Friday, March 21, 2008

Inventory Management 1301

OK, we've all got 'em. You know what I mean...the random clothing/gadget/hair/skin items sitting in your inventory rarely (if ever) used, but it sure seemed like a cool idea at the time of purchase...

I've probably got more of those than most folks. At last count, even after purges and storage prim packing, I'm still standing at around 10.5 k in my inventory, and I don't even have the "But it's mostly textures I need for building" excuse. Thing is, I'm a DJ who works several different clubs which each have different styles, and they mostly all do themed events. I like to support the themes when I'm working a club, but that means in any given week, I may be called to appear as an angel/devil, pirate, cyborg, neko, etc. I kinda have to be prepared for all sorts of stuff. At least, that's what I tell myself. :D

Inventory management becomes, therefore, a vital skill. Even if you're a new resident, you would be well-served by starting early, before you ever hit the 2k level. It may be easy to scan your inventory quickly for that Wet T-Shirt now, but wait till you get a few thousand items you gotta sift through... The search bar IS helpful for looking for something immediately (IF you remember the name), but it gets really slow as your inventory grows, and good luck accessing ANYTHING for a while via the search bar if you've had to clear cache. Fortunately, you have a few weapons at your disposal in your battles against the Asset Server Monster.

Subfolders are your friend! When you buy a new set of clothes (for example), you'll usually have a brand new folder dumped randomly into your inventory's "Clothing" section (for example). Make it easier on yourself, your PC, and the asset server to track stuff down. I've made a pile of folders for different types of clothes--Formalwear, Elvenwear, Goth/Victorian, Footwear, Jeans, etc. In some cases, I have folders just for a particular designer--DE, Bare Rose, etc, just b/c they have their own style that's hard to categorize neatly. Organize it by however you'll remember that item when you're looking for it. Doesn't matter. The only wrong way is not to do it at all.

NIFTY TRICK: Make a 2nd inventory window. The inventory seems to scroll unpredictably when trying to move folders around, so it's kinda like trying to run an obstacle course while riding a drunk elephant. Go to File/New Window on your Inventory menu to pop up a duplicate window of your inventory. Will make file transfers much easier, I promise. Also tends to make inventory juggling, cleanup, etc in general a LOT easier. You can make as many inventory windows as ya like. Two usually does it for me, although I HAVE had more when doing some serious inventory shuffling.

Now, in one, do Create/New Folder; you should see your spiffy new folder appear, waiting to be named. I name mine starting w/ a couple of slashes to keep them even easier to locate (b/c they stay at or near the top of that category folder--"//Jeans" will be right near the top of the "Clothing" folder instead of buried further down among miscellanea I've not categorized yet. Yeah, I know; if you subfile EVERYTHING immediately, those subfolders would be the only things immediately under "Clothing," but I'm not always that virtuous. Name it whatever you like. Name it Ethel if you want. Ya just don't see that name anymore...**Arc debates new blog topic--Does the world need more Ethels? Why? Why not? Discuss..."**

Now, go to your inventory window and search for the new folder. This will keep our inebriated pachyderm of an inventory system targeting that folder instead of scrolling gleefully away when you try to drop something into it. Hate that. Nail the sucker down, I say.

Find the new item you want to drop into its new home in your other inventory window (probably under the Recent Items tab if you're wise enough to file it immediately after obtaining it) and drag it over to your waiting subfolder in the other window. Ta-daaaaa!

If you do a few minutes of it every day (or at least, after every shopping trip), you'll avoid my fate--I've had to blow HOURS on cleaning up my inventory when I've neglected it for a while. You'd think I'd know better by now *shrugs*.

I also highly recommend storage prims for stuff you don't use much. Personally, I like the Bright Inventory Box organizers, but you can load stuff into any old prim you can make.

Anyway, hope this little discourse helps!

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