Inventory for both paintings and art materials is frustrating as burnt eggs, and finding a solution is even worse! Depending on which type of computer or tablet you have, the best advice is use the NATIVE spreadsheet app or software for your system, be it Apple’s Numbers (for Mac, iPhone, iPad), Microsoft Excel for Windows machines and Google Sheets for everything else.
All of those spreadsheet apps and software enables you to add images to the spreadsheets.
…the sooner you get a system going for yourself, the less of a headache you will suffer from 10 years from now!
Open source for computers are OK, I’ve successfully used OpenOffice.org and it went through 8 different computers without a problem. DataViz is OK, but can get expensive with upgrades and add-ons. Both the Open Source and DataViz are rather wonky compared to Numbers, Excel and Google Sheets. I have both, and can at this point verify that they do not allow images within the spreadsheets. Your versions may be different.
I used to spend money on art programs specifically made for art inventory. But, remember that computers and tablets alike constantly updates their operating systems, which renders older software useless. So wasting a bunch of hard earned dollars for some rogue software that will only work on today’s system, is unwise for your future outlook.
When you use a spread sheet, be sure that you first convert the first row as a header, and then ’freeze’ the row. This way, when you scroll about your information, you will know what you are looking at.
You can make your system as simple or as complicated as you like. But the sooner you get a system going for yourself, the less of a headache you will suffer from 10 years from now! Believe me, I cannot recall how many times I went looking for a painting, didn’t know where it was, the story behind it, or even what medium was used! (My acrylics and oil paintings are sometimes hard to determine.)
Make a work book out of your spreadsheet. You can have multiple sheets in one book. See the tabs? You can have a tab for each situation, be it drawing, painting, art materials.
Additionally, you can use Microsoft OneNote or Apple Pages, which are free, and you can make each sheet dedicated to the story of each piece. In fact, you will want to do this because then you will have something to give out when someone is interested in your artwork. Basically, create a flyer for each piece that is on the market. This is in addition to and does not replace your portable portfolio. See the “How To Make An Artist Portfolio and Use It” article.