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Inventorying and archiving

OK…Now that I have an increasing body of work and participating in fine art exhibitions as well as open studio sales, I’m struggling on a good, easy format for inventorying my work. While not interested in purchasing, I’ve looked at professional archival sites to see how they organize information such as: image, dimensions, materials, part of a series or not, sales info including price vs sale and name/contact of purchaser, as well as galleries exhibited in. Does anyone have a template or suggestion for keeping track of their stuff?
thx Judy

When I first started making and selling jewelry I had a great copier/printer and I’d make a copy of the the piece by laying the work on the copier glass and cover it with white paper. It was amazingly good! Not the one I have now, though…

I have a notebook where I make a rouch sketch of the piece and write down all the info you’re talking about. I assign each piece a number, they’re sorted by tabs into types (earrings, rings…). I have all the materials listed, the price (and figurings), the measurements, what gallery it is in, and when one sells, I mark it with a highliter marker and record date and buyer.

I’ve accumulated 4 notebooks.

I also take photos of almost all of my work, for etsy, social media and/or website/promo.

I’d love to combine all of it into a program if I felt like the cost was worth the money and time investment. So I’m interested in answers as well!

wow, 4 books! you are productive!
I do want a digital format, so easy to maneuver once it’s set. I’ve created Excel sheets with thumbnail images of the piece and some pertinent info next to it. I keep one with basic info which I also print out and hand-write pricing for selling events. However, it’s cumbersome to edit or organize because I’m simply pasting in the image and putting info next to it, there is no template. I think what I need is a template. And then is each piece a separate page? and combine for my sales info? there must be something out there–free!

I use jewelry designer manger plus and this software does everything that you are talking about.
I don’t work for the company and I’m not affiliated in any way. It’s just the software I’ve been using to manage inventory of parts, metal and pieces at galleries. It’s particularly useful at tax time.


I did the photo approach once - and then switched to the square on my ipad. Ipad was too much trouble when someone was purchasing. Will be going back to image and paper- write it down - next to photo. I have a rule that nothing leaves my studio until I take a photo.

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Look at airtable. It is a free relational database that is very easy to use and will allow you to import pictures. The only thing missing from the free version is the ability to create forms like an invoice…Rob

hammermancarol–Thanks for your interesting approach. So for keeping track of your work, who buys, where exhibited, etc, you take a photo and then write in all info next to it?

rmeixner-- I only just glanced at Airtable. It may be what I’m looking for, not sure yet, it may be looking more complicated than it is to use. any hints?

You have to know how common relational databases work like Filemaker Pro, Access and the open source versions. Airtable is easier, but you still have to know about relationships, drop downs, primary keys and more. If not, then you have to rely on for pay versions that are unique to a specific application. Just thought that I would throw it out since airtable is free…Rob

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Yup - it was the fastest. Putting it in the ipad/square was not.