Thursday, June 9, 2011

Back Into the Closet

A couple of days ago, we started exploring our inventory. Today, I’d like to return to that. Besides Clothing and My Outfits, there are several other system folders in your inventory:
- Animations
- Body Parts
- Calling Cards
- Landmarks
- Lost and Found
- Notecards
- Objects
- Photo Album
- Textures
- Trash

I keep my animations, poses, dances, and all animation-related items like AOs and HUDs in my Animations folder.

I have sub-folders in Body Parts for skins, shapes, eyes, eyelashes, hair, and nails. I also keep my non-human avatars in here.

Calling Cards were a good idea by LL that never really caught on. If you didn’t want to go all the way and offer Friendship to someone, you could right click their avatar, and select More/Give Card. But even if no one hands you their Card, the Calling Cards of everyone on your Friends List (even the ones you’ve deleted) wind up in this folder automatically. It’s safe to delete them; deleting the cards will not remove anyone from your Friends list. There is only one reason I know of to keep them…if you want to initiate a conference call, you can use Calling Cards to add people to the call who are not necessarily on your Friends list. Personally, I don’t consider this reason enough to keep them, and I purge this folder regularly.

Landmarks is another folder I organize into sub-folders. I have folders for Favorite Places, Sights to See, Clubs, Friends, Freebies, Mentoring, and Shopping (with subfolders under Shopping for clothes, hair, shoes, etc.) Landmarks need attention from time to time because places come and go in SL all the time, and because it’s easy for duplicates to accumulate. Using the Filters feature and Search can help locate duplicate landmarks (or duplicates of other things).

Anything that Second Life returns to you (for example, the boxes you forgot after you opened them, and that got sent back to you by the land’s Autoreturn feature) winds up in this folder. Generally, you will delete these items, but do look at any you are uncertain about. They could be something valuable!

I move informational notecards into a folder with the thing they provide information about. Notices of sales and so on, I delete. I have other subfolders for notes I want to keep like letters to or from my friends and SL family.

Objects is a catch-all, and you really need to be clever about organizing it. An object could be a home, a vehicle, a gun, a plant, a rock, a chair, or a fish. You’ve got to come up with a Classification System of Everything. Note that when you buy something, if it comes in a box, it will wind up in this folder.

Photo Album is where you keep all the pictures you take (or are given by someone). I’ll talk about how to take pictures in a future post. There’s one problem…snapshots people give you are actually sent to your Textures folder…and if you save your pictures to your hard drive for tweaking in Photoshop, the uploaded results go to Textures too. These even have the checkerboard inventory symbol for a texture. So you will have to do a lot of manual moving of pictures from Textures to your Photo Album.

Textures are important. If it weren’t for them, everything in SL would look like plywood. Builders collect textures like misers hoarding gold coins. It’s not hard to accumulate thousands of textures. What’s hard is organizing them so you can find them again! Like objects, there is an infinite variety of textures. You can get “texture organizers”, objects into which you drop textures and which display thumbnail images of the textures stored in them. I use these to keep my inventory size down (an organizer might contain a couple hundred textures, but counts as only one item in your inventory). Still, moving textures into and out of organizers is a pain.
A Texture Organizer
(You can use this concept to consolidate other infrequently-used items, too. Create a simple box prim. Drag and drop a bunch of items into the Content folder of the prim. Give this prim a name, like “Old Dresses”. Right click it and select Take. Now you have a box full of old dresses, a single item…instead of a folder full of hundreds of outdated dresses you never wear.)
A Box Full of Textures...
...Or a Folder Full of Textures
Trash is…trash. Empty it periodically.

Handy Tip! You can have more than one instance of the inventory window open at a time. In Phoenix and 1.23 style viewers, click File/New Window in the inventory window. For Viewer 2, click the little gear icon at the bottom left of the window and select New Inventory Window.  Having two windows open makes it much easier to drag an item from one location and drop it in another.

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