Tracking loaner equipment is one of those tedious but
essential responsibilities for an IT department, and organizations approach it
with varying degrees of commitment and effectiveness. Somewhere between the
extremes—allowing laptops to disappear through negligence or careless record
keeping and spending a large chunk of money to implement a sophisticated
tracking or loss control solution—lies this new version of our Laptop
Checkout Tool
. Like its predecessor, this tool is designed to automate the
process of entering and tracking the whereabouts of the laptop equipment your
users borrow. It’s a macro-driven Excel workbook that simplifies recording and
modifying information on who has borrowed or returned what, including user
name, department, and phone number; laptop description; and additional
check-out items, such as power cords and CD/DVD drives. You can quickly print
out a form for signoff by user and support pro, if you want to keep paper
records on file. You can also generate a report to show check-out/check-in
trends for the week, month, quarter, or year. For example, you might want to
give department managers a quarterly report that indicates how many of their
staff members have borrowed laptops, for what duration, and whether they’ve
been returning them on time.

More is more?

The Laptop Checkout Tool is built to facilitate the routine
tasks of tracking equipment without being top heavy with features. But does it
do what you need it to do? Would certain additional types of functionality make
it more useful in your day-to-day work? Since we can’t anticipate exactly how
the tool will mesh with the needs of your IT department, we’re hoping you’ll
field test it, share your experience and feedback, and suggest refinements or
enhancements you’d like us to make. We don’t expect to build a tool that will
be all things to all techs, but we’re committed to the notion that a useful
utility can become even better if we implement suggestions made by members who
think we may be on to a good thing.

If you could use some help tracking and reporting on borrowed
equipment, we encourage you to download the Laptop Checkout Tool and try it
out. Then, let us (and other members) know what you think by posting to the
discussion below or by joining our general feedback discussion on the Downloads page. And feel free
to e-mail
us with your ideas for modifying this tool
or for creating other types of
tools that would save you time and energy in your work.