How do you all keep track of all your PDFs?

Bunch

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I have been tempted to get the latest Humble Bundle by Frog God Games which ends in a couple days. I wanted to check if it overlaps with previous bundles they've done. In doing so I've rediscovered I own a lot of stuff in PDF. Enough I forget what I own. How do you all keep track of your electronic collections?
 

Stevethulhu

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I have been tempted to get the latest Humble Bundle by Frog God Games which ends in a couple days. I wanted to check if it overlaps with previous bundles they've done. In doing so I've rediscovered I own a lot of stuff in PDF. Enough I forget what I own. How do you all keep track of your electronic collections?
In folders by system, then edition. Or in the DriveThru app.
 

Gabriel

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I organize them by general game and then have more specific subfolders if needed. So there's a "Classic D&D" folder. Inside that there's "BX", 'AD&D1", "AD&D2", etc. If the game is just a one and done that doesn't relate to anything else, then it tends to go in a Miscellaneous folder.
 

Torque2100

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I have a massive folder where I keep all of my PDFs organized in folders by system>Edition and then keep all of my campaign notes for that game in another folder under the system name.
 

FaerieGodfather

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On my computer, I keep them meticulously organized by game family, then by specific system, then by core rulebooks, supplements (by series), and then third-party (by publisher, then by series and/or function).

My online libraries? I don't keep track, at all, and I don't care. I buy as much as I can absolutely afford, but I pirate several times that amount... so if I end up buying the same book three or four times on different online storefronts, I probably really liked that book, really liked that publisher, and I don't mind supporting the smaller retailers when I can. In practical terms, it just means that something else I was going to pay for gets put off for another month.

When I bought Old School Essentials from Exalted Funeral, I found out the PDFs weren't going to be authorized until my physical order shipped-- so I sent a polite email to their customer service asking them to take care of me (which they did), but while I was waiting, I bought all of the PDFs again on DriveThru. When I got the Exalted Funeral copies... I deleted the DriveThru copies because I hate looking at the watermarks. They're still in my library, if I ever need to download them again.
 

Winterblight

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I don't. I generally just chuck them into a random folder on which ever device I'm using at the time and leave it at that. They end up everywhere, with multiple copies, its a mess. If it wasn't for the ability to search for stuff I would probably have a system. Having said that, I try to use hardcopy books where possible, so its maybe not such an issue for me as it might be for others.
 

BlackWolf

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I usually have a hobby folder where I organize them in this order: system family, system edition, publication series if any (B series or X series for example) or supplement type. In the same level of the publication series I have a separated folder for core books.
I also name the books according with their serial number if they have any, I usually search for the books on the publication order as it gives me an overall idea of what the developers where or are doing.
It ends up looking something like this:

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition/Planescape/TSR 2603 - Planes of Chaos
After organizing I keep backups of everything in at least 2 different cloud services.

Ps: There is also a bunch of stuff I completely deleted over the years, and don't bother maintaining. It's usually towards the systems I don't like or stopped liking or hate, like Symbaroum and Iron Kingdoms. RPGs have this habit of sounding wonderful and perfect until you open the book and your true sight kicks in or seeing so many great ideas thrown by the window, or sometimes you just move on.
 

Edgewise

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I don't understand the question.

Actually, the DriveThru app was perfectly fine until I bought those huge bundles in the last couple weeks. Now that I've increased the number of documents by almost 15% with content I don't even recognize, I'm starting to give up hope of keeping track of this pile of documents.
 

Jacob Rodgers

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I nominally have an organization system (publisher/line), but if sometimes breaks down as new files get chucked into downloads or filed under miscellaneous.
 

Bunch

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So if it was all just DTRPG life would be better. Unfortunately I've also got Humble Bundle (no integration with DTRPG), Bundle of Holding (95%+ integration with DTRPG making it my preferred bundle provider even where it's a bit more expensive), Paizo ( zero DTRPG integration), SJG (older items not integrated, newer sometimes)
Various small in integrated publishers, random home brew stuff, items of dubious origin, oh and now itch.io.

What's sort of amusing is I'm of the opinion I'm a mini whale for PDF sellers. I buy a lot. But I've reachba collection size that now the effort required to figure out which items I own it not is an impediment to buying. Especially for bundles.
It feels weird.
 

Wormturn

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I have a folder with all my pfds in it. My computer very helpfully adds (1), (2) and so on, so I know how many multiple copies of the same thing I own.
 

ffilz

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I try to organize them in hierarchical folders, but it's impossible to really keep track of everything. I have re-purchased a few items, but these days I limit my purchases to things I really really want so it's pretty easy to keep track of whether I have already purchased something or not.
 

Ghost Whistler

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i bought Exalted 3e. I love it. I havebn't read it. It's got more pages than every book ever written. It's the Baghavad Gita of rpg's only with larger dice pools. Why did I do this?
 

