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It’s September!  Am I the only one who can barely step into a Staples this time of year without being tempted by back to school supplies?  I might just have to treat myself to a nice binder to get my patterns organized for the fall and winter!

Now that we have worked so hard to clear some space in our WIP baskets we have to be very careful not to catch a case of start-itis.  There are a huge number of things on my to-do list for this fall and winter and I have to resist starting all of them at once!  Although I do love making physical lists with a lovely new gel pen from Staples and crisp college-ruled paper, Ravelry has been my number one organizational tool.  Let me confess how I use Ravelry to get organized – maybe it’ll help you out!

Queue screenshot

Click image for a larger view

First, I get a little queue-happy.  I’ll check out my friend activity or browse patterns from my library at home and plunk them into my queue.  Then, I’ll click through the pages of my own queue to see if there is something that grabs me.  If it screams, “make me NOW!” I will hit the little arrow to zoom it to the top of the queue.  Overall, since there is so much in my queue, I don’t pay attention to the numerical line up, except for the first page.  My Netflix queue is the same way.  I queue everything I want, then bump my next show or two up to the top of the queue for easy access. (arrow #1)

As I add things to my queue I will, most of the time, tag them with a keyword that helps me remember why I queued it.  Some things are for “me” while others are for the store, “Sage2”.  When your queue reaches 13 pages tags are very helpful!  You can search by your tag in the search bar or you can create different tabs to browse. (arrow #2)

Finally, my most favorite feature of both my queue and Ravelry in general, is the advanced search option.  If you click on advanced search from your queue you can search only the projects that are in your queue!  This is wonderful if you have 400 yards of a wonderful worsted weight and you’re wondering what to do with it.  Instead of searching the whole world, check out what you already know you like – your queue!  To narrow your search by different terms, scroll down the page and select your preferred parameters from the left-hand column.  Awesome!! (arrow #3)

Advanced search screenshot

I have an eclectic queue

Here you can see items in my queue that use 100-200 yards of worsted weight yarn.  YAY!  You can also search by pattern category (socks, baby sweaters, etc.) or even pattern attributes (top-down sweater, cable stitch pattern, etc.).  Now, I just have to finish cleaning up my queue and start on that number 1 “make me NOW” project!