How do you want to record and store your data?
Here’s how: Buy the software and load onto your PC or laptop. As you enter data, it will save on your hardware, unless the software offers and another option. Here are several suggestions on what to buy (I like Quicken because I like Intuit products):
Do not forget about good old spreadsheets, Excel will work or any spreadsheet product. Make sure you know how to sort. Using a spreadsheet will require additional work from you unless your inventory is small, in which case, write it down or take pictures.
With an App
When I wrote this blog post, I searched for apps and started with 112…far too many to test personally so I am relying on the general population. AppCrawlr finds apps and helps you narrow down your best fit. Perfect for home inventory apps since there are so many. FYI – I had trouble getting AppCrawlr to narrow down to a few popular apps. The selection depended on the perimeters I input, such as price, do want to use a barcode scanner, do I want to take pictures, etc. You will have to enter your preferences and select the best fit for you.
Cautions: apps come and go. You don’t want to enter your inventory data only to lose access to the app because it is no longer supported. Do your homework, research the company behind the app, hopefully, they are long-term. With software, if the company closes, you lose support but you still have the software. You can use it as long as it works.
With Paper and Pen
Remember, your inventory can be hand written. Although, digital makes the process easier, especially later when you are searching for a particular item. Let us consider a scenario: suppose you hand write items everything you own on paper, room by room. That means, items from each room are written on a piece of paper. Suppose several years later you are looking for that item on your list and can not find it. Turns out the item was originally in another room but moved after you started your documentation project. In fact, the item was moved to your sister’s house but you forget. Hmmm…written documents have drawbacks.
With a digital version, you can search based on any piece of data you enter and it will be found. If your estate is small, no problem, written is easily managed. But, larger estates need a better solution, digital is necessary especially if more than one person is involved (which is the whole reason to do the inventory because you have to communicate with an attorney or insurance person, etc. When multiple people are involved, cloud based might be best so anyone can access the inventory list at any time, any place.
My problem…I want them combined
My thoughts…I work on this project at home so I have access to a PC and laptop so I prefer to use software because it offers so much more. Remember, I am an accountant so I like to analyze and I am an organizer so I want all data located in one place (such as, the paperwork and link that came with my smart TV). But, what if my house burns down? How ironic that the home inventory list will burn down with it yet that is the very reason I made the list, in case of an emergency…better keep a backup off-site (in the cloud).
So, I really want my data saved some place else. I want a company to be responsible for the technology which better fits an app. Also, I want to take pictures which is easier with my phone. And, I might want to work on this while I am waiting for one of my kids which will be away from my home so I need cloud access. Yet, I want to scan documents which is easier with my laptop.
What did I select? Home Zada because it is primarily web based and has an app but the app is limited, however, I have confidence that the app will improve over time. At least, if the company wants to succeed, they need to make the app stand alone. Whereas, companies that create inventory apps might not have have websites. Websites are much more expensive and complicated. So, I settled on a nice mix which Home Zada offers. Also, they offer instructions. I attended a free webinar. Overall, it fit my needs.