Ok – if you are a crafter, face it – you are also a hoarder. Yes, I know that sounds harsh, but its true, as crafters we collect A LOT OF STUFF to do what we do – and that leads to other problems and difficulties. Problems finding what you need, forgetting about supplies you have and never using them, and worst of all, buying something twice because you forgot you had it in the first place (I hate it when that happens). There are many ways Evernote and this inventory system can help you depending on your wants and needs: inventory for insurance purposes, expenses and budgeting, organizing, documenting manufacturer and location of purchase (very helpful if you are a blogger or YouTuber), it can also help with inspiration (this was an added benefit I did not expect). This will all become clearer as I go on. Evernote also crosses over all of your devices – most importantly, your phone so you always have your inventory with you and can access it whenever and wherever you are.
Before I get into the specifics of how I am using it and what I did, I need to send a HUGE THANK YOU to my wonderful friend Marsha B. for telling me about this. I think she said she heard about it from another sweet friend, Marsha M. who saw it on YouTube. I am familiar with Evernote as I have been a subscriber since 2012 but I was only using it for lists, craft instructions and password information. So I went to YouTube and since I did not know what Marsha M. watched, I just did a search “Evernote for Inventory?” and watched a few tutorials (“Organize Craft Supplies with Evernote” by paperologist, “Evernote tutorial: How to Create a Stamp Inventory” by Kat Scrappiness, and “Using Evernote to Organize your Stamp Sets” by Rebecca Brown. All were helpful to me for various reasons and they are not that long so check them out if you need more information to help you get started.
I have found the Evernote Web Clipper to be VERY helpful and strongly recommend you download it along with the basic Evernote program. I’ll explain more later. Evernote has fee based programs available but the free one is working just fine for me. And free is always a good thing.
Disclaimer: I am by no means an expert in any of this. I am not a computer, Evernote or YouTube expert. Nor am I getting paid by anyone to write this. It is just my opinion, thoughts and how I am using my tools. I am merely a crafter sharing a tool that I find helpful. I will explain things as best I can. If something is not clear to you, please feel free to let me know or ask me a question and I will do my best to help or try to put you in the direction of someone else that can answer your question.
After downloading the Evernote program, you need to create a notebook (this is like a file folder) and you can create one bulk “Inventory” notebook or you can break it down into multiple notebooks based on your needs and uses for the program. The good part is, you can always move an entry to another folder at any time should you find the need. For example, you set up an “Inventory” notebook and start entering your supplies — then you decide you want to break your notebooks down by supplier – or type of supply (ie stamps in one notebook, dies in another, ink pads in another, embellishments in yet another and so on) This is YOUR system so set it up however best suits you and your needs. You will understand better once you see it in action and see what the capabilities are. I will explain how I am using it AT THIS TIME – as I said, it is easy to move things around if you decide you want to change something so I may end up changing something after I have used the system for a bit.
After creating your notebook, you will begin creating your notes. Each note is an entry about your inventory item. You will create a separate note for each inventory item. The tags on the note are your key. You need to make tags that will make sense to you and consistency is key – using the same terminology or names for items (ie a birthday gift can be a “gift” or a “present” – for my purposes, I chose gift universally. For my purposes, I refrained from listing a gift as a “birthday gift” or “Christmas gift” regardless of what type of stamp set it may be part of – I feel “gift” is sufficient and can usually be used for any type of gift needed. I feel it simplifies things but if you feel more detail is needed, then go ahead and use the tags you see fit. YOU will be the one utilizing your tags so they need to be written as you would use them. When you perform a search – you can search within one notebook or all of your notebooks so it doesn’t matter whether you have 1 notebook or 100.
Additionally, if you are setting up a notebook for each manufacturer, then you do not need to create a tag with the manufacturers name. For my purposes, I do not need seller information but if that is important to you, create a tag “purchased from Michaels” etc. Additionally, there is a comments section, so if you will need to refer to the information when using the item, but won’t need to search by that information, then just enter it in the comment section as your tags do not readily show on your notes. For instance, if you will not need to search the items you purchased at Michaels, but will need to know this for a potential blog post, in the comments section, you might write “Purchased at Michaels 3/2/2-18 on sale for $4.99”. Or you could use the comments section to document when you use the item by pasting a picture of your creation and comment “Used for Card Buffet 2/24/2018”. You are able to update a note at any time so if you decide you want to add a tag or comment, just open the note & change things or add things as you see fit.
