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Jinis Jewels wrote
on Jun 18, 2008 11:18 AM

Any suggestions on staying organized?  I am relatively new to beading and I've been keeping directions for some items in a binder and then I have a spreadsheet that I was using for figuring out costs and then I have paper where I was tracking what I make and not really tracking what I've sold and so as you can see, I'm feeling very disorganized and am wondering how you track all of these things.  Any suggestions? 


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Sheila H wrote
on Jun 18, 2008 6:30 PM

 For me paper is better at tracking than on the computer as I work on the computer all day. I bought some of the green ledger sheets ( life accountants used to use before compters ). They come in different widths ( 4 or 6 columns ). This type of paper is in the office supply section at the Wal-Mart need me. I find these easy because I can list the date, a description ( where I bought the supply or where I sold the items ), and then I have several columns so I can use one for purchases and then another column for sales, and another for a running total to show me how in the hole I am. I am still hoping to get in the Black so to speak.

I keep my sales that I did not collect sales tax on in a separate column from the sales that had sales tax collected on it as I have a case at a antique mall and they collect the tax. Once a year, I have to pay sales tax on the items that sales that have not had it collected. This makes it easier when I get the form from my state.

These pages have three holes pre-drilled so they fit into a binder easily. I bought a binder with pockets in the front and back. I use one for receipts that I need to enter.

You can also use this same paper for inventory purposes as I do.

You could do a second binder with different dividers such as one for rings, necklaces, earrings, etc. I started saving instructions but since I string I stopped saving them. I may find something new and save it for a little while until I get use to it and then I can pitch it. I am not sure what your beading style you do so the binder thing may not work. You may have to get a binder for rings, one for necklaces, etc.

As far as costs for things, I have not really mastered this one although I usually buy things for specific projects so when I complete that project I know that I have in it. When I first started, I would put the cost of each bead or finding on the label that the product came in. I found that that did not work too well. You may need to use a separate binder for that, you could get the photos pages and put one bead or finding with the label as an example. Most of the labels I have seen has the cost and the amount of items on it. If not, you could easily write this in.

I have only been doing this a year so I know that I have a lot to learn. I will tell you that it is easier to do it as you go throughout the year rather than waiting to tax time if you are going that route. I usually don't do everything as soon as I get home from the store. Thus the pocket for the receipts as I can store them and then do it all at one time about once a month. Depending on how busy you are you may need to do this one a week.

I hope this helps. I would like to see all the other's thoughts as I may learn a better way myself. Good Luck!

on Jun 18, 2008 11:53 PM

I also use mostly paper for organizing.  I've been ogling the design and inventory software, but I have so many beads it would take me forever to enter them all, and when I first started I didn't even think about selling, so lots of things have no prices.  I just make one up if need be.

Now, though, I put a price per unit on a label as soon as I buy something, and I have a notebook that I use for pricing.  I write a description of the piece at the top, then list the materials used and the prices, then add time, overhead and a markup if applicable.  If it sells, I write "Sold" on top of the page.  I also bought a ledger from an office supply store so I can keep track of sales.  It has a worksheet on each weekly page to list sales, then costs for advertising, postage, materials, work-related purchases (ie office supplies), everything you need to keep track of basically.  At the bottom you then finish the worksheet and it will compute any profit/loss you had, and keeps a running total throughout the year.  It's very easy to do, and makes it really helpful around tax time.

I also keep all my receipts in an expandable folder, with pockets for materials, office supplies, etc so they are more or less organized.

Actual BEAD organization is a whole different topic, I suppose.

Hope that helps,



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Jinis Jewels wrote
on Jun 20, 2008 6:56 AM

 These are great suggestions.  I mostly make bracelets and earring and occasionally I make some bracelets.  I am running to Walmart today and plan to pick up a ledger and spend the weekend getting organized. 

I too didn't keep very good records as I never expected anyone to want to purchase my beaded jewelry, and was just learning more for a hobby.  Now I get special requests (can you make me an anklet.... can you do this in a different color...) so my hubby says it sounds like it's time to get better organized.  I agree.

Thanks again.


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