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Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum
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I LOVE Calibre! It's also one of the very few programs I have purchased an app for (the app, I think it was $1, will all you to transfer books from the Calibre program on your computer to your phone/kindle).

One cool thing about Calibre is that you can have more than just books in there, and you can also have separate libraries and easily switch between them. For example, I have a large collection of DND books. These are in a library all of their own. Some of them have maps in JPG format - and I can easily have these listed right in Calibre as if it was a book. I have two more libraries - one containing fiction and another non-fiction. I enjoy having them separated like that as it makes browsing and tagging easier. Tags are another fantastic tool - very easy to do. I really like the Dewey Decimal System and so I have tagged most of my non-fiction books like that. But what's cool is that you can give a book multiple tags, and it would show up under all of those. That's handy.

I also love how you can associate multiple file formats together as one listing - so if I have a book in pdf, ePub, and Mobi formats, I can easily combine them into one listing so that the book doesn't appear three times in my library. From that listing I can choose which one I want.

You might look into MusicBee if you have audiobooks or listen to podcasts. Make sure you select the Audiobook tab when you add the audiobooks - it will keep them separate from your music. Like Calibre, it will allow you to easily edit the Metadata to make it usable. You can import books as mp3's or m4b. For podcasts, you can have it only download the latest episode or ones you click on, or you can have it download every episode, and then you can tell it whether you want it to automatically delete older ones after a while or to keep them until you manually delete them. Very handy.

I keep all these on my computer hard drive, but I have two back up drives that every week or so (whenever I've got a bunch more to add) I copy everything over to them.
Calibre is free on the computer. I'm not sure about a cellphone though.

What I like about it is that you can open Dejavue files, ebook files, mobi files and PDF files. You can also convert each one of those files to one of the other files, such as mobi to PDF or visa versa
 

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GMTA... I was contemplating starting a thread about my being so anal retentive over the labeling and organizing of our preps and other emergency equipment - I was wondering if I was taking things a bit too far. After reading this thread, apparently not!

In town, our BOBs have laminated cards in a small ring binder that indicates what is in every bin and barrel everywhere. Up in the woods, it is a different sort of filing system with the cards on the outside of each bin and within each pack, there is a similar card with the contents of the pack, but the objective is the same - knowing what is in each along with additional info regarding perishables and exp. date / last checked.

Thanks for the leads on Trello & Calibre!
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
GMTA... I was contemplating starting a thread about my being so anal retentive over the labeling and organizing of our preps and other emergency equipment - I was wondering if I was taking things a bit too far. After reading this thread, apparently not!

In town, our BOBs have laminated cards in a small ring binder that indicates what is in every bin and barrel everywhere. Up in the woods, it is a different sort of filing system with the cards on the outside of each bin and within each pack, there is a similar card with the contents of the pack, but the objective is the same - knowing what is in each along with additional info regarding perishables and exp. date / last checked.

Thanks for the leads on Trello & Calibre!
it seems like a lot of work but actually its far less work to maintain.. For some its overkill but I have far more than what can fit in a closet. Obviously a couple totes and a back pack don't need much organization and the label approach worked for me for a number of years.
 

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Agreed. I've been at this as earthquake preparedness for decades. Over the past 12 years or so, we've moved to a more complete range of gear so to speak, but with the same methodology. It takes a bit to get it all organized and documented, but once it's done, the upkeep is pretty straight forward.

....'cept that I may now use Trello and those QR codes to increase state of readiness - got to transfer all that info! without knowing, I'll bet that it will accept csv or xlsx files.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Agreed. I've been at this as earthquake preparedness for decades. Over the past 12 years or so, we've moved to a more complete range of gear so to speak, but with the same methodology. It takes a bit to get it all organized and documented, but once it's done, the upkeep is pretty straight forward.

....'cept that I may now use Trello and those QR codes to increase state of readiness - got to transfer all that info! without knowing, I'll bet that it will accept csv or xlsx files.
you actually can import csv.. For you like me having multiple locations where stuff is kept a system like this is very helpful. I have several totes that we just grab and go when we take off on camping trips. They have multiple items in each and are not organized by contents like a medical toe or a tac gear tote would be. A list on the side of those totes would be 3 pages long and I would end up having to go through each tote trying to find something like tarp clips when im at home and want to put up a tarp. Now I could keep them in the tarp tote but I dont take that entire tote with me camping. You get the point im preaching to the choir..LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
GMTA... I was contemplating starting a thread about my being so anal retentive over the labeling and organizing of our preps and other emergency equipment - I was wondering if I was taking things a bit too far. After reading this thread, apparently not!

