Organizing Orchid Information

I’m an enamelist, new to Orchid Digest(one month old) and while I
enjoy the wealth of I have a question about how you
organize all this info. Do you keep all messages of interest at the
moment and if you have a question on something else at a later date,
check the Archives? Or do you keep all messages? I know you �old
pros’ probably don’t keep them but what about those of us still
learning a lot? Thanks from Paradise, Ca where they expect 101 to 108
temps this week and where Paradise is not a a Paradise this week.
Since I am an enamelist without an air conditioned studio, my kiln
hasn’t been on for a few days. From Glenda at

You can create individual folders in your browser and keep only the
messages that you’re interested in. I do this to temporarily store
the posts before transferring them to a special database I’ve set up.

I’ve found a handy way to organize the Orchid I choose to
keep. I have a software app called “Filemaker”. It’s an easy-to-use
relational database program that allows me to create everything from
large “Rolodex” file databases to project budgets and specifications,
investment portfolio password and serial number files,
etc. Filemaker is available for both Mac and PC.

For my “Jewelry Database”, I set up a very simple file with 3 fields:
Subject, text and category. The category field is set up as a “value
list” with checkboxes for 5 categories: Source, Tips & Tricks, Health
& Safety, Tools & Equipment Info, Findings & Materials and
Miscellaneous. I could add “Author”, but I found that it was easier to
keep that with the message text. This is a very flexible
program. I can add to or change the fields and layouts at any time.

Whenever I read a message with that I have a particular
interest in keeping, I open a new "record in the database, copy the
text of the message, type in a title and check one or more categories
for the subject. If the messages have unique I file them
as separate records. If there are other messages in the thread with
additional info, I sometimes number the individual message texts and
keep them all in the same record. Many records have more than one
category checked to allow me to more easily find the information

When I wish to retrieve I do a “Find” for any subject,
category or even any word in a field. For example, I can find all my
"source" messages, create a list and print it out. I can look for
"John Burgess" in the Text field and find all the posts I’ve saved
that he has authored. Best of all, I can create a variety of "Layouts"
using these fields including one that lists and sorts by subject.

I now have well over a hundred records filled with really useful
Some of these I’ve gleaned from the Orchid Archives
where I’ve read through several dozen messages and found maybe 2 or 3
that have the best info. The archives are a terrific resource, but my
personal database will ultimately save me a lot of time. Thanks to
all of you who have contributed to it.

Pam Lund

Hello Glenda - I, also, was overwhelmed initially! We use Outlook
Express. I have no clue how other email programs work. Also, I
receive Orchid messages individually and am not familiar with the
digest format.

The first thing we did was set up a rule for the computer to direct
all messages with “Orchid” in the Subject field to a folder that i
named “Orchid Inbox”. That way the messages do not get mixed in with
my personal email. To set up the inbox rule to direct messages: click
on “tools” at the top bar; then “message rules”; then "new mail rule"
and fill in the info.

Then I have set up folders with different subjects and different sub
headings within those subjects. One way to set up folders is to click
on “file” at the top bar and then “folders” and proceed. Some of the
folders that I set up are - ie: Orchid - Sources . . . with the
sub-headings: Orchid - Sources/tools; Orchid - Sources/metals;
/stones; /books etc. etc. Aside from setting up various Technical Info
topic folders, a few other main headings for folders that I created
aRe: Photography, Pricing, Health Related Issues, etc. etc I even
have some folders to sort some of my favorite regular knowledgeable
contributors as well, rather than by subject. And of course there is
the generic Saved Orchid - misc. folder - where I used to put all the
great saved messages before getting more organized. I haven’t taken
time to sort that folder yet - just like the pile of papers by my
desk! Setting up the folders has been a BIG help in tracking info I
remembered reading.

My outlook express email screen is set up so that the list of folders
is visible on the left side - the list of messages is on the top right
and the specific message being read is below the list of messages.
This layout (or any layout) is created by clicking on “view” at the
top bar and then “layout” and follow the steps. Viewing the divided
screen makes it very easy to make decisions on transferring new
messages to the list of folders. To move the message - just click on
the upper right mouse button and go down to “move to folder” etc.
(When moving a message to a folder - there is another opportunity to
create a new folder as well.)

Sometimes, I will save only one message under a topic and that helps
me to remember the date and string of info - in order to easily find
it in the archives. Fortunately, we have the Orchid Archives. (And
yes, I do sleep - but I’m not sure about Hanuman! It must take a
tremendous amount of time to manage this forum. Many thanks to
Hanuman and also to the many others who take time to write such
wonderful info to this forum!)

All this data is still on our hard drive - so, I’m going to hopefully
put it on a zip disc soon - before the computer crashes. I am far
from a computer “techie” but if you have the same program and get
stuck, I’d be happy to attempt to help behind the scenes. :slight_smile: Cynthia

I have been an avid silent reader of Orchid Digest and have enjoyed
the sharing of between those who really know and those who
want to know. So many times I have seen some topics that are really
pertinent to my problem at hand and have had to print 35pages more or
less to get it printed. Is there anyway that the pages could be
numbered ? I do love Orchid Digest and may work up the nerve to
contribute some day. I thank everyone for sharing.
Martha Ann Reading , @martha_ann_reading

I’m using a Mac. I go to File and pull down to “Save as” and save as
a file which you can name and edit as you please.

35pages more or less to get it printed.  Is there anyway that the
pages could be numbered ?

Um, all you have to do is select the text you want, copy it, and then
paste it in Simpletext or Scrapbook or Microsoft Word or whatever
you’ve got. Then if you wanted you could create documents with
various titles and save relevant stuff there.


