< The Penventory Project >

View Pen Kits
Add New Pen Kit

(Other than Pens)
View Non-Pen Kits
Add New Non-Pen Kit

View Accessories
Add New Accessory

(Drill Bits)
Manage Collection
Can I Cheat?

View Bushings
Add New Set

Attribute Maint.
Remove Attributes

View Help Page
First off, thanks for trying my software. I'm working to make the system as easy to use as possible, however, I can always use your help! If you find any aspects of this program confusing, please let me know how I can make it better by emailing me: jon@centralridge.com. Now, on to the documentation...

Overview - Penventory is a system to help you keep track of your kits, blanks, accessories, finished Pens/Projects, sales, etc. It was built from a collaboration of ideas and input from pen turners to suit their specific needs. Penventory is free to use (though if you've found it helpful and would like to contribute something towards hosting/bandwidth fees email me to find out how). I appreciate your feedback, suggestions, and general comments so don't be shy! You may email me directly at jon@centralridge.com.

Navigation - The list in the box on the left side of the page will allow you access to all of the major sections of this application.

Sections/Tools - I have attempted to break the system down into logical components that build on one another to create even more tools. I've tried to put localized instruction on the specific section pages, but here's an overview:
  • Pen Kits - This section allows you to keep track of your kit inventory. Click the Add New Kit link to find the form which allows you to enter lots of information about a particular kit type. Once entered, you will see it on your Kit Inventory (you may go to that screen at any time by clicking the View Kits link). From the Kit Inventory page you can quickly adjust your inventory using the links on the right side of the list. (Note: You do not have to subtract a kit to indicate you have used it, but more on that in the Finished Pens section!)

  • Blanks - This section allows you to keep up with your materials stock. You may enter inventory into the system by clicking the Add New Blank link and filling out the form. You can use the Blank Inventory page to view your blanks and alter quantities by clicking the View Blanks link. (Note: As with pen kits, you do not have to manually adjust the quantity when you've created a new pen. More information on that feature below!)

  • Notes may be added to a kit or blank (because of the way notes are tied to items in the database you cannot create the note until after the item has been entered into the system.) To add a note, go to the Edit page of the item you want to create the note for and click on the Add/Remove Notes link.

  • Accessories - This section lets you keep track of all the other little things that go into a final product such as boxes, pouches, special bands, certificates, etc..

    This is also the place where you can manage your drill bit collection by checking the boxes by the sizes that you have. Once the system knows what bits you have, it will be more able to help you by telling you things like which pen kits you could make.

    The Can I Cheat? tool will help you find drill bits close to one that you need based on a bit (or a hole diameter) you specify.

    The Bushings feature currently lets you keep track of which sets you have and the condition they're in.

  • Finished Pens - Use this section to keep track of your finished product. Click the Create Pen link to bring up the form to enter information about your pen. When you've done this, in addition to some boxes asking for information about your pen, you'll see two pulldown lists (one for kits, the other for blanks). These lists will contain the kits and blanks that you currently have stored in the system and have on hand. When you've created your pen this way, your appropriate kit/blank inventory numbers will automatically be reduced by one saving you from having to manually adjust them.

    The Add Pen (no inventory used) link does virtually the same thing the Create Pen link does, however, it does not worry about what you currently have listed in your inventory (and will not reduce your stock). Instead, this tool is designed to allow you to enter pens that have already been created without needing to enter kit or blank information into the system.

  • Reports - This section will generate reports based on the cost information you have store along with your kits and blanks. It is generally accurate, but will only be as good as the cost data it's given.

    The Suggestive System helps you find kits based on certain attributes. You can choose from filter combinations and get back a list of all the available types that match your search.

  • Attribute Maintenance - This section allows you to remove attributes that you have added to the list (you will not be able to delete another person's attribute). Please see the attributes explanation below for information on the principle behind the attribute system.

  • Groups - This set of tools is designed to allow you to select and track certain items instead of your entire collections. This is really useful if you wanted to generate reports for pens sold through a certain location, made from certain materials, etc. This is NOT the place to create sets (pen/magnifying glass combos, etc.). That tool is still under development.

  • Help/Documentation - This page.

Attributes and How They Work - In the interest of data standardization (which opens up wonderful possibilities later on) I decided to go with pulldown lists for data that is repetitive and to accomodate the vast number of kits/materials/suppliers/etc. I have designed the system with two key ideas. First, you can add your own attributes to the various lists by clicking the Add to List link next to any editable list. Secondly, in the interest of making this a community effort, you will see other users' attributes on the list by default. This saves a new user quite a bit of data entry and setup and gets them using the system much faster.

In my opinion, there's no right or wrong way to list attributes. Some people will want to have '10KT Gold' while others would prefer to have 'Gold, 10KT'. Please use whichever attribute scheme fits your needs best.

Still have questions? - Email me (jon@centralridge.com) and let me know. I'll do my best to answer your question via email and then make sure it's answered here as well for the benefit of others.