4 Tips for Keeping Track of Craft Projects

4 Tips for Keeping Track of Your Craft Projects

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Has keeping track of your craft projects become a real struggle?

You’ve come to the right place, here are 4 tips for keeping track of your craft projects that will help you get more organized.

Wave goodbye to the struggle. I’m going to talk about a lot of the things involved in keeping track of your craft projects – from the time you start to the time you sell – and offer up some some suggestions like:

  • deciding what to use for a system to keep track of your craft projects
  • what info do you want to keep a record of for tracking the projects you’re working on
  • how to keep track of your finished craft projects
  • building a list of projects you want to make

Are you ready to dive into this?

Deciding what to use for a system for keeping track of your craft projects

Ok, so before we can create a system for keeping track of ALL your craft projects, you need to decide what you want to use for that system.

This is probably the most important step.

Here are some examples of systems that you might want to use:

  • 3-ring binder and paper
  • Excel or Google Sheets Worksheet/Workbook with multiple pages/tabs
  • a virtual notebook like Evernote, OneNote, Nimbus Notes (there are free versions of all of these)
  • Trello & Evernote
  • maybe you’d even like to create your own planner (virtual or paper)
  • something that you can use on your phone, laptop, or tablet

The possibilities (and combinations) are endless!

But you need to decide WHAT you want to use AND you have to use it ….. consistently.

Oh, I wouldn’t recommend using Ravelry. Some of the important information you need to track will be used for your bookkeeping, record keeping, or accounting records. There’s no way to pull that info out of Ravelry quickly or easily.

Personally, I LOVE virtual notebooks like Evernote! Here’s some reasons why:

  • can have multiple notebooks all in one place
  • never run out of virtual paper
  • move a note/page from one notebook to another
  • create templates to be used over & over again
  • connect or link a note/page to a Trello card
  • connect an Excel or Google Sheets spreadsheet to a note/page
  • it doesn’t take up space on my desk!
  • I can’t lose it
  • and, I can’t spill coffee on it (like a paper notebook)

What info do you want to keep a record of for tracking the craft projects you’re working on

If you’re anything like me, you have MULTIPLE WIPS (projects) that you’re working on at the same time! (I think right now I have 4 small projects, 1 big one and 3 that are in “time out” cause they’ve totally pi$$ed me off!)

Now technically WIP’s are inventory ……. but don’t fall over ….. because I’m going to tell you that even I don’t track my WIP’s as inventory in my bookkeeping records!

Sometimes I get squirrel syndrome and set a WIP aside (sometimes it feel like every week).

Sometimes these projects sit for months in “time-out”.

When I finally come back to it, I’ve forgotten EVERYTHING!

Sometimes I’ve even forgot that I started a specific project 🙁

Does that sound familiar? I bet it does.

So, you need to come up with a list (and use it) of things that you want to keep track of for your WIPS.

Here’s some of the things that I keep track of:

  • date I set the project aside
  • when I started the project
  • hook or needle size
  • where the pattern is (OMG, I have patterns EVERYWHERE!)
  • round or row stopped at
  • additional materials needed (so they don’t get used for something else)
  • how much time I’ve spent working on the project already
  • cost of materials used so far
  • and, just a good old-fashioned list of all those WIPS (for my own reference for when I’m looking for something to do LOL)

So, go ahead, grab Excel, Google Sheets, Word, Google Docs, Evernote, whatever and make yourself a form or a template that you can use over and over again.

Or, better yet ….. subscribe to my mailing list and receive my FREE Project Cost & Pricing Worksheet to use as a starting point!

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or pretty —– as long as it works!

  • fill out the form
  • print it out
  • gather all the materials & supplies
  • put it in a zip lock bag (so the cat & dog hair don’t get all over it)
  • insert your form

BAM!!! Nice, neat, tidy, and easy to remember all the details when you pick up the project again.

Make sure you have a copy of the project form in your craft project tracking system (whatever it may be) and add it to the “master list” of things you are/have been working on.

Organize them by the date you set the project away – oldest first.

Personally, I use a combination of my Project Costs & Pricing Worksheet and an app on my iPad called Knit Companion.

Whenever I start a new project, I grab a paper copy of the worksheet and keep track of things as I go along. That way everything is there if the project goes to “time-out” or I finish it.

Knit Companion is a great app (don’t let the name fool you – I use it for crochet too) – it’ll help you to keep track of the row, round, or repeat you left off on and I can create notes to help job my memory. It saves all this stuff, even when you close the pattern .pdf, it’s available for both Apple and Android.

How to keep track of your finished craft projects

Finished projects ARE INVENTORY and there’s a lot of information you need to keep track of for bookkeeping purposes and so you’ll know what you have on hand that’s available to sell at that upcoming craft fair.

By the time you’ve finished your project, there have been a LOT of moving parts, pieces, and information that you’ll need for future use.

Finishing your project, weaving in the ends, washing, blocking, and storing your finished craft project in the closet is only part of the whole process!

Here’s some of the things that I keep track of, just to give you some ideas:

  • date the project was finished & put into inventory (this helps determine how long something has been hanging around, if you want to put it on “sale”, or remove it from inventory completely by donating it to charity)
  • name I’m calling it when I sell it (dishcloth #55 isn’t very descriptive)
  • materials used to make it (the things & quantities to take out of inventory)
  • cost of materials used (how much the decrease to inventory and increase Cost of Good Sold when it’s sold)
  • time it took to make it
  • the selling price
  • when it sold – so income and cost of goods sold can be entered into your bookkeeping records
  • just a good old list of everything you have available for sale

So again, go ahead and grab Excel, Google Sheets, Evernote, whatever and make yourself a form or template that you can use over and over again.

  • fill out the form
  • print it out if you put things in a 3-ring binder
  • add the form to your virtual notebook

I use my Project Costs & Pricing Worksheet to keep track of things as I go along. When the project is finished, I open Excel and enter the info there and let the formulas work their magic to determine the sell price. PLUS, I have all my yardages and costs. Everything’s organized and all in one place!

Building a list of craft projects you want to make

It seems like everyday I come across a new project (or 12) that makes me say oh, I want to make this! Sound familiar LOL????

Evernote or Trello (or a combo of both) is great for keeping track of things like this.

In Evernote:

  • create a Notebook called “Things I want to make”
  • then add Notes to it for the categories that the items fall under (knit dishcloths, crochet dishcloths, knit scarves, crochet scarves, etc.)
  • in each note category just make a list of pattern names and the link to the patterns.

Trello’s great too:

  • create a board called “Things I want to make”
  • then create category Lists
  • then add cards with names and links to the patterns

Pinterest is great, but holy crap – talk about going down a rabbit hole to “squirrelville”!

So, there you have it – 4 Tips for Keeping Track of Your Craft Projects

Everything from ideas on what to use and how to develop a tracking system to keeping a list of all the projects you want to make, including:

  • deciding what to use for a system to keep track of your craft projects
  • what info do you want to keep a record of for tracking the projects you’re working on
  • how to keep track of your finished craft projects
  • building a list of projects you want to make

Getting organized and developing a system never felt so good LOL

Do you have any tips that you’d like to share for keeping track of your projects? Drop them in the comments below.

Your in yarn & numbers, Nancy

P.S. Subscribe below to get your own copy of the Project Costs & Pricing Worksheet

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