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In here, I discuss how I manage inventory including part numbers, labeling, note taking, storage of parts and pieces, and also how to approach a product breakdown structure to help figure out what you need to work on.


Proper organization requires tools, and while I'm sure you could use an old-fashioned account record book to keep track of everything, I strongly recommend finding a computer-augmented system. For me, I have used a combination of a few tools:

  • Microsoft OneNote. This contains a lot of my working project information, queue of things to read, and some general reference information that's likely of no use to anyone else.
  • Paper. This is where I keep my stream of thoughts, observations, tests, experiments, and notes from any other sources that I consume.
  • Airtable. This is where I keep inventory, parts, lists of filament specs, etc. I think of it as a more souped up Microsoft Excel, and while it's missing a lot of the power of Excel, it makes up for it in flexibility and being web-only (there are desktop apps, but they're just really Electron). I've had too many issues with synchronization of Excel files between multiple computers if one happens to have them open at the same time. It is a commercial product, but the free version is good enough to figure out if it's something you'll benefit from.

Comments or Questions?

If you have any comments, questions, or topics you'd like to see covered, please feel free to either reach out to me on Mastodon (link below) or open an issue on Github.