Saturday, September 2, 2017

Trying to get organized

For a little over a year now I have been doing data entry work in support of creating a comprehensive data base of all N scale items ever produced.  Recently I was introduced to another feature of the data base, a personal item inventory.

If you are not already familiar with this data base, please check it out by clicking HERE.  All you need is a Google account to sign up.

Like many of us in this hobby, I have many more locomotives and rail cars than I could ever run at one time and keeping them organized has been a challenge for me. Sometimes I acquire something that I already have because I forgot I have it, sound familiar ?  I have tried to use spreadsheets to keep track of things but the files ended up getting lost or corrupted.  So I thought I would try using the inventory function of the data base as it will be on a server somewhere and someone other than me is going to back it up, etc.

As I enter my collection into my inventory I am placing a color coded sticker on the box with the data base reference number on it.  Having the sticker will tell me that the item has been included in my inventory and the sticker color will indicate which era on my layout it belongs to.

In This Post from back in 2014 I explained how I was planning to have 3 different eras on the layout.

I purchased some adhesive stickers in different colors and write the inventory ID number on these while at the same time setting the era.

I decided to start with the locomotives.  The numbers on the stickers are the data base ID numbers.  When an item overlaps 2 of my layout eras I place a half of one color over the other.  As an example the Kodachrome GP35 in this photo could belong to the 83 to 88 era or the 89 to 96 era.
So far I have gone through most of the locomotives that have decoders.  As I do I am placing the engines that belong to the layout in the display case above the staging yard.  Each row is for a different era.  The empty plastic boxes are light and can be stored in an overhead cabinet.

There are also some yellow dots and I am using those to mark the inventory ID number on items that don't have anything to do with this layout.  I run these on the modular layout setups I attend.

The GP9's in this photo all have the same ID number on the sticker.  That's because I had bought them as non numbered models and put the numbers myself. 

It's nice not having that box of extra engines sitting on the floor.  Hopefully I can keep this going and have a more efficient railroad.

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