Keep Your Art Organized Without Fancy Software

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Don't get me wrong, fancy software like Artwork Archive are very cool and  I'd love to utilize something like that one day, but what I'm currently using that has worked out pretty well so far is just a plain old spreadsheet. (And bonus, when/if you do decide to upgrade to a software system instead, you can usually just import your .xls file!) I use Numbers since my MacBook Pro doesn't have Excel and I think they are pretty comparable and both do everything that you will need to be able to do.

Here is a blank example of how I have my Inventory Tracking Spreadsheet set up:

Inventory Spreadsheet

The beautiful thing is how customized this can be. Mine includes Image, Title, Vango, LB, Etsy, Location, Medium, Dimensions, Edition, Series, Price, Net, Exhibition, Year Created, Sold, Sale Date, Donated, Collector, Collector Email, Collector Address, Sold By, and Notes.

Vango, LB, and Etsy are the three online shops where I usually list my work. One the listing is complete, I make an "x" in the appropriate column. This helps me to make sure that not only am I maximizing my online presence, but also helps me to remember where I need to take listings down once a piece sells.

I also have a check box for "sold". Every couple of weeks I sort the document by that column and move all of the sold pieces to another tab within the workbook. I have separate tabs for years. This helps me to be able to quickly reference what I have onhand or in galleries and shows and also to quickly access and analyze sale information.

The Notes section is very important to me. I try and document how people find me, referrals, where I donated pieces to, and other useful little tidbits.

One very important thing for both Numbers and Excel is this:

***YOU CANNOT USE THE CLOUD OR WEB-BASED VERSIONS***

One really critical column in this  spreadsheet is the image column. It is so helpful to be able to scan through the list and see what is onhand, and for that you will need to be able to lock an image *within the cell*, which (to the best of my knowledge and after trying for hours and Googling like crazy) you cannot do on the iCloud version of Numbers or the web based version of Excel.

Here's how to you insert the image within the cell so that you can sort the columns and all of the images will stay in the correct place:

First, on the right hand side of the screen, you will see Table, Cell, Text, and Arrange. Click on cell. Then, in the Fill section, choose Image Fill from the drop down box.

locking a photo within a cell in numbers

Click scale to fit or fill, and then choose your image. Voila! Your artwork will then fill the box. LockImageWithinNubersCell

I hope that this helps out all of my artist friends (or really anyone that just wants to be able to catalog things!)

Happy Monday! xoxo