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What's The Best Way To Keep A Record Of What You Own?

 
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Valued Member
United States
136 Posts
Posted 02/11/2019   2:32 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add EMaxim to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I collect world-wide, mostly classics. I have a fairly large quantity of material, stored in nice, black-paged stock books. I used to mark catalogue pages to indicate acquisitions, but that's become impractical. How do others keep track of what they already own?
Eric

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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
1181 Posts
Posted 02/11/2019   4:00 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
That's a very good but tough question to answer, especially if you're collecting world-wide. Why has marking off the stamps in your catalogues become impractical? Lugging a full set of modern catalogues around to fairs/bourses is inconvenient to say the least! Is there a digital method that other members are aware of?
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Posted 02/11/2019   4:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Petert4522 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Stamp inventory has been talked about on this forum. For a lot of different ways you can use the "search" function on this page

Peter
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Posted 02/11/2019   4:10 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
means vs ends

The content/format of any effective list has to accomplish and "end". Without knowing specifically what end you are trying to accomplish it is impossible to recommend a "means" of a specific software, format, etc. Inventory? Insurance? Want/Have list? Are images included? Individual items or aggregate data? Etc.

I maintain many different lists, each with different types of information, levels of detail, etc., depending on the goal of the sub-collection.
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United States
136 Posts
Posted 02/11/2019   8:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add EMaxim to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Marking my Scott catalogue worked well for years. But it's quite old and has begun to fall apart. I broke down and bought a new one. Now I'm faced with the task of transferring the marks that constitute my inventory, but where to? I could mark up the new catalogue, but would have to do the work all over again someday, and it's tedious. I'm looking for something more permanent. And what's the point? In my case, it's mainly to assist in buying more material, i.e., to ensure that I don't buy items that I already have.
Eric
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Canada
411 Posts
Posted 02/11/2019   9:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gmot to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There are several commercial stamp software programs out there for use. I've tried 3 of the most common and currently use two, both have pros and cons. Using a spreadsheet is a common way to track inventory - I use it for country/period totals but many others use them to track individual stamps.

If all you're looking for a have/want list, using a spreadsheet is probably sufficient. Columns for stockbook, page, country, stamp ID (scott #), condition, year, colour, etc to as much detail as you feel is needed. Gives you the ability to sort, print out for shows, etc.
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Posted 02/11/2019   9:46 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Partime to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If you are just wanting to make sure to prevent duplicate buys, then I would recommend a simple Excel spreadsheet.

Country Scott Number Mint/Used

Use a Filter, then you can easily sort/filter for just certain items. Easy to keep up, and should last as long as Excel is a viable program.

If you want to add cost, value, purchase date, etc., then that would complicate your matters, but your last response seems to indicate only these three column headers. Good luck.

Post 3000 ...
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Edited by Partime - 02/11/2019 9:47 pm
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Australia
1181 Posts
Posted 02/11/2019   10:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Setting up the spreadsheet will be laborious but once it's done then it's easy to maintain.

Always have a BACKUP!!! Having had operating systems crash (happened to me 2 weeks ago) and external hard drives give up the ghost, I can't stress this enough.

Congrats on your milestone Partime
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Posted 02/12/2019   09:51 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I use Stamp Manage. It is based upon MS Access. Although not complete (contributed 2000 entries myself) it works fine for me.
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Al
Edited by angore - 02/12/2019 10:13 am
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United States
140 Posts
Posted 02/12/2019   10:03 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add pcerio to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I started an Excel spreadsheet recently, and it's been quite time consuming. I would prefer an Access database solution so I can include an image of each stamp.
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Posted 02/12/2019   10:07 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add shermae to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I love using excel and keep my collection file in the cloud (Dropbox.com). When at shows I'm able to view the want list tab from my smartphone, a very compact and easy way to have my want list on me at all times. This method also helps protect against computer crashes destroying your main file.

If you like having your haves and wants together, you can list entire runs of sramps by Scott with an adjascent column with Y or N (yss I have it, no I dont have it). This alloiws you to sort by N or Y if you only want to see wants or haves.
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Edited by shermae - 02/12/2019 10:13 am
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Posted 02/12/2019   11:40 am  Show Profile Check rlsny's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add rlsny to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I use Excel and I also take a phone photo of each album page whenever I change something. I put those photos up on a Google photo album. The nice thing about having that is it's easy to check wherever I am. I can take a quick look at the album to remember which stamps I'm missing. Its easy to maintain. Just snap a photo and upload and move it into position to keep the photos in order. I find I refer to the Excel when I want to get details like how much I spent or condition details, but I refer to the photos when I'm looking at a sale and I just want to remember whether or not I have that stamp already.
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Posted 02/12/2019   12:12 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add txstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Keeping scans/pictures of album pages was a good compromise for me, as I didn't have to scan each stamp individually, but I could see the aggregate of what I had pretty easily by referring to the pages digitally.
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Posted 02/12/2019   12:16 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Excel always tripped me up on dates before 1900 and linking images. There are work-arounds for these significant shortcomings but it was easier to just use SQL to store the data. This allows me the flexibility to use any interface including Excel, Word, PDFs, webpages, etc to develop data entry forms and reports. It also unshackled me from the dependency of a desktop application and matching operating system. This entire solution can be zero cost on either a Windows or Linux computer. Learning curve is a day or two.

For folks who are not inclined, I concur with Al and recommend StampManage.
Don

Edit: Building on tx-stamps suggestion, there are plenty of image apps which allow you to attach metadata to the image. It is easy to then assign catalog number, price, etc to each image and save it together.
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Canada
411 Posts
Posted 02/12/2019   12:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gmot to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
StampManage I really didn't like when I tried it, found StampMate much better to use. But opinions vary of course, and you can try out demos of both.
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Posted 02/12/2019   12:40 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Is the StampMate database unencrypted?
Don
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