To make the most of both time and materials, one reader developed this record-keeping system that gives the memory a rest and saves money.

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Like most woodworkers, I'd rather build projects than run after forgotten materials or supplies. So to make the most of both my time and materials, I developed a record-keeping system that gives my memory a rest and lets my hands get to work.

When starting a new project, I make two copies of the materials and supplies list from the project plans, and one copy of the plans themselves. I then slip the latter copy into a vinyl sheet protector and put one copy of the materials list in the back, facing out for quick reference.

The other materials list becomes my working copy that I first take to the shop to cross off the supplies I already have in stock. With the updated list in hand, I make only one supply run.

-- Diane Goularte, Fresno, Calif.