I saw a poll on NamePros asking visitors what tool they use to track their domain names. Domain investors can use anything from a Microsoft Excel file, to specialized domain name management tools, a parking provider management tool, their registrar’s management tool, or nothing at all in some cases.
I primarily use Microsoft Excel for my domain name management needs. I also use the GoDaddy Domain Management tool as well, but it is only helpful for domain names registered at GoDaddy.
I track the domain names I own in two different files. The first file is my annual accounting file. This tracks the domain names I have bought and sold in the current year. This file also contains other accounting information that I deliver to my accountant each year.
The second file I use is an overall inventory file. This file has all of the current domain names I own along with the acquisition price and the year the domain name was acquired. This allows me to easily reference purchases prices for domain names that were acquired several years prior. This file also allows me to get an idea of my total cost of inventory.
I also use GoDaddy’s Domain Manager tool to keep track of my domain names. This tool is helpful because it tracks renewal dates, name servers, and the listing status on Afternic. My own inventory Excel files do not have this additional information. One weakness of this tool is that I can only track my domain names at GoDaddy. Domain names I won on DropCatch.com or NameJet that have not been transferred to GoDaddy do not get tracked via this tool.
Personally, I do not like the idea of using a third party domain management tool because I don’t want to give anyone else access to my data. I presume companies have assurances in place to protect privacy, but I don’t have a glaring need to take a chance that third parties gain access to confidential data that could be in a domain management tool. For some people, this risk may be very small compared to the benefit of a useful domain management tool.