What do you use to organize your formulas & process?

Folks who have been in this for a long time, which tools do you use to organize your formulas, keep track of all the samples that are piling up on your shelves? :)
I spend too much time sorting through and looking for properties of every chemical when R&Ding. Any tips/tricks of the trade? 

Comments

  • I have developed a system using Excel. Works for me, and have been using the approach for 15+ years
    Dr. Mike Thair
    Cofounder & Chief Formulator
    Indochine Natural
  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    edited May 2021
    mikethair said:
    I have developed a system using Excel. Works for me, and have been using the approach for 15+ years

    And also, keep inventory to a minimum unless you are a manufacturer. The Regulatory requirements for Raw materials, if you are going to be compliant, cover far more than just maintaining an inventory list.



    And that is just the tip of the iceberg.
    markfuller@microformulation.com Microformulation.com Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
  • Thank you, folks, I mean the inventory of samples. I do not make anything for commercial consumption in my lab, just R&D. 
    Curious how you organize your library of samples in your lab and how you organize your formulas!
  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    Generally people use Excel.
    markfuller@microformulation.com Microformulation.com Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
  • Excel is a very light and versatile tool and works very well especially for formulas. Personally, I prefer Access for inventories and chemicals, because I can link datasheets, add personal notes and images, and it can generate codes for the products which is helpful in terms of confidentiality.
  • EVchemEVchem Member
    If your lab is small  you can use https://www.quartzy.com/  for inventory for free. Also helps if you need to do any general purchasing of supplies.
    As for formulas excel is okay. We have an outdated version of formulator software which when used properly is a really great tool. Overall our site has moved to a new ERP but it doesn't have the same ease of use for R&D needs
  • @EVchem thank! I'll check it out. Which "outdated formulator software" is that?
    @ChemicalPyros is Access is a name of software? Do you have a link? Thank you
  • @AVisotsky Access is a database software made by Microsoft. 

    I also use spreadsheets to store my inventory and also my formulas. I have my inventory list set up to allow me to link my formulas to individual ingredients that are accessible via a drop down list so I don't have to type in each ingredient every time I use it in a formula. So far this has worked pretty well for me. I use Google Sheets but I'm sure the same can be accomplished using Microsoft Excel or Open Office equivalent. 


  • Here is a link @AVisotsky:

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-ww/microsoft-365/access

    The main advantage of this software is that you can identify searching parameters that can ease up the formulation process:
    You can set it up for example to give all the compounds that are stable in a given pH range, or all the compounds that you have that belong to the cationic surfactant category, so on and so forth.
    Of course it will require extensive setting up and data entry, but IMO it is worth it.
  • EVchemEVchem Member
    @AVisotsky the software is literally called formulator
     https://www.formulatorus.com/
    It sounds like it can do much of what access does it's just already set up and designed for food/supplements/cosmetic  formulations. Lots of ability to add in modules and connect with other systems like ERP
  • @EVchem thank you :) have you used it yourself? 
  • EVchemEVchem Member
    @AVisotsky Yes I'm a big fan if data entry is done right it's a great tool. There are sections for raw materials, overall formula building, packaging, BOM building and there are add on modules for production, inventory, and quality management
  • As I have more or less mastered the capabilities of Google Spreadsheets, I am using desktop office less and less frequently. Of the apparent disadvantages, I have encountered the limitations on queries and CPU time. I was doing an online parser of google table data - ran into such limitations. And another thing - if the table exceeds several thousand / fifty thousand rows, and the rows are processed somehow - it starts to slow down a lot. Your formulas don't need tens of thousands of rows, so you can safely use google tables. I recommend reading a brain dump journal to organize your projects, so you always have something to strive for.Type your comment
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    I use A5 notebooks to record formulas and methods, and maintain an index in Excel/Google Sheets
    it's old-fashioned, but it works
    UK based former cosmetic chemist with 13 years' experience at the bench. I've worked with pretty much everything apart from pressed powders, soap, solid lipstick and aerosols. Now working in the messy world of screen-printing inks.
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