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Is there an easy way (could be software, but needn't be) to manage a pool of devices as one can a small library? That is, track who has which device, track the status of the devices, when they were signed out, and so on?

A shared spreadsheet requires quite a bit of maintenance and quickly becomes out-of-date, and a paper sign-out sheet is too inconvenient for teams across different floors of the same building.

I've only a dozen or so devices—phones, cables, chargers—used for tests and demonstrations, but would like to be able to see where and with whom they are at any given time, and rely on that information.

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I ran into a similar problem when dealing with a library mobile handsets for testing. We found the following setup to be fairly effective, although it is a version of a paper signout:

  • Each phone was in its own little box with all the associated cords and whatnots
  • Each box had a notecard in it with lines for names and the model of the phone written at the top
  • When you took a phone, you wrote your name on last available line on the card and left it on the shelf in the place of the box
  • The shelf with the phones was next to the desk of a semi-protective QA guy who was good at reminding people to leave a card when they took a phone
  • When you brought the phone back, you crossed out your name on the card

Its a simple method, and it doesn't always hold up perfectly, but we could usually ID who had the phones more easily than not.

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