Dear Martha,

I used to get the digest, but found it too difficult to manage. I get
each message as a separate email, and read the ones that have subjects
that look interesting. When I have the time, I glance through as many
messages as I can. Sometimes the subject header stays the same, but
the message contents has changed, so it is possible to miss some great
discussions if you use only the subject as your criteria for reading
each message.

Gail Middleton
Unique Studio
Brooklyn, NY


In my vision I see the entire 4 years worth of on a CD,
with searchable options. When time and resources will allow me to
start such a project I could improve the service.

Thank you all for being with us

Organization: You have a great idea! Many times I have wished to
copy suggestions but didn’t for the same reason you described? I
would just not want to cause our dear moderator, Dr. Aspler, any more
work… Sue Danehy

I started a spiral notebook that I divided into 4 sections: How To,
Equipment and Supplies, Computer Sites and Books, Selling and
Marketing. I then use the very low tech method of writing down any
info that comes through Orchid that migh apply to me, my work, or any
foreseeable future projects. It’s a bit old fashioned but it works or me.
Try it! Stacy in NYC

I’m also new to orchid (the past few months). I’ve been reading all
the mail with my morning coffee…and learning alot.

But it’s too much for my mailbox some days and and takes time to go
through it all.

If I’m short on time, I’ll skip the threads that I can see aren’t of
immediate interest – I can always refer to the archives, which have
a wealth of Otherwise, I skim them as I collect the
mail. (Before posting a question and taking up people’s time with
repetitive stuff, I try to find a response in the archives.)

I’ll print out responses that I think I’ll want to refer to later,
but erase messages once they’re read.

Cathy, in Anjou

I receive Orchid, by choice, in the digest format. That is it comes
once a day (usually) as one big file, with the messages arranged so
that they are grouped together by subject header. I scroll down from
one to the next, very easy. When I come across an item that I
particularly want to save for future quick reference I just copy it
into a document file that I have alrady set up called Orchid 2000.
For convenience I put a couple of blank lines after each message that
I paste in there, for separation. Actually I also put a little line
of three zeros too, but that’s not really necessary.

Any time I want to go back and look for something I just use the
search facility in my word processing program. Works for me. –
(NW England, UK)

Hello Martha Ann,

Yikes! in an effort to save a tree might I suggest the following;
SELECT the passage in the digest you wish to save by holding down
your left mouse button and swiping the required text. The Shift and
arrow keys together perform the same function. Your text should now
be highlighted blue. Press your Ctrl and C keys together to COPY this
to the clipboard, there is no confirmation of this process by the
computer so it appears nothing has happened. Now open your favourite
word processor or just NotePad will do fine, open a new document and
then press Ctrl and V keys together to PASTE your selected text.
Voila! You can perform this function in almost every windows
application to copy and paste text or graphics.

HTH. Tony.

“Improve the service”? I think it would be more like polishing a
very rare stone. As far as I’m concerned this is already the best
thing going on the internet. Hanumun, thank you so very much!
Joyce Alber

** Hanuman’s Response **

Thanks for your comment. However In my vision I have many ideas how
to keep Orchid updated with the latest technology, More Information
and unique utilities. As you all know Ganoksin and Orchid are a one
man work. I don’t have a team to help me. Like Peter Rowe from, We do it volentary and our goal is too offer the
best in the sharing, eventually it all a matter of time
and investment. Thank you all. Hanuman

    In my vision I see the entire 4 years worth of on a
CD, with searchable options. When time and resources will allow me
to start such a project I could improve the service. 

Hello Hanuman, Should you accomplish this feat, it must be marketed.
Although one can currently search the Orchid archives on the net,
having the resource on an CD sounds awesome - so convenient and
accessible. I would require jewelry students to purchase a copy for
reference and research… if I was in position to do so ;-). Judy in

Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
Extension Associate
221 Call Hall Kansas State Univerisity
Manhattan KS 66506
(785) 532-1213 FAX (785) 532-5681

We all soon get to the problem you described.

My method is to use the ‘edit’ option on the menu bar to highlight
and ‘copy’ the text I want to keep on file. The copied text is then
’Paste(d)’ to a word processing document where I add the necessary
headers, page numbers* , etc. and also edit the lines to run from
margin to margin. The text is then reduced to 8 point type size for
the print-out. I then print it on both sides of the paper. For
short articles I may file it to disk until I have enough articles to
take up the whole page before printing. (In the MSWord menu bar,
under ‘Insert’ there is an option for ‘Page Numbers…’ which will
automatically number your word document pages.)

Using the margin to margin line length, 8 point type and printing on
both sides really saves a lot of space in the binder and the
requirement for shelf space.

Kelvin Mok

Hanuman, Why am I not surprised? Of course, that’s a rhetorical
question in need of no answer. Well, keep on climbing. I know of nothing more satisfying.

Hi, I highlight the info I wish to save. Then I copy and paste it into
a new message and email it to myself. This is much quicker than
opening Microsoft word, etc. The subject line describes the info. I
set up a series of folders within my Orchid folder with certain
categories. When the email arrives I just click and drag it into a
folder or create a new folder for it. To find any particular messages:
go to Edit, then Find messages and search away. By setting up an
Orchid folder it speeds up the search process. I also set up my mail
so all the Orchid messages automatically get sent to the Orchid
folder. The more info you have the more organized you need to be.
Orchid has tons.(new web in
progress) “Listen to the Universe and Dance to the Rhythm of it.”