One thing that I’ve noticed about preparing for a SHTF event is the ever increasing amount of information you have to keep up with. If you’re anything like me, you probably started with the basics: a list of items to buy and a to-do list.
Fast forward in time a bit and your information gathering has probably grown to include inventory lists, maintenance schedules, digital copies of critical documents, to-do lists, operating procedures, maps, [insert your own creation here]. The list goes on and on.
Related article: The Digital Bug Out Bag
What was your weapon of choice when deciding to organize all of this data? I chose my old friend the spreadsheet. It seemed to work pretty well – I would locate the appropriate spreadsheet and modify its contents and save. Boom. Done. I knew what I had and where it was located, updating the information took less than a minute, hardcopy and digital backups were straightforward. That should be all the information I need right? Wrong.
How long will my food storage last? What if I have another mouth to feed? How many calories will I receive per day? What recipes can I make? What do I need to purchase next? When was the last time I cleaned that rifle? Crap. “Oh well, no biggie, I’ll just add some functions in my spreadsheets, tie in a database and I’ll have my answers.”
Have you ever tried to implement some fairly lengthy algorithms in a spreadsheet and tie in a database? I have, it’s not fun. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. Even if I get this little application running, what happens if my computer is out of commission and I can’t locate a computer with Microsoft Office?
In trying to locate a solution I developed a fairly straightforward list of requirements:
1) Portability. All information needs to be stored on a flash drive and doesn’t rely on software stored on the computer.
2) Convenience. It would be nice to have everything in one location – a survivalist command central.
3) Calculations. Being able to change a few key variables and see how it affects my inventory would be great.
4) Reporting. For obvious reasons I want hardcopies of all my data. Strong reporting is a must.
5) Ease of use. I don’t want to spend any more time than I would already be spending with the spreadsheet system.
Now that the requirements have been identified, it’s time to find a solution. After a couple hours spent on Google I located home inventory software, document management software, food inventory software. All of these products seemed pretty solid but I never found my survivalist dream software. I’m not a fan of having to purchase three separate programs that have to be installed on a single system.
This is where I begin to question my own sanity. I’m a computer programmer and I’m a survivalist. Why not just write my own software that is custom tailored to my needs as a survivalist? I have the experience and I know exactly what I want. Why not?
In short, I couldn’t find a compelling reason not to create my survivalist software so I’m going to go for it. It’s going to run entirely from a flash drive or memory card meaning no special software is needed on the computer and it will be extremely portable. It’s going to include an organizer that keeps all your important documents, a food storage management system that can produce reports based on different scenarios, an inventory management system, to-do lists, and ….?
The ball is in your court. If I’m going to dedicate such a huge amount of time to a project, it doesn’t make much sense building it just for my family and to be honest, not receiving a little compensation for my time and sanity. You know what your specific needs are. I don’t. If you hired me to write a customized piece of software just for you, what would you want it to do? What would be a fair price?
No idea too big or small. If you hate the idea, let me know. If you love it, definitely let me know – I need all the encouragement I can get. So… What’s your survivalist dream software?
-The Nerdy Survivalist