Tutorial – organizing your inventory (Firestorm)

If you struggle to keep your inventory organized, or can’t seem to maintain it once you get there, this post is for you.

Based on the seemingly endless conversations in world and on social media, there appears to be a common theme with anyone who has their inventory under control, which I’m sure you’ve already heard –  folders…..lots and lots of folders. In fact, a well oiled inventory has subfolders for just about every type of thing you own more than a few of.

Okay, so it’s a bit more than that – it’s the way they’re sorted, how they’re named and in what order you create this system.

So I’ve decided to break it down into steps in hopes that it helps some of you who have reached the point of madness.

Here’s what you can expect once you’ve completed this process:

  • quick and painless periodic sorting to maintain an organized inventory
  • efficient searches for specific items you don’t know the name of
  • easy browsing when you’re looking for a specific type of item
  • no more missing out on the stuff you have because you’ve forgotten you have it
  • bragging rights

Fair warning – getting your inventory under control is a time consuming process, so if yours has been neglected for a while, you should only take on one task at a time to prevent from burning out. More importantly, if you’re starting over from scratch, do these steps in order and don’t move on to the next step until you’ve completed the previous one. And finally, keep in mind that these steps are only the foundation to get you started on a more effective and efficient system but should be personalized to fit your very specific needs.

Step 1: main folders
Establish your main folders, making sure you have as few as possible. What you title them depends on your lifestyle and activities in Second Life, but what you see below is roughly what you will have, give or take a few (i.e ‘building’, ‘RPing’, your store name etc).
inventory - main folders
Place three asterisks (***) in front of the title of each main folder so they eventually appear above everything in your main inventory, just below your system folders. This will make sorting much easier moving forward.

Now, move everything from your main inventory into your main folders until all you see is your system folders and your few main folders. As you go, if you find more than a few items that can’t logically go into any of your main folders, create another one but still try to keep these to a minimum. (That’s what my ‘Other’ folder is for)
(video) Step 1 – Main Folders

Step 2: system folders
inventory - system folders
Next, if you haven’t already done this, go to Preferences>User Interface>Interface Windows and check the box titled ‘hide empty system folders from inventory‘. In my ‘Other” folder, I have subfolders for some of those things which automatically go into the system folders like pics (textures), landmarks, animations etc. so if one of the system folders appears after I’ve set this preference, I know there are things in them which haven’t been sorted or deleted yet. There will still be some that will always show, such as #Firestorm and Current Outfit, since you can’t empty those or move the items.

Now, move the items from your system folders to your main folders.

If you’ve been neglecting your ‘Objects’ and ‘Received’ folders, you’ll probably have to do a bunch of unboxing before moving those items into your main folders. If you can’t remember which ones you’ve unboxed yet, just do a check of your inventory for the individual items using the search bar at the top. If you save your boxes, move them to your ‘Boxes’ folder as soon as they’re unboxed. Also, there are some stores which send the unboxed item as one object to your ‘Objects’ folder, so keep an eye out for those.

Again, if you find more than a few items that can’t logically go into any of your main folders, create another one but still try to keep these to a minimum. Your inventory should now look roughly like what you see below.
Inventory - no system folders
(video) Step 2 – System Folders


Step 3: main subfolders
Once all your items are in their respective main folders, your main inventory is clear and your system default folders are no longer showing up, you can start establishing a good set of main subfolders within each main folder.

To begin, open your first main folder and create a few general main subfolders within it. Example: in your main ‘Avatar’ folder, make main subfolders such as ‘Clothes’, ‘Hair’, ‘Accessories’, etc.
Example:
inventory - main subfolders
Place an asterisk (*) in front of each folder title. This will make them easier to find later on using your inventory search bar.

In order to make your main subfolders as easy to remember as possible for future searching and browsing, choose titles which are the most basic and logical. In other words, don’t get fancy.

Like the main folders, you want to have a minimal number of main subfolders. Yours will be specific to your own personal inventory based on your established main folders but the concept will be the same as what you see above.
(video) Step 3 – Main Subfolders


4. subcategories
Once you’ve got your main folders and main subfolders set up and all loose items are in your main subfolders, you can start creating subcategories in each main subfolder. For example, in Avatar>Clothes, you would create folders for separate clothing categories such as Tops, Bottoms, Shoes etc.
Example:
inventory main subfolders
Place an asterisk (*) in front of each folder title.

In order to make your subcategories as easy to remember as possible for future searching and browsing, choose titles which are the most basic and logical.

Only create subcategories for things which cannot logically go into any of the others. The point is to keep the number of subcategories down while still making all future searches easier.

Once you have this new set of subcategories in each of  your main subfolders, you can begin dragging items into them, like you did in the previous steps.

As you go, you will find that you might need to add more subcategories, which is fine and expected, as long as they are for items that can’t go in any other existing subcategory folder.
(video) Step 4 – Subcategories


5. more subcategories
Bascially, if you’re up over a hundred items in an innermost folder, it’s time to make more subfolders.

Place an asterisk (*) in front of each folder title.

Again, choose titles which are the most basic and logical.

This step not only makes for quick and easy sorting but also vastly simplifies searching. For instance, if you have a subfolder titled ‘Landscaping’ in your Home>Outdoor folder, and there are several hundred different types of landscaping things in there, you don’t want to have to scroll through the whole thing to find a tree. You would simply type *Trees into the inventory search bar to show your ‘Trees’ folder. If you have a lot of different types of trees, you can even create subfolders inside your ‘Trees’ folder for those types (or whatever works for you)
Example:
inventory landscaping subfolders


Main points recap:

Sort
your folders in a ‘nesting’ style, with each subfolder for more and more specific items. Try not to go overboard with this though – it’s not necessary to make five subfolders inside an innermost folder when there are only 5 items in there. The point is to simplify browsing. It’s also not necessary to make folders for different stores since items are already sorted alphabetically by default (unless the store has changed their name at some point). Another reason is because you can also do an inventory search by store name.

Name your folders in the most obvious way possible so you don’t have any trouble finding them later on.

Place an asterisk (*) in front of each folder title. It’s highly unlikely that many things will be titled *Houses, so when you type that into the inventory search bar the folder will appear without further searching.

 

If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact me. Thanks for reading and good luck!

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