Okay, so I will admit that I am not the most organized of people, really. If you’re read any of my posts on specific comics, you know I’m pretty off the cuff and there is no structure to what I’m saying. It’s just whatever is in my head at the moment I’m writing! My life really isn’t all that different – things just kind of end up where they end up and there’s usually no rhyme or rhythm to where things are placed.
With my comic book collection growing as quickly as it is (and with a quick comment back and forth with cptmrvl over on Readers Assemble) I started thinking about how I wanted to organize and keep track it all. Once I got past the point that everything could fit into one box, all bets were off. I’d never be able to find a specific comic again! And really, I’m almost at the point where I am filling up a short box (did I mention that it’s a little scary how many I’ve gotten in the last two weeks?). I had been keeping track in a very rudimentary way….i.e. a notepad on my desktop that was a list of what I owned, series that I was interested in and wanted to get, things I needed to read and post up here, holes in my collection that I was still searching for, etc. I just wasn’t sure how to organize all of this into something that would be easy to use.
So I decided to try and play around with a spreadsheet and see what I could make work…I mean, I looked at some online database sites (Collectorz and StashMyComics and a couple of others) but they were either something you had to pay for, or not robust enough to cover everything I was keeping track of in those notepads! So I figured I would try and make my own. What I ended up with was a spreadsheet that looks like this:
(I hadn’t actually filled the entire thing out when I took this screenshot, but I was working on it :P) This thing took a LONG time to put together. Every time I thought I had all the information I need, I’d realize another column I wanted to keep track of and have to add it in and fill it out. I can’t imagine someone trying to do this after they’ve been collecting for years, or even months. I mean…this took me two days to completely fill out and all of my comics fit into one short box! I took a lot of inspiration from other excel spreadsheets that I could find online, and bouncing some ideas off of SM. But I think I’ll be sticking with this set-up for a while. Hopefully I’ll remember to keep it up to date!!
Essentially, what I’m going for is this: I want to be able to keep these series in order (hence the “Overall Series” column. I can keep all of the Avengers, be they New or Secret or whatever, side-by-side.), keep track of any that I haven’t read yet (so they don’t have to sit on my desk for a week until I get around to them) and which ones I need to post here, keep track of which ones I’ve subscribed to at the comic shop and which ones I need to still pick up on my own, any series that have holes that I need to fill, whether or not I plan on continuing to pick up the series, and where they are. It takes a bit of playing around with filters, but it’s easy enough to figure out what you want to know off of that list.
Now, of course, the real question is whether or not I can maintain this! Especially when I have to start splitting things into different boxes…that’s when things are going to get a little sticky…