While some of us aspire to a minimalistic lifestyle with as few possessions as possible, others like creating and curating collections over the years. If you are of the latter camp, I’ve got some good news for you: You can easily catalog and manage your collection using your smartphone!
While you can do this with general-purpose applications such as Evernote, there are also purpose-built applications for managing collections, and even specific types of collections (say, DVDs or toy models). Let’s look at three of these – all are free.
Collectionista is a free (banner-supported) application for managing multiple kinds of collections. Above you can see the interface used for adding a new collection (yes, I have a ton of Dick Francis books). Once you create a collection you can add items to it, either manually or, theoretically, by scanning their barcodes:
I say “theoretically” because barcode scanning didn’t really work for me. The app launched the barcode scanner, and the scanner recognized the book’s barcode. But it then showed an error saying “adding scanned item failed”. Not very helpful, but it does leave you the option of entering items by hand:
You can add an enormous amount of details about each book, and take your own front and back cover images (as I’ve done above). There are fields for the page count, publication date, publisher, rating, location, and more. Once you’re done entering the information, your book (or CD) is placed on an iBooks-like shelf:
All in all, Collectionista is a detailed and powerful application for managing collections of books, CDs, sheet music, and more. I only wish the barcode scanning feature worked better.
Movie Collection & Inventory
Movie Collection & Inventory offers a narrower focus than Collectionista: This app is all about your DVD and Blu-ray collection. Its barcode scanning feature worked better than Collectionista’s, and it scanned my Battlestar Galactica boxed set without a hitch, even coming up with the correct image. I had to enter the category myself, as well as the rating (obviously). You can also add plenty of optional information if you’d like:
Collections are displayed in a more utilitarian format, as a plain list, with no visual shelf metaphor. The app also offers an interesting feature hidden under the “Others” button:
This is a (potentially) anonymous list showing what other users added to their collections, and how they rated the items. You can like particular items, add them to your wishlist, and even add comments to discuss them. Scrolling through the list, I couldn’t find a single item that actually had comments, but it’s nice to know the option is there. It’s an interesting window into what others are bookmarking and liking, and because it is such a niche app and not a huge app like GetGlue, the results can be esoteric and surprising (mine included lots of books in Spanish).
Last but not least comes the most narrowly focused app of all three, for hardcore fans of toy models:
Model Collection Manager
If you build or collect toy models, Model Collection Manager looks like a must-have app. It is the most utilitarian-looking of all three apps in this roundup, and is little more than a purpose-built database. But the fields are very comprehensive, and include “purchase price” and “sale price” data for professional collectors and traders. The application also lets you filter your items by several criteria:
This can be very handy if you have a large model collection and are discussing specific items with a potential buyer. You can just whip out your phone, load the app and access complete information about the model in question, including how much it originally cost you and other information that can be important for making a sale.
So, you can say this was a collection of applications for collectors. A very small collection, but I believe any of these apps can be useful if you treasure your items. Do you already use another Android app for managing your collection? If so, tell me all about it below!