In town, our BOBs have laminated cards in a small ring binder that indicates what is in every bin and barrel everywhere. Up in the woods, it is a different sort of filing system with the cards on the outside of each bin and within each pack, there is a similar card with the contents of the pack, but the objective is the same - knowing what is in each along with additional info regarding perishables and exp. date / last checked.

Thanks for the leads on Trello & Calibre!
in the above pic are a couple medical packs. One a STOMP bag and the other just a basic condor pack with med gear in it. The STOMP bag has dozens of medical items in it and while I know everything that is in it my wife and son dont. It now has a qr code in the front ID tag area behind the plastic. I laminate that so it is weather resistant because it doesnt just sit in a closet. I know what is in that bag to the item but the other camo bag has everything from gauze to casting material and IV admin sets. I have NO idea if I have 5 18ga catheters or 10 or how many 24ga cats are in there. If I tried to put a list on the outside of the bag it just wouldnt work. It would need to be multiple laminated pages.. I think you will find value in the method I use..
 

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Yep - great stuff. I will be working out how to transfer existing data into a different format. It will make accessing the info much quicker and efficient for all... gotta run atm - Thanks again!

in the above pic are a couple medical packs. One a STOMP bag and the other just a basic condor pack with med gear in it. The STOMP bag has dozens of medical items in it and while I know everything that is in it my wife and son dont. It now has a qr code in the front ID tag area behind the plastic. I laminate that so it is weather resistant because it doesnt just sit in a closet. I know what is in that bag to the item but the other camo bag has everything from gauze to casting material and IV admin sets. I have NO idea if I have 5 18ga catheters or 10 or how many 24ga cats are in there. If I tried to put a list on the outside of the bag it just wouldnt work. It would need to be multiple laminated pages.. I think you will find value in the method I use..
 

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For small items like the gear repair parts and medical stuff you sub-categorize and inventory separate.
My 'go bag' has a small first aid kit and in my gear maintenance checklist is a line to check it biannually. So I don't list out its contents on the main spreadsheet with the rest of the pack, then when it comes time to check I can pull its inventory sheet, check the contents and expiration dates and order replacements as needed then. And at those intervals I'm checking the other similar kits as well.

Part of being prepared is not just buying stuff and sticking it in a box, organized or not, and being done. You must make use and test your gear and make it a lifestyle.

I'll give some examples. When I was young in the middle of the night one winter the neighbors a mile up the road teen aged son knocked on our door. Their house had caught fire and they had to escape through the windows because the fire blocked the hallway. He ran the mile to our house barefoot in pajamas to use our phone to call the fire department.
Skip 20 years ahead I'm living in a suburb and one rainy night we see the lights outside and find out our neighbors dryer in the basement caught fire and they grabbed their pets and ran out the door. Us neighbors all helped out with finding cat carriers and raincoats and such until the firefighters got their keys and wallets out so they could go to a hotel.
A co-worker had just moved into a new house in a new subdivision and that week we got hit by a bunch of snow. Subdivision lost power, he had a generator in a storage unit along with lots of other preps he had stored for his move. He took his family and rented a hotel room for a few days until power was back and he could then return home and start moving the rest of his stuff out of storage.

While we all like to imagine the end of the world scenarios a fire, flood, car accident, etc are much more common and likely to happen. So that's where I started and thought if I had to jump out my window because the house was on fire would I have a coat, shoes, keys to drive, etc. So my gobag with shoes and socks is beside the bed. Wallet, keys, etc go in tomorrows pants and shirt hanging with the bag. Bag has a jacket and raincoat. So If I should have to jump I can grab and go. That bag and gear stay there and stay packed and therefore stay inventoried and organized. Now plan something and go use it. When we go hiking,biking, kayaking or fishing or hunting or just travel out of town that bag goes. It gets used during the adventure and also functions as a get home bag. Those excursions work as both fun stuff for the family and a test. Your checklist should have a place to write down lessons learned, things missed, things needed or things that would be nice to have/do. Constantly review and improve.
There is your layer 1, one bag so enough to take inventory and keep that inventory up to date based on your check interval or after use.

Now if you do go out of town, even if its not overnight, maybe your just spending a Sunday in a state park an hour away, you know you will be using that first layer gear. So your inventory for that layer should list consumables, your FAK, batteries, bullets, trail mix, water, etc. I'll make up packs of those, kind of like how people meal prep and will make some meals ahead of time and store those in ziplock bags or plastic containers. Same here, small packs of consumables. Kind of a layer 1.5, which will make a little more sense here in a minute.