Now on to the Evernote Web Clipper and how I go about creating a note. After downloading, the Evernote icon (an elephant) will be place on your internet browser – I have Windows 10 & use Firefox (I don’t know if that matters) and the icon is way over to the right on the address line. I also use Google. I am a Stampin Up demonstrator so I will use my Stampin Up supplies in my examples. First we need to enter the name of the stamp set in the search box and change the type of search from “all” to “images” (this is right under the search box in Google). I searched “Stampin Up Hang Your Stocking”. Note I used capitals in my search – this is to save time because the web clipper will use your search as a label for your note (very nice). If you don’t care about capitalization, then don’t bother but the training in me says a title should be capitalized (a little bit of OCD coming out here). The search brings up images of the stamp set as well as any photos on line that use the stamp set (ie Pinterest pins or blog posts etc). For my purposes, I want an image of the stamp set itself for my inventory, so I click on the appropriate image (don’t use any Ebay or Etsy listings that may show up – you can’t copy the picture – it copies the link to the listing). Here is my search result:
I then clicked on the first image of the stamp set & got this:
Now you click on the clipper icon & that opens a note (I’m sorry, I can’t get a screen capture of this – the capture takes a picture of what is UNDER the Evernote box). The first section in the box is your note title – as I said previously, it automatically prefills with the words used in your search – you can type over and change it as you see fit (I delete the “Stampin Up” and enter this as a tag. Look to the bottom of the box to be sure you are clipping to the appropriate notebook, change as necessary. Now, go to the middle section of the box, this is about what you want to clip – I want just the one image so I click on “Screenshot” and put a box around the wanted image. Now, you can mark up the picture if you want. The next section of the clipper box is your tags. I have found one problem and can’t figure out how to fix it, there is a maximum of 20 tags allowed at this point (once you save the note from clipper, you can add more tags in the Evernote program) BUT for some reason, when you exceed 20 tags & you get the message advising of the 20 tag limit, when you save the note, it wipes out all of your tags on the note. I don’t know why this happens or how to prevent it – other than to not exceed 20 which is a bit troublesome as there is no counter. But it is much easier to enter your tags at this point – if you wait to enter them in the program, it takes a lot more steps, you can’t just type & enter, you have to mouse click on tags, add tag, a box opens, you again click add tag, then get another box to type the tag, then save it. I tag with every image on the stamp set. With flowers, I decided to always tag flower, then tag specifically if I now what it is (ie rose, peony, daisy etc). Along with card making, I dabble in mixed media, so if a stamp set has something that would make good texture or background – I add tags with those words. I also decided to add all of the sentiments as tags as well, this helps if I want to make a friend card, I can search “friend” and it will bring up all the stamps that include the word friend. You may decide this is overkill for you but I find it helpful. You could also add the sentiments in the remarks section.
Ok, back to clipper, there is an “options” button at the bottom of the clip where you can make changes such as “always add tag”. Since I am entering all of my Stampin Up products now, I always add the tag “Stampin Up”. Once I finish with Stampin Up, I can change that tag to my next brand name. You can also chose to always open clipper to clip to a particular notebook (again changing that as necessary while initially entering your inventory. Once your inventory is done and you will be entering new purchases that will change specifics, I will delete the “always” options). Once, you finish with tags, you can enter any comments you want visible on your note. Your tags don’t readily show on your notes, so even though I may have tagged a stamp “matching dies” – I want to know this when I view the note so I type it again under additional remarks. Another issue that is important to me is whether a stamp set is current or retired – I may need to create a card with only current items for stamp camp or card buffet so I have tagged them as such. When an item retires, I can just go in & delete “current” and add “retired” – but I also want to know if a set is retired by viewing it so I add “retired” under remarks. This helps if I search “hearts” to create a card, I can immediately see if a set is retired. Add remarks as you see fit. I have not entered much here so I don’t know if there is a limit. It may be like the tags, in that there is a limit in clipper but it is unlimited in the actual program. After all tags and remarks are entered, click on “save” at the top of the box. You have now created your first note!
One of the benefits of the clipper is that it automatically adds a Google search link to your note. I love this unexpected feature. With one click, you can get inspiration for your stamps!
I am trying a new storage system that I got from one of the YouTube videos I watched. I am numbering my stamps and storing them by number instead of alphabetically. This will prevent having to constantly shift stamps to add new ones or remove retired ones. I will always have the program handy as I have it loaded on my phone, tablet & laptop so it will be a quick search to find the number of a stamp to then pull it from the drawer. If you have different storage locations, be sure to make a remark so you can easily know where to find your stamp whether you sort them by theme, alphabetically or numerically, The only drawback I see to the number system is that by the end of creating my inventory, I will find out just how many stamps I have!
Evernote is not letting me do screenshots from my laptop so I can’t show u the full view but I was able to get some on my phone:
Here is one where I searched “heart” & I got 12 matches from the 57 notes I have so far. among the matches is the one below which has the word heart within a sentiment – you can see that it highlighted the relevant word for easy finding
I hope I have explained it well enough. And that it is not too wordy, I really wanted to explain it in detail for any Newbees. Please let me know if you have any questions, I’ll be happy to help. Send me a comment and let me know if this was helpful and feel free to share any tips or information that you thought of while creating your inventory, that you find useful or helpful to the inventory process with Evernote. I would love to hear from you.
Thanks for visiting and spending time with me. Happy crafting and good luck with your inventory.