My first inventory was just that - a printed list of each variety and its description. I made two copies - one for my desk and one for my plant room so I could compare a particular bloom against its description without having to go turn on the computer. But, what I ended up having to do was add my own notes in the notes field on First Class and also on my paper copy containing information about how many (and at what stages) I actually had of each one. I even made up my own abbreviations to help simplify. For example, I used (and still use) 'P' for mature plant, 'SP' for starter plant, 'S' for sucker and 'L' for propagating leaf.
This system worked well for quite a long time. Regularly, I would have to print out a new list if I obtained new varieties, lost some or had too many changes, making it illegible. Also, I found that I had to go back into First Class routinely to keep track of my notes sections of each variety. After a while, I was getting back-logged. My paper copies were kept up to date, but I wasn't utilizing First Class for note-taking anymore. And when my collection got really large, I found that a list of the descriptions took too many pieces of paper, used too much ink and didn't have enough room to neatly organize all the information I wanted to add. I wanted to add things like where I got that particular plant/leaf, when I repotted it last, if it was blooming true and any other growing comments I found useful.
Finally, I decided to design my own type of inventory, and it is one that I still use today. I started with a spreadsheet program that I modified. I print it out using a landscape format and keep all columns on one page. Here are the columns I chose to use:
1. Cultivar name
2. Size (of the cultivar - Mini, Semi, Std, or Lg., etc.)
3. Source (When and where did I obtain it?)
4. How many mature plants I currently have
5. How many babies/suckers I currently have
6. How many leaves I currently have set
7. Last Repotting date
8. Is it blooming true? (Yes, No)
9. Growing comments
10. Placement on my shelves (Added later when I couldn't find specific plants on the stands quickly.)
This list really is all I need, but I found that I needed a quick reference, too. My quick column inventory list lets me check quantities without having to flip through multiple pages. I try to keep it on one or two sheets. I use either two or three columns and list only the plant name and my quantities. It may seem like overkill to some folks, but I absolutely need and want to know everything I can about my stock and sources. The spreadsheet method could easily be modified however you chose. Another way of keeping track is to use a file box, with one index card per variety. Many people do this and find that it works great. Whatever works for you is definitely the way to go, but if you have a sizable collection, keeping records is a really good idea.