PROS / HomeManage 2011 provides multiple descriptive fields for inventory items and integrated reporting options ideal for insurance purposes.
CONS / There’s no video upload capability, a useful but non-essential feature.
VERDICT / Its array of features, user-friendliness and in-depth descriptive fields make HomeManage 2011 the best overall inventory application on the market.
Whether you want to create a comprehensive home inventory for insurance purposes or simply take stock of everything you own, HomeManage 2011 is the ideal home inventory software to do it. The application provides versatile inventory management functionality, allowing you to record a wide range of information for every item you own. Additionally, it offers useful features beyond basic property assessment, including backup capabilities, flexible reporting and a setup wizard that makes adding items quick and easy. Its notable ease of use coupled with such wide-ranging functionality help earns HomeManage 2011 the Top Ten Reviews Silver Award.
One of the first things to look for in home inventory software is depth of categorization. The more descriptive fields the application provides, the better. HomeManage offers several entry fields so you can thoroughly categorize each item as you conduct your home inventory. Along with the item’s description and photo, you can input its room location, original date of purchase, manufacturer, and model number, if applicable. You can also specify its current condition and relevant category (e.g., electronics, jewelry, etc.), and upload up to 16 attachments. The latter is notable because it allows you to attach important documents such as receipts as proof of purchase or appraisal documents. You’ll also find a helpful notes section that allows you to input any other tasks and details that you want to include when describing the item.
The software also offers convenient barcode functionality. For quick and easy access to your items in the future, each item is given a unique barcode once it is added to the inventory. Instead of using more broad filters to find an item, you simply input the barcode to immediately access the item.
We were a little disappointed the software does not support video. Some people like to add video catalogs to their inventory in addition to photos, and this is something we would expect on a modern home inventory application.
HomeManage 2011 is brimming with beneficial features that help distinguish the software from other more basic inventory applications. In addition to tracking each piece of personal property you own, you can also include the warranty, insurance policy and beneficiary for a specific item. Moreover, you can add any past or pending insurance claims associated with that particular item. These supplementary features make the software ideal for estate planning and insurance tracking in addition to inventory management.
The home inventory software also includes an integrated report designer. This ingenious tool makes creating customized inventory reports quick and easy. By clicking the “Reporting” menu option and selecting “Create New Report,” you can access a project wizard. This handy tool leads you through a step-by-step process to generate a new report. Once you choose your print options and select the data you want displayed, you can choose to display your data as a chart, table or list. When creating your report, you can also add objects, shapes, barcodes and HTML tags. To further save you time and effort, the application also includes predefined templates for inventory reports. Versatile reporting options are especially important for insurance purposes; if you need to file a claim for damaged or lost property, you can easily do so with the software.
Backup capability is a vital function that all home inventory applications should have, and HomeManage 2011 is no exception. The software allows you to back up your entire inventory list – photos and all – into a zip file with a single mouse click. Backing up a home inventory list is imperative in case you lose the original and need to reference it after an emergency or home disaster.
We also liked that the software offers worksheets you can use when you first start to create your inventory. The worksheets are a simple convenience and help streamline and simplify the process of adding items to your home inventory.
Ease of Use
As with any type of software, HomeManage 2011 takes a few minutes to get used to, but the software is user-friendly and one of the most intuitive applications we reviewed. Navigational buttons at the top of the interface make it easy to navigate the software and access its vast array of features.
Finding specific inventory items is likewise easy and can be done by searching by category, location or filter. You can also find a particular item using the application’s barcode functionality, as mentioned above.
Further enhancing the overall usability of the home inventory software are its various viewing options. You can filter and sort your inventory so it only displays the items that match the predefined filters. For example, you can view items by manufacturer, color, current condition and many more.
Help & Support
HomeManage 2011 is intuitive enough that we imagine most users won’t need supplementary support. However, if you run into any issues while using the software, there are plenty of resources available. Direct support from the manufacturer is available via telephone, email and live chat. The few times we tried to contact the company through their live chat option, they were offline even though it was during normal business hours. However, you can leave a message and the company will email you with a response.
Other available resources include technical FAQs and user forums on the manufacturer’s website. The forums are handy because you can post specific issues or questions you have and receive feedback from other HomeManage users. You can access the forums from the software’s interface and the forums will open in a new browser. We’d also recommend reading through the software’s “Getting Started Guide,” which provides helpful tips for building your first electronic inventory using the software.
With a variety of descriptive fields for exhaustive categorization and an intuitive, streamlined process for building a home inventory, HomeManage 2011 is well-deserving of our top spot among home inventory software. The application’s drawbacks are few, and though we would have liked to see video support, it’s not a function that is essential to inventory management. Whether you are looking for a more versatile inventory application or just beginning to document your belongings, we’d highly recommend HomeManage 2011.