Home Inventory

Has anyone used DT to set up a Home Inventory? If you have, can you give me an idea on how you set it up? Such as what groups did you use?


Sorry to be a little slow answering this (12 years), I am considering setting one up. Did you do it in the end and, if so, how did it work out?

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I’m also planning to try to set up one with DT and came here to check if someone had already written something about it :blush: I will start experimenting with it and would be interested in exchanging ideas and experiences with others interested in the subject.

At the moment I’m looking into using a sheet to collect the main information and link each record with the receipts and other documents that belong to each item. Still have to discover how to do it.

I have the Home Inventory app which I’m using as a reference on how to set it up. This app is good, I think, but doesn’t give access to Spotlight searches to the information in it. That’s why I’ve decided to build something with DT.

Couldn’t it simply be what you describe here?

  • Create a spreadsheet
  • Create rows with every inventory item you want to document
  • (Optional: create a form within the spreadsheet to add information quickly)
  • Create columns with inventory properties like date of purchase, price, guarantee etc.
  • Create a group called Inventory in DT
  • (Create subgroups for photo’s, receipts, invoices etc.)
  • Make a photo of the item
  • Add the photo to a group in DT and give it a logical name
  • Scan the receipt/invoice if you haven’t already and add it to DT
  • Copy the item links of the photo and the receipt (starts with x-devonthink-item://)
  • Paste the links into the appropriate cells
  • Add the spreadsheet to DT when done

The nice thing about the item link in the sheet, is that it also opens the DT item in DTTG on an iPhone or iPad. You could even create everything above on those devices if you want.

Be warned that the x-devonthink-item:// usually only works in files that are stored locally. Cloud-based spreadsheets can confuse URL-schemes with normal URLs.

Would this work for you?

Hello Cambrian,

Thanks a lot for the detailed suggestion :slight_smile:

I’m just working on it and was basically following all your suggestions but am creating it using a sheet in DT (actually more like a database table instead of a sheet, it seems to me). Do you have any comments on the advantages / disadvantages of using DT sheets versus an external spreadsheet program?

For the links to the photo, invoices and warranty documents I used the “Link” data type for these columns.

For the retailer column (and others), I’m using the “Single-line Text” data type and adding the names of the retailers I use most of the time to buy the stuff, so I can use the drop-down list when filling in the information.

I like to take photos with the iPhone of the serial number stickers on the products or on their packaging since they have useful information for reference.

One idea that I just had while doing all this is: would it be possible to manage it all through the Metadata information of the photo of the serial number or the product as one might prefer, instead of using a sheet?

After working all this out we could create a “Home Inventory” template for DT and make it available to others. The existing “Serial Numbers” template filed under “Accounts & Passwords” in the Templates Menu looks a bit similar to what we’re discussing here.

Not really, I just happen to like editing in a dedicated spreadsheet program and then import that to DT. An advantage of using the internal editor is simplicity I guess.

I would suggest adding an OCR smart rule when importing those photos to the inventory group. That saves you the time of manually entering the number. Keep in mind possible errors with OCR though, but you’ve got the photo as a reference of course.

Set the search scope to the inventory photos group, match to images or PDF with a word count of zero, perform OCR (optionally set the OCR preference to delete the original photo or move it) and select a trigger like ‘after sync’ or any other.

I guess, but I personally wouldn’t use it that way as a think a spread sheet gives you the possibility to glance at your complete inventory. Also doing calculations (e.g. find out the total worth for insurance purposes) or exports are easier with a sheet I think.

Blast from the past! Hard to believe I’ve been using this software for this long.

On the Home Inventory, I kept it simple. I scanned paper receipts/saved emailed receipts to DTPO. If something has a serial number, I save that in the comments of the saved receipts. I walk through the house once a year and take a photos of everything and save that to Dropbox.

2008, the year in which:

And many more important things of course!