Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Over Organized?

If you have been a regular reader, you know that I am a bit organized. Ok, maybe a little more than a bit. I've got all of my Cubs cards scanned and saved on my computer (plus backed up on a second computer), uploaded on Photobucket, and listed in a spreadsheet. That is all well and good.

But here is the issue I'm wrestling with now. Every time I get a new card, I've got to take care of all three tasks (scan, Photobucket, spreadsheet) before I can put the card away in its new binder page home. If I don't do those things first, I'm afraid I'll lose track of what is scanned-Photobucket-spreadsheet and what isn't. And as soon as I lose track of a few cards, then the whole point of the scanning etc. is gone. With over 8,300 Cubs cards, I'll never be able to track down which two or three I don't have scanned.

I feel like I've painted myself into a corner. I've already invested too much time in the organization to just let it go. It used to be when a bubble mailer came, I would tear it open, enjoy the card, and then add it to the appropriate binder. But now, I've got my organization jobs and that takes some of the fun of a new card away.

Lately, I've set up a holding area on my desk with new cards, and when I get enough to scan nine or ten, I'll do them all at once. That seems to be more efficient with my time.

Is anyone else feeling overwhelmed by their organization....or overwhelmed by a lack of organization? Is there any sort of happy medium? Am I OCD???


  1. Yeah, you're a little OCD. You're a card collector for god's sake--we're all a little OCD. I actually do something similar to you, with (seemingly) less effective results.

    1. Get a card.
    1a. Put in pile of unsorted cards
    2. Take a picture/add to spreadsheet
    3a. Put in pile to later put in Binder/box
    3b. Put in binder/box

    There can be a bit of a lag between steps 1 and 2, but usually the lag between 2 and 3 is small. At one point things got crazy and I dumped a couple hundred cards into an "uncatalogued box," which I'll get to when I get to.

    I've also prioritized things based on sets I care about (Topps, A&G, Heritage) and secondary sets (T-206, Chrome etc.), which has helped.

    Let me just say that I envy your organization and wish I were as good at it as you were!

  2. You may be a little OCD, but it's OK that I say that since I am too. I used to have so many stacks lying around I would forget what was cataloged, what was going out in trade or something similar. I am a tad behind, but I find comfort in knowing there are others out there in blogger land that go to the extreme when it comes to organization! Keep it up!

  3. We're all OCD. Just make sure that the boss of all bosses (i.e. the spouse) doesn't become enraged by any temporary clutter.

  4. Now I don't scan every card in but I do something simmilar.

    When I get a new card I update my online spreadsheet. I do this usually the same day I receive it, never more than the next day. I also have a paper version of my spreadsheet that must be updated at the same time. Yes know that I killed a few trees for it (because my list is so long) but it is great for trips to card shops or shows. I make sure that I do both checklists at the same time because I forgot to one time and it was so hard to figure out where I was that I had to reprint the whole list. (sorry tree lovers)

    After that the cards go into one of 2 places depending on where I got them from.

    If I purchased them they go in the "ready to be put away pile", if I got them in a trade they go back in their envelopes on a shelf until I scan them so I can write a post on them (I only scan a few cards from each package). I usually acquire about 3 packages before I scan any but once I do I save each package in it's own folder. After scanning they get put in the "ready to be put away file".

    You would think that is the end of it but it is not. You see when I do blind trades I get allot of doubles. I have over 10,000 Sox doubles. I have a few guys that are fellow Red Sox collectors that I trade with. Once I deem a card a double it goes in a trade que. After that pile gets so high it may fall over it is time to ship a package. I go though my 2 trade partners list and ship out any cards from this pile they need. The ones they didn't need get sorted by year and brand into my Red Sox Doubles until I can find a new Red Sox collector to send stuff to.

    Like Grand said us card collectors are all a little OCD

  5. Jeez, I wish I was as OCD as you guys. My player collections get put into Beckett, but my team needs are well out of date, thanks in part to AdamE's generous box o' wax.

    The rest of my interesting cards in piles in a cupboard. Yes, piles. Even some autos.

    I am a bad collector.

  6. You are more organized than any card blogger I have ever come across.

    But I think organization is part of being a collector. When I receive a card, I scan it (but I don't scan all of them) and then I record it. Then it goes in a stack for filing into a binder.

    I don't look at organization as being an "extra job" that takes away from collecting. It's a part of collecting. You can't have one without the other. I actually like a little organizing time.

  7. The problem with any good organization is the upkeep. You're almost doomed to have a pile of "to be organized later" somewhere. As long as it doesn't stress you (or a loved one) you just have to let that be ok. Unless you're willing to se aside Wednesday nights for scanning and Thursday for spreadsheet. Eventually, a happy medium will come around that you can live with.

  8. Thanks for the comments, everyone. I think Night Owl said it best, that organizing is a part of collecting. As long as I keep that in mind, I'm OK with what I'm doing.

  9. I have made attempts in the past to organize my collection like you have yours, but I failed miserably. I was just too overwhelming for me. Now, I just scan and input the data from the players I collect, then into their respective binders they go. All other cards go into boxes, but I have them sectioned off from A-Z, Checklist, Teams and Others, then each of them is sub sectioned into three numbered sections, 0-300, 400-600. 700-900.
    So when I put a card in for example David Ortiz, card #67, I put it in the O's, section 0-300.
    It works for me, but I slack off on sorting most times and end up with a pile of cards to