I've always loved cutting out pictures from magazines that had design that inspired me (well before I knew about a "style tray"). And I've always planned on organizing them somehow so that I could find what I need when I wanted them, but I've never gotten around to it. Once every couple of years I go through the box of clippings and purged them (tastes do change), but I still have this large box that I drag with me every time I move. I'd like to eventually scan them all in so I can get rid of all that paper...And what I've started doing recently is saving images and files from online that I love (mostly from AT) and scanning in new paper versions from recent magazines (one, to stop adding to my box, and two, so my mom can read the magazines after me). I've re-titled the files with comments to myself about why I like the picture and whatnot (since I can't write on the clippings like I used to) and have been keeping them in a special folder on my computer. But after just a few months I have several hundred images/files in there!
How can I organize them so that I can find what I want when I need it? I don't want to print them out (the whole reason I switched is to stop wasting paper and taking up precious physical space).
The easiest solution would be to start your own Flickr account specifically for scrapbooking inspiring ideas from online and also that you've scanned in. The nice thing about this is you'll be able to tag, organize and build upon the collection with ease, and it won't take any space. If you're more to want to keep your collection offline, we'd recommend purchasing several USB flash drives that you can categorize and label; these are priced as low as $2.80 and barely take up any space. Each year, you might want to consider picking your favourite 100 ideas and print them out into a inspiration photo book (available via a variety of online services), so you can track how your tastes evolve and change.
[Creative Commons Image: Katie Dureault]