a folder inside the opened item, naming it after the event/sale/hunt it is for so you will know when you go to credit it. You can do this for any other information you need for the item like prices or dates to blog. Your imagination is the limit and the great thing is: folders do not add to your inventory count!

c.  Did the Designer place a note card describing the multiple items in the box?
 If so, right-click, copy the note card and paste it in each Item’s folder. Now delete the first folder with the Boxed Items or move them to your Back Up Folder, if you have one. I find the note cards invaluable for information.

3)      Now peek in the folder. What is it? Oh … a dress! Let’s try it on! Do I like it? Does it fit my style? YES!  Great slide it over into the “DRESS" sub-folder in the “’REVIEW COPIES” folder in the “![SITB]” folder.

4)      Repeat these steps for all the items on the ground around you.

Blogging Groups Category
 These are not individual Designer Blog Groups. They are Groups that have a lot of different Designers in the Group and are not affiliated to a single Event/Sale/Hunt.  The reason I split these out separate from Events/Sales/Hunts and the Individual Designers is because I am required by most all of these Groups to send a notice to the Group and Designer when I blog an item I got from the Group.

If I do not separate them out when I first get the item, they will get mixed in and I will forget which Group I need to notify.  This is great when they are boxed but when you get to sorting them if you do not tag them somehow they get lost and you can fail to notify the right Group. So to avoid this happening I tag these items with the Group name.

1)      Once again I REZ all the objects out around my avatar until I have an empty folder.

2)      Select an item on the ground and unpack it to my inventory.

a. Did the Designer put multiple items in the box?
 If so, REZ those out and unpack them too. WAIT! Don’t delete that first folder till you read the following….

b. Is one of the items for a special event/sale/hunt that you are not an official blogger for?
Tag it for the Event by creating a folder inside the opened item, naming it after the event/sale/hunt it is for so you will know when you go to credit it.  You can do this for any other information you need for the item like prices or dates to blog. Your imagination is the limit and the great thing is: folders do not add to your inventory count!

c.   Now we tag it for the Blogger Group by creating another folder inside the opened item, naming it after the group you got it from.

d.  Did the Designer place a note card describing the multiple items in the box?
 If so, right-click, copy the note card and paste it in each Item’s folder. Now delete the first folder with the Boxed Items or move them to your Back Up Folder, if you have one. I find the note cards invaluable for information.

3)      Now peek in the folder. What is it? Oh … a dress! Let’s try it on! Do I like it? Does it fit my style? YES!  Great slide it over into the “DRESS" sub-folder in the “’REVIEW COPIES” folder in the
 “![SITB]” folder.

4)      Repeat these steps for all the items on the ground around you.

Great Job! Your Review Items are sorted and ready to be blogged.

Let's talk about what to do with the items after you have made a post using them.

This is where the “BLOGGED ITEMS” folder I mentioned above comes into play. I cannot stress how important it is to send a notecard (with a link to your blog post) each time you use a Designer’s item. It gets news out about your blog and makes the Designer feel good that you liked their item enough to blog it.  I have gotten many of my Sponsor Designers from just picking up their items at a sale or hunt, blogging it, and sending them a notecard.  Of course you have to sell yourself with your card, but I digress. If you want to see a copy of the card I use, leave me a comment with your SL name.

Okay back to the “BLOGGED ITEMS” folder. Since I schedule my posts in advance, I need a place to hold the items I have blogged but do not plan to keep. This for when the post goes live on my blog I can easily send my notecard to the Designer of the item.

Let’s say I have blogged a Designer’s Item.  I will type the name into the search, right click a link/notecard/item by that Designer open the properties and then right click to open the Designer’s profile. Then I drop my note card on the open profile. It’s hard to do this if I have tossed the item after blogging it (Sorry Designers…but I can’t keep it all). After notifying the Designer I then remove it from the Blogged Items folder.

The Items I keep get filed away right after I schedule the post on my blog into my equally anal RLV system for my  CTS Wardrobe. That's where I photo and organize my inventory. I can also dress myself from the website using RLVa.  You can  browse my inventory closet if you want a peek at what I have but the full system is a tale for another post.

I hoped this helped, feel free to send me any questions you have in the comments section.

3 comments:

  1. Oh my word! I thought I was organized, but you are super-duper amazingly even more so. :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. Please come and sort my messy inventory ;)
    Seriously though, great advices and encouraging to try to organize my own.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great post, thank you for taking the time to write this - as a relatively new blogger I have been feeling quite overwhelmed by all the stuff - I am going to use some of your ideas :)

    ReplyDelete

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