Most tech savvy people have a wish list floating around on NewEgg or Thinkgeek or some other site — I have 4 I can think of without effort. Some of us even keep a private list of gift ideas for others at various sites and occasionally make a note of something we see in a store only to forget about it or be unable to find it among the many notes me make — whether within an app or on paper — when it is around gift giving time. The problem is most people do not have 1 convenient place they can keep track of all the items from across the web that they find for themselves or others. I have various want lists I have forgotten about as well and from time to time I go back and remove things that would have been impulse purchases had I bought them instead of wish-listed them. So, the utility of a gift list minder app that is not tied to a single retailer is a necessity—especially at this time of year. However, after using his a few years, I realized that this app fills that void of when you see something perfect no where near their birthday or a gift giving occasion.
A few years back I tried a variety of gift list apps for the iPhone. While there are probably a number of newer decent entries, I continue to use GiftPlanner by Andrew Milham ( GiftPlanner ). I decided to write about it because the interface does so many things right, and most importantly, it doesn’t dumb down the efficiency of the UI because it doesn’t suffer from the misconception that simple interfaces are easy. It has a relatively clean yet informative interface with several views, and has the second mark of a great app: an easy to change, highly user-configurable information display.
As you can see, the app allows you to click on where you are on purchasing a gift from “budgeted” (the dollar sign) to ordered, received, wrapped and given (checkmark). It also shows the store if entered manually from an editable list and a picture of the item if you grabbed it from a URL or took a picture of it.
The primary view is one that has a configureable sort. My default is by people and gift, but you can sort many helpful ways, such as by Store if you are out shopping at a particular store. As I said, I found this app most helpful when I see something at a store while browsing and think, “my sister would love this, but her birthday or the holidays are 9 months away.” Before this app, I would forget about the item long before it was time to buy it. Now, I quickly snap a picture of it and enter the price tag and store I am in (if not already on my list).
Despite this caveat, compared to the others I have used it packs in the most information and features while remaining elegant. Even without the $2.99 iAP that allows syncing between devices it is a very capable app. Since the app remains free (last I checked) and the only additional desire of cross sharing between iOS devices, I strongly recommend trying it out and keeping it handy whenever you are out browsing at things and come across a great gift for someone, but do not have the funds and/or the storage to hold onto it for half a year. Also, if you are worried about that gift list being found be the “giftees” in your life: worry not. For in the dev’s infinite wisdom (and something sorely lacking in other apps I tried and ended up deleting), he has allowed users to enable a passcode lock to keep prying eyes away from ruining a surprise.