Brock Savage

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i bought Exalted 3e. I love it. I havebn't read it.
Same here. I skimmed through it, admired the art, then never looked at it again. Not because I hate Exalted, quite the contrary! I just don't have time to pore over a massive tome looking for differences between 2e and 3e
 

TheophilusCarter

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RPGs > System > Game > Edition > Rules / Settings / Adventures / Misc.

More or less ...
 

Bunch

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RPGs > System > Game > Edition > Rules / Settings / Adventures / Misc.

More or less ...
So general addition to the challenges here. If you have something like the DTRPG app you then also get updates for all PDFs. This can be nice when they incorporate errata, trim down the PDF size, etc. If you add that wrinkle to the mix it makes it even more complicated.
 

spittingimage

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i bought Exalted 3e. I love it. I havebn't read it. It's got more pages than every book ever written. It's the Baghavad Gita of rpg's only with larger dice pools. Why did I do this?
It was hubris that brought down the first age and hubris remains the inescapable flaw of mortals who would lord over gods.
 

Simlasa

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Like most, I've got them in categorized folders. Mostly under genre, but I've got a few folders that cover stuff from a particular system... such as BRP/Mythras, and then by genre within that.
 

Edgewise

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I think the DTRPG app could be a little better, and I've actually given them a lot of feedback in the past (especially when it really sucked). The main things it still lacks: a purchase date column (so I can sort by that...yes I know that's the default sort, but you lose it once you sort on anything else), sortability on download status, ability to use certain cursor controls (page up, page down, end, and home) to navigate quickly, and buttons on the mobile app to page through quickly (it gets painful when you can't drag the scrollbar).

It used to be really crappy and very hit or miss as to whether you get an error on download. Then you'd have to clear out your cache to fix failures. These days, I have a quick workaround for that. Click download on a file that's already failed. If you let it complete, then it will probably fail again, so cancel. Now clear the failure and try again. This seems to get around caching issues.

I also had this weird issue with the Old School Essentials files. The app kept getting confused about which files were the end papers and which were the actual documents, and for a while it just wouldn't download the latest version. Very weird. I had to reinstall the application to fix that one, and it was happening for multiple OSE purchases.
 

Toadmaster

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I have a folder for RPGs, then within that one for each game type / or system (OSR, HERO, BRP etc). I break it down into further folders where there is enough to justify that, adding specific game, genre, setting, edition etc as appropriate. I tend to avoid the bundles with a bunch of random stuff, so I don't have a many one off games.
 

Nick J

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I've played around with Publisher->System schemes mixed with Topic/Function folders for system-neutral stuff and it mostly works, but one lesson I've learned is never go more than 3 folders deep in a hierarchy -- good lord what a nightmare trying to find stuff.
 

ffilz

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I've played around with Publisher->System schemes mixed with Topic/Function folders for system-neutral stuff and it mostly works, but one lesson I've learned is never go more than 3 folders deep in a hierarchy -- good lord what a nightmare trying to find stuff.
If I go more than 3 levels deep, it's because a setting has a location or region with a bunch of different publications for it, or there are things that could be top level directories that are under a particular system (such a Traveller/Other SF Games)
 

Moonglum

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I organize them by game system, but to be honest I have found I get very little practical use out of most gaming pdfs so I have pretty much stopped buying them. I'm dead-tree all the way.
 

Picaroon Jack

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I have them in folders by genres. Game systems color coded.
 

K_Peterson

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Folders by game, and subfolders for editions and 3rd party publishers of those games.
 

Doctor Wombat

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Folders by genre (and in some cases sub-genre), then game system, then edition and third party supplements. Multi-genre systems like BRP, GURPS, and Savage Worlds are in their own folder, with sub-folders for different genres. There are a couple of games like Traveller and Mutants & Masterminds where I have so many third party supplements that I broke them down by publisher.

It's definitely an imperfect system, but I can usually find what I need to find without resorting to a search function.

I'll be honest, some of the folders for game systems that I'm no longer really playing but for which I still have a shit-ton of PDFs (I'm looking at you D&D and World of Darkness) are kind of a mess, but I haven't been motivated enough to spend the time necessary to clean them up. Game systems that I'm currently running or playing (or even thinking about running) tend to have much better organization.
 

Raleel

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Folders by system, then sub folders for settings or divisions that are appropriate. I make a folder for any campaign we are doing and put the relevant material in there for easy reference. Then I can sync the current campaign without the whole thing.

I normally have a half dozen or so systems synced onto my iPad. mythras is always there, but often I have 13th age, cortex, fate of the Norns, shadowrun, and cyberpunk. Couple weeks ago I had lancer on there. Currently I have our werewolf game and primeval Thule (the later for a nascent Mythras hack)
 
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