Inventory your important stuff

You back up your PC. Shouldn't you back up the rest of your stuff?

Inventories aren't just for shopkeepers anymore. A little time spent inventorying your valuables--electronics, cameras, antiques, appliances, furniture, artwork, tools, etc.--in your home or office will be well spent, in the case of theft, disasters, or other misfortunes. But anyone with important documents and valuable possessions worth protecting can create and maintain accurate, complete, up-to-date home, personal, and even business inventories, thanks to software like Bmg's InventoryBuilder. It simplifies the hardest part of taking inventory, going through and recording all that stuff, by doing most of the work for you.

InventoryBuilder's Windows-style toolbar, navigation sidebar, and main pane sport crisp, colorful icons. A spreadsheet-style chart displays entries. We jumped right in (the best policy with inventories, really) by clicking Add new item. The comprehensive pop-up data entry dialogs offer clearly labeled controls that make adding just about any sort of physical object or document a matter of a few clicks; tabs make it easy to attach images, repair logs, appraisals, and other data. The program's Web-based Support is minimal, beyond an e-mail link and basic product information. However, we had no problems with anything we tried, including the Print grid, Chart, and Report functions. The Report function in particular offers numerous options for generating quick, accurate reports that your insurance agent will appreciate, should the need ever arise. Backups are easy and, as always, highly recommended. We also like the Find Barcode function, which will probably make your day the first time you have to match a missing or damaged bar code label with its item. Another feature we like is the ability to export data directly to Excel.

If you've been reading this, you almost surely own a PC, and that means you probably also have a lot of other stuff you don't want to have to buy again anytime soon. Taking inventory is generally so tedious that it's almost a byword for boredom. InventoryBuilder makes the process as painless as possible, removing all excuses.

Editors' note: This is a review of the full version of InventoryBuilder 3.0.7.157. The trial version is limited to 14 days.

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