Until yesterday I just kept mine in a little black box and that seemed to work really well...as long as I wasn't looking for anything specific. In my little black box labeled "computer disks" I found a mixture of blank CD-Rs, computer systems disks, disks for my cell phone, my mp3 player, some diskettes, computer games, Tax software, and a bunch of other random computer programs. It started to become clear that very few of the CDs were actually still living in their original cases. Since my husband had a similar box of disks in his office, I was finding a whole bunch of disks with no cases and cases with no disks. Not to mention that we had disks from the computer dark ages laying around.
Sound familiar? What to do? Well this is what I did. I gathered up all those disks and some nylon CD cases that we were not utilizing very well and started sorting. It only took about 15 minutes before I had all my CDs/disks sorted into these categories:
1. Disks that make our computers work or fix them when they are not working (systems type disks, Microsoft Windows etc.) If you know what on earth to call these kinds of disks, please enlighten me!)
2. Disks for phones, camera, mp3 players
3. Program disks (i.e. Tax Cut, AnyTime Organizer, Budget Software, Language Learning Programs, Business Card Maker, Games)
4. Picture CDs
5. Burned music CDs
6. Blank CDs and diskettes
Once I had the categories figured out I put my CD organizing cases to use. I also decided to take the disks out of their original paper covers and plastic cases and just keep the disks. If there was a useful booklet/insert I kept it to slide in behind the disk. As it worked out I used a tri-fold case to organize all the computer resources (see the first 3 categories above).
(The labels read: Program CDs, Computer, Phone/MP3/Camera)
Next I used a visor-style car CD organizer (not shown) that we were no longer using in the car to hold the burned CDs. The small square case I had was perfect for holding the picture CDs since I only have about 10 of those. As for my little black box labeled "computer disks"? Turns out it was the perfect place for all the blank computer disks and a few empty plastic cases. I didn't even have to change the label!Now all the computer resources are stored in my husbands desk (since he knows what to do with them) and I have my little black box back where it belongs on my shelf. I'm in charge of the blank disks! :) The best part of it all is we know just where to look for each kind of disk and we know where to put new ones that come in. Even better, I didn't spend a dime! I just used what I had at home and my handy dandy label maker--yes I did label each case and the 3 categories in the tri-fold case for sure! As my husband says, "It's all about the labels."
I would love to hear how you organize your computer CD collection.