Welcome back to Fountain Pen 201, and happy Fountain Pen Friday! This week, I’ll be covering the benefits of keeping an inventory of your pen and ink collection.
When you have a small pen and ink collection, keeping an inventory probably isn’t at the forefront of your mind. However, as your collection grows, it will become harder and more time consuming to start an inventory, so it’s a good practice to start early. By why should you start one at all?
On the more positive side of things, an ink inventory can help keep you from buying duplicate inks, provide you with a reminder of what inks you do and don’t like, and make ink trading easier, to name a few.
On the other hand, an inventory of your collection can also help with insurance needs and claims.
I can’t, and won’t try to, tell you what information to include in your inventory. I will, however, share what information I have in mine.
I use Google Sheets to keep track of my collection, partially because I can save it for offline viewing on my phone. I have a separate tabs for each: pens, ink bottles, ink I want, ink I didn’t like, ink I want to test, and ink that is a dupe for ink I already have.
For pens, I keep track of the brand; model; number (if applicable); purchase location, date, and price; MSRP, nib size and material, date sold, and price sold for. You may not need as much information for your own purposes, but keep track of whatever you feel will be useful to you.
With inks, I really only keep track of the name and bottle size (so I know if I have a full sized bottle or a smaller, 20 ml bottle)
Another way to track your collection is through Fountain Pen Companion. I haven’t tried using the site, so I can’t really speak to it, but those people who I know use it seem to really like it.
It’s also worth keeping track of your currently inked pens (as in, which ink is in which pen). I’ve found that designating a few pages at the front of my notebook works best for me.
Other common methods are to include notes on your ink inventory, or to dedicate a notebook to your currently inked info. If you think that will be more your thing, check out the Currently Inked notebooks from The Pen Habit.
Do you keep a pen and/or ink inventory? If so, let me know what method you use in the comments. Check back next week for the much requested post on how I created, and maintain, my ink swab notebook.