Make Ravelry Work for You!
For most of my life, organization has not been just a helper, it’s been a necessity. My careers in both theater and LYS management demanded first-rate organization techniques, and I’m grateful for the lifetime of practice. Now that I’m self-employed, if I didn’t have all the systems in place that I do I’m sure I’d be tearing my hair out at the roots trying to stay on top of it all. So I deeply appreciate when something makes organizing my life a bit easier, and that brings me to my deep love of Ravelry. When Rav hit the scene in 2007 it was a game-changer. I don’t have to tell most of you how amazing it’s been to have a readily accessible community of fiber enthusiasts to chat with, bounce ideas off, and project stalk. But the clever folks at Ravelry have never stopped working and improving the site and it gets better every year! Today I want to talk about some of my favorite features that make my knitting life just a little less tangled. (GET IT?!)
For starters, there are lots of ways to organize your Notebook. Of course, everyone is familiar with the Project landing page (just click on the pics to enlarge):
But have you looked a bit closer at the tool bar to the right under your avatar?
Organize / Index
What I’m talking about are those “index” and “organize” tabs.
Click on the “index” tab and you can see all of your projects organized by categories, such as the year you completed them, the type of project, age range of project, etc. But I especially love the “tags” category. When you add a project to your Notebook, you can add tags for easy searching, like “sweater” or “holidays.” With the index, you can see all of the tags that you’ve used to label your projects, then click an individual tag to see all the projects labelled with that tag. Sometimes I find it super helpful to see things together like this when I’m deciding on what project to start next.
Although lets say that you’ve never really been diligent about tagging your projects. No worries, click on the “organize” tab.
Tag (Your it!)
You get a list of all of your projects with the tags laid out! From here you can add or delete tags, and there’s even an option to create tag sets for tags that you use a lot. Simply create a set by clicking the button on the top left called “create new set”:
Then quick add the tag to your projects by clicking the drop arrow next to the project:
Then you can click the tag sets to see all the projects with that tag:
I love being able to see all the tags easily and in one place, because it makes it so convenient to adjust my categories as time goes on.
Another feature that I love is the “My Notebook” section in the advanced search:
Look at the toolbar on the left, and the first section is titled “My Notebook:”
From here you can search for patterns based on things you’ve fave’d, things in books or mags you already own, yarns that are already in your stash, etc. I LOVE this for stash-busting. especially when I don’t feel like doing all the leg-work of figuring out yarn substitutions. And I like to do the occasional search of my favorite designers to see what’s new.
There’s also the “bundles” feature, which is a way to categorize your “favorites” in a similar way to tagging your personal projects. If you go to your “favorites” page you should see “bundles” in the toolbar:
Here you can see all the “bundles” you’ve created, which is entirely up to you based on how you want to use it:
You can edit or add to your bundles on the bundle page (for instance you’ll find all my video sweater classes in one handy bundle):
Or anytime you go to favorite a project you can add it to a bundle at that time:
And you can also add tags and notes, which I recommend doing when you add them, because it’s way less tedious than going back and adding them later!
These are just a few tricks that have helped me stay on top of my projects and stay organized. Of course I’ve barely scratched the surface of all of the things that Rav can do! There are social groups to join and knit-alongs (my next one starts in September, stay tuned for more info soon!!), and tons of help and guidance. The beauty of Ravelry is that you can set it up in any way that makes sense for you. If you have more questions, check out Ravelry Help page in my group.
There are help pages on EVERYTHING you need to know to get yourself ready for the fall video KAL, like setting up a project page, how to add a picture, how to tag and more!
The important thing is to keep doing what you love, and knit/crochet/spin/weave on!!