Organizing with Bento
02 May 2011 | Auckland, New Zealand
One of the things that drives me crazy about living on a boat is that there are so many little nooks and crannies that it's often hard to remember just where you put something especially if you've moved it. Or to even remember whether you still have it on board. Since everything in Bento can be related I've been working on a number of databases to help us remember where stuff is. All of our cabinets are getting numbers and descriptions in one database along with a photo. We can then link them to the appropriate items. For example I have my food inventory, Mark has a spare parts inventory, and we now have a book inventory. You wouldn't want these in the same excel spreadsheet but you may want to be able to see what is in every cabinet on the boat or front cabin. This is where Bento comes in. All three inventories are separate but linked to the appropriate cabinet. This way if you have a cabinet that has some books, some spare parts, and some food items (we don't really organize like this but it could happen.) You don't have to look at three spreadsheets to see what is there. You can go to the cabinet and see the full list. It's also really easy to reassign something to a different cabinet because you don't have to rely only on numbers and try to figure out which cabinet is which number because there is a whole description and picture available. If you like to keep stuff in multiple places (1 filter easy to get and 3 down deep) it can like the item to multiple locations so you only have one record. In excel you would have to have two separate lines or columns.
I've also decided with our book inventory to keep check boxes for items "to take home" or "have been taken home." We have definitely wondered if we actually took something home or if we just couldn't find it.
Tomorrow I'll let everyone see what I've done with my quilting fabrics...