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How do you organize your finds?


TheCattleman
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This thought just came to me after seeing so much about "Paperless" caching and all...How do you all physically keep track/organize your finds (if at all)? This question may be confusing to some, so I'll elaborate. For myself, I bought a huge 5 or 7-subject binder notebook to start (ones that have dividers for each subject). I use the dividers for specifying different states the caches are located in (I travel often), and in those sections for each state, I list all caches that I've downloaded to my GPSr, by name and by GC code. I then list the general Location (streets, coords, etc.), Hint if there is one for that cache, and separate lines for Found, Logged, and also a side note if the cache is best found at day or night. Looks something like this:

 

(Cache Name)/GC code/(Day/Night)

Location:

Hint:

Found:_________ Logged:__________

 

I might seem super obsessive about it to most, but helps me keep them in order and to know which I have or haven't logged online if I can't log from out on a caching run.

 

Do any of you guys organize this way? Or are you just a "write it down on a piece of paper and go" type? Paperless 100%?

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I figured most would be 100% paperless and all that, I just seem to be more at ease if I have a hard copy on paper that I can readily look at...it's time consuming, but kinda useful in the long run should the site ever be down or my internet have issues, etc., and I can refer back to my notebook. I'm still trying to figure out my new Magellan 110, which is completely paperless, so for now I just use the notebook haha.

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Early on, I kept track of all my finds with my Palm PDA. I kept a text memo for each cache that included copy-pasted text from the description, and Graffiti-written comments made in the field.

 

Now, I download cache data automatically to Neongeo on my Android, log field notes with Neongeo, and then post logs using the field notes later when I have access to a real keyboard again. The only time this system gets more complicated is when I have solved unfound puzzles, which I handle differently so I can have the solution coordinates in Neongeo.

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This is what I did last time I went out (still pretty new here) and I've made some changes (but haven't tried them out yet).

 

I download the .gpx file and then open it in easyGPS. At this point, I usually cut all the caches and paste them into a new document so I can my own information (I'm sure being a premium member would eliminate this step :laughing: perhaps someday). So the "label" is the Cache Name, "type" becomes the size- "regular", "micro", "not chosen" if there isn't anything listed (I have one where the size is "not chosen" but then the description or the hint says it's a small green pill bottle so "type" became "small green pill bottle"), "symbol" is the found/not found treasure chest, "waypoint" is the GC Code, and "description" is either the hint, where it is (like "Gemini Bridges Area", "Up Dirt Road", "Past Stocks Drive" or whatever to help me figure out a general area), or something important like "Accessible to Westbound Interstate Traffic ONLY" or "You don't need to go inside the cemetery".

 

I print that off (landscape, not portrait) and fold it up and put it in my pocket. When I find it, I cross it off. If I leave something, I write what I leave. If I take something, I write what I take. If there's a special note then I'll write that too. When I get home, I log my finds. I get back on easyGPS and change "not found" symbols to "found". I might even just delete the ones I found.

 

I'll star the ones on my print off that haven't been found yet (I can dream! :laughing:). Right now, the only thing I'm thinking of further implementing is printing a zoomed out Google Map of an area and labeling the caches.

 

I saw on the vehicle thread someone had a red Xterra with this laptop stand. That would be the way to go! As long as I have a network signal, I could use my phone as a hotspot. Or figure a way to download cache pages for use offline or something.

 

Other than that, I use my cell phone. If I need a hint that I didn't write or if I need to use Google Maps to figure out where it is (my GPS doesn't have a topo map).

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I don't. I'm 100% paperless. PQ's go to GSAK to the GPS to the log. GSAK gives me everything I need. I can even download my finds and do whatever I want with them via GSAK.

 

GSAK is nice, but it does not give me everything I need IN particular, it does not record the time of my finds, so finds from the same day can get mixed up. So I keep my own database of finds, including extra info such as the coords where I actually found the cache, the date and time of the find, the elevation, county and city, etc.

 

I also keep a database of all my puzzle solutions for mystery caches. It's come in handy quite frequently.

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