Documenting your collection

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Roehrich
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Documenting your collection

Post by Roehrich »

What ways do you use to document your cacti & succulents (if you do)? I have started to use Evernote to record where and when I acquired a specimen, full name, photos, etc. I used Evernote when I was in the sciences with great success, but would love to know if there's a better system.
Peter
"Life, uh, finds a way" -Dr Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park
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mmcavall
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Re: Documenting your collection

Post by mmcavall »

After years (before the cacti, with bromeliads and orchids) trying to find a good system to document my collection, I discovered that the simplest way is the best way.
So, what I currently use is a notebook and a pencil that I keep in the greenhouse.
You will be surprised to discover how useful and simple it can be at the same time.
Label your plants without any code other than numbers, sequentially without concern for families, gender, etc.
Each page for each plant / number. That simple. If you pick up a plant you want to know something about, just look at the label, then look for the page in the notebook (which are sequentially ordered) and see what you've written.
The main advantage is that you can take notes, or look for notes, in the greenhouse. Yes, I know, it seems old-fashioned when you can have a smartphone, but your notebook will never ask for system updates and you do not risk losing information.
For the images, I have folders organized by month / year on the computer.
Sorry if it was not what you expected, but it works very well for me. This made things easier and I can have more time with the plants, not compromised by the completion of any form or page in any computer system.
DaveW
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Re: Documenting your collection

Post by DaveW »

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Minime8484
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Re: Documenting your collection

Post by Minime8484 »

I just use Excel. Works well for me.
AlbertaCactus
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Re: Documenting your collection

Post by AlbertaCactus »

I like to put a stick in the plant with the name on it. I also have a separate notebook that I use for more detailed info about the plants. Plus I can fill the notebook with pictures and stickers and other cactus junk lol
Armen Tsirunyan
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Re: Documenting your collection

Post by Armen Tsirunyan »

I am a software developer so I created a mysql database and wrote a lightweight web UI on top of it. Basically for each plant (ID) my interface allows me to make notes, add identificaiton, add photos, create schedules etc etc. It then displays all the info in chronological order. It then reminds me of stuff, like - you haven't repotted this plant for 3 years or something. At some point I will make my application more user-friendly and generic and may offer it to others as well :)
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7george
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Re: Documenting your collection

Post by 7george »

Well, well ...
I agree that the simplest way is the best. I keep all the tags with cacti names that was attached to plants I got, in a box somewhere with other cacti gadgets. Also have a notebook where I write about the dates of sowing, bringing cacti into collection and pending soil changes and transplanting for the current and next seasons. Some 20 years ago I used to have another notebook with entries about each collection plant, dates, number of ribs, flowering dates and number of flowers, number of seeds and fruits harvested but sopped doing it after some time. Now I keep only images of cacti or other plants in the computer separated in folders for each year, an event (place) visited or habitat trip. Backed up in several hard drives, not in clouds.
I'm slow with typing or text entering and think that digital entries will only make my hobby too complicated and overwhelming. If I will not be able remember important things about my cacti then I wouldn't remember where my documents and computers are located as well. So I am trying to keep it simple.
If your cacti mess in your job just forget about the job.
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Saguaro123
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Re: Documenting your collection

Post by Saguaro123 »

Creating a spreadsheet on Excel or Google sheets seems to work well for me. For Google Sheets, it's stored in the cloud and can be accessed anywhere, as long as there's wifi.
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nachtkrabb
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Re: Documenting your collection

Post by nachtkrabb »

With mmcavall I share the sequential numbering, with Armen the database: I built a database with an easy user interface. I make notes on genera and on plants. The genera notes help to do things right, the plant notes are "personal" history. There is a general history, too, as special weather events or when I put plants outside in spring. A spreadsheet was much to simple to hold my data.

Some years ago, databases were all the rage here, but nobody wanted to buy something. So I translated mine to English and offered it for free, but suddenly nobody wanted it. :-) :-) :-)
Love and Revolution!
...and still more cacti.
kurohitsuji1308
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Re: Documenting your collection

Post by kurohitsuji1308 »

i use Evernote
DaveW
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Re: Documenting your collection

Post by DaveW »

I use my memory, which along with fading labels means it's undocumented! :oops:
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TimN
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Re: Documenting your collection

Post by TimN »

DaveW wrote: Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:37 pm I use my memory, which along with fading labels means it's undocumented! :oops:
Ha! Yeah, me too! I spent a lot of time last weekend squinting at labels in a futile attempt to identify my Turninicarpus pile.
Disclaimer: I'm in sunny Arizona, so any advice I give may not apply in your circumstances.

Tim
DaveW
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Re: Documenting your collection

Post by DaveW »

I think we ought to be able to sue firms who sell permanent markers or pens that are never permanent. :x

It would be nice if somebody could come up with a liquid you dip the old label into that reveals the old writing, a bit like invisible ink that when you dip it in something all is revealed. Some advise making two labels, one to use normally and one to put in the bottom of the pot when potting since evidently they do not fade if covered with soil.

The problem is plastic labels. We used have aluminium labels in the UK in the 1960's you could write on with either pen or pencil and it remained legible for decades. I still have some that I used when I first started collecting in the 1960's and they are still legible. They used to be called "Hartley Labels".

https://raingardenartsblog.com/2013/12/ ... al-labels/

I do have a "Brother Label Printer" but the tapes are expensive and you still need a label to stick them on. My model below has now been superseded, but the new ones are similar. I used to have a hand held version, but typing labels on the computer is easier and you have more fonts to choose from. I gather they use these stick on labels on North Sea Oil Rigs, so they are pretty UV and climate resistant and seem to stick to plastic labels OK. Still not as quick as using a pencil in the past though. Evidently you can just print the name from your plant database with them as well as from their software, but I have obviously never tried.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXNvdIwjC0A
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nachtkrabb
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Re: Documenting your collection

Post by nachtkrabb »

... Alu labels are luxury I have never seen for sale. So I use plastic + soft lead pencil, that works very well and will be readable for a very long time: Much longer than writing with markers of any kind I know. And those thin plastic labels are very durables, too. So I don't complain.
Nachtkrabb
Love and Revolution!
...and still more cacti.
Texas Trichocereus
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Re: Documenting your collection

Post by Texas Trichocereus »

I've started using high quality stainless steel straping I engrave the name or a designated # onto. It works great, no fading, cracking, blowing away, etc. They should last many many decades. The strapping also doubles as a handy tool for planting seedlings
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