Now layer two starts into over night gear. You plan an overnight trip, visiting relatives or something. Your layer two goes with you. This is your basics, toiletries, change of underwear, socks, phone charger, laptop charger, whatever. Your layer two has those consumables to replenish layer one as well. So planned overnight gets simple because you don't have to pack, its already packed and organized.
Back to the scenario where you had to leave home for a hotel for a couple days, you grab layer one and two and out the door, everything already ready packed, and organized. When you buy new personal items, say your low on deodorant, you buy a new one and put it in the layer two and the one from layer two to wherever you normally have it. You don't have to count and inventory because you have replaced one for one. For the ' I bug in not out'. power goes out, you roll over and your headlamp is in the layer one by the bed. power is out for another day or two or three, you rotate through your layer two exactly the same as if you were somewhere else. it makes a SOP that works for either. Now you start the same with cooking at home, meals, etc. Follow a scenario through and organize and inventory accordingly.
This second layer can start to diverge into two, you can have a typical pre-prepared hotel suitcase type and a wilderness/make your own shelter bag like the common 'bob' ready to go as well. You assess the situation/scenario and follow your packing/checklist/sop accordingly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
all great points.. NOW.. how do you know exactly what is in 30 large Home depot totes, 50+ mixed 30cal, 50cal and 20mm ammo cans, multiple metal job boxes, 5 backpacks, 3 vehicle bags, a couple rolling duffles, multiple smaller clear totes all containing smaller items and a 2 year freeze dried food supply for 4 spread out over 3 separate locations? Ohh and not only you need to know the location and contents of all of these items so does your spouse and child! Its a daunting task.
 

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all great points.. NOW.. how do you know exactly what is in 30 large Home depot totes, 50+ mixed 30cal, 50cal and 20mm ammo cans, multiple metal job boxes, 5 backpacks, 3 vehicle bags, a couple rolling duffles, multiple smaller clear totes all containing smaller items and a 2 year freeze dried food supply for 4 spread out over 3 separate locations? Ohh and not only you need to know the location and contents of all of these items so does your spouse and child! Its a daunting task.

uuuh yeah ... this ...
 

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all great points.. NOW.. how do you know exactly what is in 30 large Home depot totes, 50+ mixed 30cal, 50cal and 20mm ammo cans, multiple metal job boxes, 5 backpacks, 3 vehicle bags, a couple rolling duffles, multiple smaller clear totes all containing smaller items and a 2 year freeze dried food supply for 4 spread out over 3 separate locations? Ohh and not only you need to know the location and contents of all of these items so does your spouse and child! Its a daunting task.
I assume you were 'speaking' to the post above you so I can't speak for @Eugene but if it were me I'd simply open the spreadsheet or sheets for all of the above, hit Crt+h and type in the requisite search term for Find & Replace (Calc), tick the 'All Sheets' button, click 'Find' and all iterations of whatever I was searching should be listed along with their cell/sheet locations. The pic I'm attaching shows the locations of 'Armour' in my canned food spreadsheet, spread across a master (1st) sheet and three sheets corresponding to the best buy date on the cans.
Using as an example the picture of the 6 'Medical' totes in your first post, they would correspond to 6 sheets in a master spreadsheet, searching by name or type tourniquets, gauze, blood clotting factor, etc. should show exactly which tote or totes they are in.
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I like the idea of reorganizing my preps. I currently have lots of redundancies and multiple items scattered among several back packs and bags. I really do need to pull everything out and put fire starting stuff in one pouch; first aid items in another; water purification in another; etc. Maybe color coded pouches would be a good idea? Sounds like a great weekend project.

The OP's post is very well done!!
 

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I assume you were 'speaking' to the post above you so I can't speak for @Eugene but if it were me I'd simply open the spreadsheet or sheets for all of the above, hit Crt+h and type in the requisite search term for Find & Replace (Calc), tick the 'All Sheets' button, click 'Find' and all iterations of whatever I was searching should be listed along with their cell/sheet locations. The pic I'm attaching shows the locations of 'Armour' in my canned food spreadsheet, spread across a master (1st) sheet and three sheets corresponding to the best buy date on the cans.
Using as an example the picture of the 6 'Medical' totes in your first post, they would correspond to 6 sheets in a master spreadsheet, searching by name or type tourniquets, gauze, blood clotting factor, etc. should show exactly which tote or totes they are in.
Right, I use Excel too for the cataloging and to access the info, but it is cumbersome to use quickly in a Db search format. I think you've taken it as step further by IDing types as well. As I mentioned, I am using a printout method and labeling for each container - obviously, for whatever reason, cell phones and computers may not be operational at the time of immediate need and the IDing also needs to be access by those who may not be as 'puter savvy as I am. KISS. Trello with its QR generator seems to be easier to update and we can still have printouts to augment IDing the contents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
I assume you were 'speaking' to the post above you so I can't speak for @Eugene but if it were me I'd simply open the spreadsheet or sheets for all of the above, hit Crt+h and type in the requisite search term for Find & Replace (Calc), tick the 'All Sheets' button, click 'Find' and all iterations of whatever I was searching should be listed along with their cell/sheet locations. The pic I'm attaching shows the locations of 'Armour' in my canned food spreadsheet, spread across a master (1st) sheet and three sheets corresponding to the best buy date on the cans.
Using as an example the picture of the 6 'Medical' totes in your first post, they would correspond to 6 sheets in a master spreadsheet, searching by name or type tourniquets, gauze, blood clotting factor, etc. should show exactly which tote or totes they are in.
View attachment 442509
totally valid approach. Like I said I used excel , well actually open office but I just find this easier. Step One... Scan QR Code. Step 2. read contents of container. If searching 1. open app 2. press search icon 3. enter item 4. Done..... Spread sheets are a usable solution I just figured it could be better thats why I kept looking.. I now cant think of any advantages of me using a spreadsheet. There are just so many advantages that I can't now use the spreadsheet solution.

