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GC, I know you're not a wargamer but wargame periods (loosely based on historical periods) provide useful labels.
This is one example:
2 Early Middle Ages
3 Middle Ages
5 Early Modern
6 American Civil War
9 World War I
10 World War II
You'll notice that the ACW gets its own spot. I'd replace 5. & 6. with C19th warfare to simplify.
If you want more detail, how about PSR's periods?
I hope this helps.
Check out Plastic Soldier Review. Dave does a good job of organizing the figures on his site and covers essentially everything. Go to his Periods section and check that out.
Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog
in my opinion the classifying system depends on who exploits your archive - only you? Your family? Friends? And what do they need.
Once you've answered this question you can straightforwrdly answer your original question.
If you use a computer archive you can create multiple indexation and chose the index you want - time period, type of unit, type of war, etc.
I keep track of my figures by size and War/Era using a spreadsheet program. As I finish painting a set I add them to the tally. Now I even break that down by regiment (if as in Napoleonic Wars I paint them by regiment) and/or brand/maker. It's kind of easy to do that with the spread sheet with subtotals and totals as I desire them. So, as I paint a box/set I add it in, which once I get it set up makes it easy to update as I paint.
I'm thinking now I need to add my unpainted figures, which will require a bit of doing - I'll probably break them down by box and numbers. It might help me get a better handle on my spending -and plan future projects as I've got stuff that has been waiting for a brush for over ten years.
First, let me start out by saying, "Thank you, all of you - you guys are the greatest!"
Asking for your help is the best thing I could have done. I've been stuck in "analysis paralysis" mode for too long.
Michael, your input made me deeply consider my audience - me only actually, but it 'is important' to me that anyone would be able to pick up my 3-Ring Binder and find - or find out - what I have in my collection - like a public library. You also made me consider whether to go paper or computer. Since my mind and hands work more like a Michaelangelo than an Einstein, it would likely be more fun for me to chisel out my work on paper initially and then finally organize them in a 3-Ring Binder. When I've got all my Drafts done, I'll immortalize them with MS Excel and swap out the sheets. So again, thank you!
Paint Dog, Your Wargaming organizational skills look excellent to me. A "Big Picture" approach, and sample list looks awesome. I think your basic index outline with a combination of Periods with Years - Titles and Sub-titles should keep it so I can "scan" first, then dig deeper to find the real prizes.
Mike and Paint dog, Both of you suggested checking out PSR's "Periods" section. Bingo! PSR's unsurpassed hard work can save me from "reinventing the wheel." I've always known PSR is an invaluable resource, but honestly I missed this one until now. Well done, gentlemen!
And Wayne W, Good points. In the end I'll peck-out with MS Excel, my final pages. Over the years, I'm discovering I've lost track of what I actually have in my collection. So for me, one of my goals is to update my pages when I buy new sets. For me, this way, they won't get lost or forgotten. You know the expression - "Out of sight; out of mind." That's me.
So, in summary so far, Michael and Wayne W helped me decide on the "how" and Paint dog and Mike, you helped me discover the "what" to efficiently, and most importantly - enjoyably build my 3-Ring Index Binder of my collection.
So, as Colour Sergeant Bourne says in the movie, Zulu, "Let's get sweat'n!" :sweat: