Organize & Manage Your Digital Pattern Library

When I purchase a pattern, I immediately download it and store it to my PC’s hard drive. It’s then backed up on an off-site server for safe keeping. Until recently, I used Ravelry’s site to keep those patterns organized. I kept notes on where they were stored on my hard drive as well as project notes as they pertained to each pattern I had completed.

Because of the issues currently revolving around the site, I began to worry that I may not have full control over the content I kept on the site. So I went on a search for the best solution to keep my pattern library organized and above all else, available.

I looked into creating a database with MS Access, since I already have the software. To be honest, I’ve never even opened it. There’s no crash course to learn Access & I’m pretty sure you have to be a Rhodes Scholar to design a database with it. I continued to search for a user friendly, tech novice solution.

A friend suggested using an ebook organizer. Brilliant! There are several on the market. Alfa Ebooks Manager & Calibre are the two I decided to give a go. Calibre is an open source e-book library management application and free to use. Alfa Ebooks Manager isn’t free, but very affordable at $40 for a one-time license fee and offers a 1 week free trial version.

I found Calibre cumbersome & somewhat difficult to navigate. There was no way to import my PDF files into the software that I could find. Therefore, I quickly grew tired of trying to make it work for my needs.

It looks as though Alfa Ebooks Manager is the solution I was looking for. Not only for my eBook collection, but also for my pattern collection. There is a bit of work to do once you import your patterns into the program. Baby steps, I keep telling myself. I have over 6,000 patterns to catalog. Why? I could never make them all, but I have options.

My next post will detail some of the modifications I’ve made to accomodate the information I find relevant in my pattern searches.

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