Hand Communication Device Mobile phone Finger Portable communications device
 

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totally valid approach. Like I said I used excel , well actually open office but I just find this easier. ...
Thanks, and as you said a person should use whatever approach suits them best. Trello does appear to be an interesting piece of software.
Back in 2018 when I first started playing with qr codes they were virtually unknown in my area. Today I see them on my local tv station many times daily. I used qrencode on my linux partition to generate the codes. As an aside for others who may be following this thread the latest versions of both Excel and the free LibreOffice Calc will generate qr codes for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Thanks, and as you said a person should use whatever approach suits them best. Trello does appear to be an interesting piece of software.
Back in 2018 when I first started playing with qr codes they were virtually unknown in my area. Today I see them on my local tv station many times daily. I used qrencode on my linux partition to generate the codes. As an aside for others who may be following this thread the latest versions of both Excel and the free LibreOffice Calc will generate qr codes for you.
Trello recently made unlimited plugin use part of the free version, it previously was only with the paid version. This change allows you to use the imbeded QR code generation plugin now so creating qr codes within trello for each container is now supported. So one less step.
 

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Trello recently made unlimited plugin use part of the free version, it previously was only with the paid version. This change allows you to use the imbeded QR code generation plugin now so creating qr codes within trello for each container is now supported. So one less step.
Good deal.
Question: If say, you are using your phone app to read the qr code on a 'container' such as 'Medical 6' in the picture you posted at #1. You then remove some portion of the 'preps' in that tote, how do you update the contents of 'Medical 6' if the internet is out or you are working off-grid for reason of OPSEC? Can you update the local app on your phone or computer, much as one would update another database?
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
Good deal.
Question: If say, you are using your phone app to read the qr code on a 'container' such as 'Medical 6' in the picture you posted at #1. You then remove some portion of the 'preps' in that tote, how do you update the contents of 'Medical 6' if the internet is out or you are working off-grid for reason of OPSEC? Can you update the local app on your phone or computer, much as one would update another database?
yes you update locally then next time you are on the internet it updates the cloud stored version as well
 

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Ha ha - I had to laugh when I saw the title of this thread.

I started prepping ten years ago. I had preps in a spare bedroom, in two closets, in the basement of my house, and in a rented storage unit. I created an Excel spreadsheet with lots of columns: quantity, packaging type, calorie count (for foods), best by dates (for foods). And, there was a column for the location of each item (e.g., small bedroom closet, basement east wall shelves).

But then I moved to my new house, and my preps got out of synch with my spreadsheet. My preps are still out of synch with the spreadsheet.

I have improved things to the point where I do have a spreadsheet with details about all my LTS foods, along with details about some other foods with long shelf lives, such as tea bags and oatmeal and herbs and spices. All these long-lasting foods are together, in a particular storage location in my house.

Something that complicates matters is the fact that I am seriously lacking in storage space. I have to climb over 5-gallon gas cans and spare tires and various other things just to get close enough to some of the shelving for my preps so I can see what's on the shelves. Because of this, I have a plan to build a storage shed this summer. I'm inexperienced when it comes to construction, so I'm not sure how this project is going to turn out. But assuming I do succeed with construction of this new building, I will have enough space to organize things properly. Once that's done, I'll take the time to enter data about all my preps into my spreadsheet.

For now, though, I'm kind of winging it (though I do have a general idea where everything is located).
sometimes spending the money is worth it. i might just have someone put down a pad and buy a premade storage shed. pay for the delivery/placement as well
 

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yes you update locally then next time you are on the internet it updates the cloud stored version as well
Thanks. To be honest, I'm never going to connect spreadsheets/databases of my preps to the internet for any reason. This negates any advantage for me to use the app over just an Excel/Calc spreadsheet(s) but to each their own. Glad you have something you like.
 
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