Keeping track of your collection, how do you do it?

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I'm wondering how you guys keep track of your collections!  Myself I keep all the cards in boxes labeled by colour and I keep the cards in two different piles.  Creatures and non-creatures.  

Lately I have been thinking that I should write down what cards I have.  I have a lot of cards....   How do you guys keep track of this?  Do you just make a spreadsheet in excel or do you do something else?  How do you deal with the frequent changes that active trading and lots of FNM can do to your collection?

I'm really looking forward to your views on this and hopefully someone can give me some good pointers to a program or equivalent for keeping track of my collection.  Google actually shows a few different options, but I would like to know what your experiences are.

Thanks in advance! 
I used to try to keep track, but somewhere along the line I stopped trying.

At this point, I sometimes lose track of entire decks for up to a couple months before finally finding them again when I start needing some piece that the deck is using. 
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
I use excel.  I have everything divided into color combinations (starting at colorless and ending at Five Colors).  Within each color I have everything sorted by type (in the following order: artifact, artifact creature, artifact - equipment, creature, enchantment, enchantment creature, enchantment - aura, instant, land, planeswalker, sorcery).  I then have each type-category divided by converted mana cost.  Cards in each Type's converted mana cost are alphabetized.  Then, next to each card is a keycode, specifying exactly how many copies I have and exactly where they are located.

It's quite a bit of time and effort to set up, but now I can just search the excel document for a card and know exactly how many I have and exactly where they are located.  It's incredibly convenient!
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I have a vaguely organized set up. I have multiple boxes of cards. The area I am in only has tournaments that host Standard format or Booster Draft format. I am new to tournaments but plan on frequenting them. Anyway, since the only constructed deck format near me is Standard, I have two boxes of cards that are Standard legal cards, and I have them seperated by color.  Then I have a few boxes of everything before Scars of Mirrodin also seperated by color. I then have one box that is just rares, again seperated by color. 
Its not too organized, by also requires 0% maintenance, and honestly im a person who is too lazy to sit and type out my card list on excel.  Props to those of you who do though. 
I sort first by playability. This has worked out very well for me because all the cards that I normaly use in decks are together, and I only rarely have to dig through the piles of chaff to find something obscure (last obscure card I dug out was Granger Guildmage). Most of my cards (I'd guess around 7 thousand) are in boxes under my bed. Almost all of those cards are old and relatively unplayable. They are sorted by color. Cards from newer sets that I have that I did not have room for in the boxes I already own take up piles on my dresser (I'd guess this is another 7 thousand). They have no order. Cards that are viable in Legacy and Vintage, or very expensive for whatever reason (several hundred cards), are in small boxes and are sorted by color. Once a card is in my playables boxes it doesn't get differentiated past color.
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Chaff in the garage.  The rest sorted in boxes by color and divided within the boxes by card type.  A sporadically purged and updated binder holds cards for trade.

I find a good memory helps as well.  I know when I have something and I can generally find it quickly, unless it has ended up in one of my 70+ decks.  Then I have to dig.

As your collection grows, staying organized becomes exponentially important.

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I spent 6 months organizing my collection. (Documented it on my YouTube channel, link in signature.) I'm not going to go over it again to do inventory. At least not right now, I'm getting ready to move out.

Scope my YouTube channel!

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A lot of really interesting replies here.  After watching day 40 I couldn't bear watching any more.  Not too long ago I gave my force to get a wheel.  I might as well have taken the guy out for dinner...  

I'm still searching for a way to organize my collection either using a program or just putting it all into an excel sheet or something.  Sounds like a lot of work so I think it will be worth spending some time researching ways to do it.  Anyone got a good spreadsheet they can link?

I use the Dewey decimal system and a card catalog


Try starting with Set, then color, then  rarity, then  type, then alphbetize.   
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The obvious solution is, of course, for a team of highly skilled engineers to build a machine that automatically scans, catalogs, and stores all of your cards in a manner that allows you to navigate via a computer program. You could then press a button and have it automatically grab the appropriate card from the storage box and have it dispensed like some sort of insanely complex hybrid piggy bank/vending machine.

I am willing to pay the impressive sum of (Lemmee dig through my wallet here...) $5 to anybody who builds such a device. I may or may not have already wasted the rest of my money on cards. 
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
I made a simple database in MS Access to keep track of numbers of cards and then I keep my cards in boxes ordered firstly by set, then by collector's number (or the equivalent colour/alphabetical order for sets without a number).  Takes me no more than a couple of minutes to get the info into my database when a new set comes out and seconds per card to add new ones to my collection once I have pre sorted them.

I'm happy to send a copy of the DB if you want to look at it, but it's always a work in progress so knowledge of using MS Access would help you to keep it up to date on your own. 

I catalog everything. I have binders for Foil, Mythic, Rare, Uncommon, and I put commons in 1600 card boxes. I have a ledger that I enter every card into cause I like to do things old school. I'm a stats & math geek so this part is really fun for me. I also like to track what trades I got for cards, how much I sold a card for, and other things like that. 

If I add something new to my collection I just enter it in a open slot in the one of folders (nearest to the front) and then enter it into the ledger with a date next to it. My wife pokes fun when I do this cause she calls it "nerd accounting".  
I have binders where I organize my cards by set and collector number. It serves me well, and lets me pull together new decks quickly.
I don't keep track right now.  I am planning on using a spreadsheet to track the number of cards I have, rares and certain valuable uncommons and commons, to avoid overbuying cards.  It's not that big a deal when I pick up a sixth copy of a dollar rare, but I want to avoid overbuying Wastelands and the like.

My idea is to have a spreadsheet that counts cards in my main collection, then adds in copies that come from Planechase, Commander, Duel Decks, and the like, then includes cards from complete sets stored in binders, and finally adds in promos.  So it might look like:

Garruk Wildspeaker: 2 in the box, plus 2 from complete sets (M10 and M11), plus 1 game promo, plus 1 from Duel Decks, plus 1 from Commander = 7.

As a relatively new player (only 2 years in) my collection is still rather small and is only comprised of cards from 2 core sets and 2 expansions, along with a mish-mash of cards from older sets.

I have four binders for uncommons / rares / mythic rares; 3 of these are cards that I will not trade because they're awesome and I might want to use them someday. The fourth binder is an oversized one and is full of only cards for trade. Of the three non-trade binders,  one contains only mono-colored non-creature spells, another all mono-colored creatures, and the third contains no-color and multi-color cards. 

Commons are in a big 5,000 card box for now, which is just starting to reach capacity with the addition of Dark Ascension. The two expansions I've collected from take up two full rows and are separated by type and color and organized by CMC and P/T for creatures. The core set and older expansions are all grouped together but organized the same way.

I only have a rough idea of quantities.
I organize by color.  I start with creatures in each color and then sort by CMC, then alphabetically.  Then I do the same for the non-creatures in each color.  It lets me find a card in short order.
I have a box of modern-border cards and a box of old-border cards, each one sorted by colour. I also have a smaller box of all my Innistrad cards, which will become my box of Standard legal cards in a few months.
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