Regular comics are great and all, but I do enjoy those promotional mini-comics. I have an article series on my other site that is all about reviewing them, and ones I physically own can be cross-posted to this site if I need it. They’re probably the only part of my comics library that is properly organized. However, they weren’t properly cataloged, and I need to know which mini-comics I own, what I’m looking for, and what I’ve written reviews on, whether I own the actual mini-comic or a scan off of the internet

That’s what I decided to do for this week’s project, to create a spreadsheet to catalog my mini-comics and what I’ve reviewed already. This may seem boring, and we aren’t talking about high impact EXTREME excitement here, but it’s a good way to demonstrate how that unused spreadsheet program in your computer or tablet can benefit a large organizing project like the one I’m doing.

Can you spot the typo I just found?

Here is my example. I gave it a name I can find easily enough, and placed it in the project folder for BW Media Spotlight, so I can find it when I need it. You can see how I break things down: series, title, whether or not I’ve reviewed it, whether or not I own it, and how to look it up for future review, plus a section for any other notes I have on the mini-comic in question. Additionally, sub-series (for example Masters Of The Universe is split up by one source into six “series” of comics, plus some other titles in the same group) are listed in the “series” section in all caps and in italics to better find the right comic I want and to know what chronology they may have.

Some comics, like Atari Force in this example, follows a storyline through the chosen toys or games in a certain order. This helps me establish a reading order that tells the full story. It’s potentially useless in standalone comics like theĀ Masters example, but it is an established issue number order, which makes for better reviewing.

Now most of you probably aren’t organizing mini-comics for review or continuity, so you’re probably asking (if you’re still reading this) “what does it have to do with my collection organizing?”. It depends on what you’re organizing. Here’s another organization list I have for my Atari 800 games from an earlier project. I probably won’t be adding to this and what I want to review is what I already own. So this requires a different list, organizing based on title and format (game cartridge versus cassette). Other game collections have different lists, and my video and book collections have their own organizing. Every collection has their own needs and their own categories.

And it doesn’t stop at collections. While we’ve been going over other house clutter, we’ve found small appliances that we didn’t even know we had, or manuals for devices we didn’t know we had, or used to have and now don’t. Knowing what you have and what accessories you should be keeping an eye out for (like finding the manual and power cord for a skillet we came across), and what you need to replace if you decide to keep something, is easier if you have some kind of organized list.

That doesn’t mean you have to go crazy with cataloging all and every possession you have ever owned since leaving the womb or anything that extreme. I don’t have a catalog of all my Transformers, and the one for my main comic collection is so out of date I need to start over if I can find better software or get the old one I have to work. (That gets problematic with every new operating system.) However, if you’re finding yourself stumped as to what you have and need to keep track of what you have a good list can be your best friend. Whenever there’s an article series I need to keep track of my topics for I’m going to have a list. This way I know what I’ve already reviewed. For incomplete collections I know what I need to find, and with housewares hopefully we’ll soon know everything we have and what we want to do with it. It’s boring and takes time you could be using cleaning, but if you don’t become obsessed with listing all the things this will be a good tool in keeping track of your clutter and your belongings.

It also helps for insurance purposes, but that’s not what this project is about.