Thursday, September 18, 2014
Chances are you've heard me ramble on and on about my organizing habits by now.
How I organize, when I organize, where I organize, why I organize, the whole deal. I like to think I've covered basically every possible path of that topic at this point.
It seems odd, then, that I have yet to write a single word on this blog about how I catalog my collection. Why? Because I don't catalog my cards. Or, more appropriately, I haven't considered doing so in a long time.
I think I used to write down all my "good" cards in a little notebook when I was a kid, but that had to have been at least ten years ago.
The most advanced I ever got in my cataloging habits was a basic little Word document I had that contained every insert, parallel, and short-print I owned, but I abandoned that years ago.
I do have a website, but that's almost exclusively for cards I want to trade, not ones I plan on keeping. And I haven't used it a whole lot since I bailed on the trading forums.
The process of fully acclimating a new card to my collection isn't that substantial. If I want to show it on the blog, I'll scan it and put the image in a folder for future use. If not, it goes into a stack where it sits until I can safely nestle it into one of my binders. Nothing more, nothing less.
When it comes to cataloging, I'm about as out of touch as the bulky computer on that Jim Abbott card.
The main thing that dissuaded me from cataloging is the fact that it's, well...just plain boring for me.
The fact that I have so many different collections makes it hard to document them all. Plus, I've found that I'm pretty good when it comes to knowing which cards I need and don't need.
I guess I never saw the draw to cataloging until I heard a few fellow bloggers talking about this thing called Zistle. From what I hear, it's the new hip way to document your cards. And the site even lets you make trades with fellow collectors, if you so please.
I finally got around to creating a Zistle account a few weeks ago, but haven't had the time or energy to dive into it further since then.
My understanding of the site is still pretty primitive as of this writing, but I have to say that I'm starting to get excited about finally being able to catalog my cards and have fun with the process at the same time.
When I get around to it, my first order of business will probably be documenting my Vlad and Ichiro collections. I have over 500 Ichiros and upwards of 700 Vlads, so it's understandably difficult to remember which cards I have and need sometimes.
Whenever I find a card of either guy that I think I might have, I'm forced to go through everything I own of them and see if I need it or not. It's a long and painstaking process, as you can imagine.
Cataloging would bring an end to ever having to do that again.
Originally, I thought I'd have to scan every card of anything I wanted to catalog.
That, obviously, would be a massive undertaking and one that I'm not sure I'd ever want to do.
From what I see with Zistle, though, that happily isn't the case. My understanding is that if someone has already uploaded an image of a card you want to add to your collection, you can simply use that stock photo for your own archives.
One of the bigger projects I might tackle in the future is cataloging everything I own from my various mini-collections. All the double dips, all the throwbacks, and so on.
I'm completely happy with anyone who simply wants to send me a blind stack of cardboard, but documenting what I already have within each theme might be helpful for anyone who wants to check whether I have a certain card or not.
The 1991 Upper Deck Scott Fletcher you see above is one of the better double dips I own. You get an Omar Vizquel cameo on the front, along with a bonus double dip/throwback shot (with a Robin Yount appearance) on the back.
It's so great, in fact, that at least seven or eight different people have sent it to me over the past couple years. With a Zistle account, I'll be able to show that, yes, I have and enjoy this terrific double dip and, no, I don't need any more copies.
Eight is enough.
I wouldn't mind cataloging my non-sports cards, either.
Because this area of my collection has so many subparts and other facets, I lose track of what I already have at times. More than that, though, I think it'd be fun to get to see all those non-sports heroes next to each other.
Being able to see figures like George Washington, Beethoven, and The Beatles in the same little folder would be pretty neat.
If this whole Zistle thing is as fun and fulfilling as I'm hoping, I'll probably get around to documenting a lot of my other player collections as well.
All I know is that cataloging is (and has been) a long overdue task. I'd always feel kind of left out of the party when I'd hear about how everyone else documents their cards.
Zistle has been making the rounds for a while now, and it's about time I joined the tech-savvy people like Brad Ausmus and jumped on board.
To the catalog!