The “Christmas Gift List Planner” App: Good for Goodness Sake?

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Christmas presents

Have you wrapped your gifts yet?

When I saw the Christmas tree set up in Neiman Marcus in October, I should have known to start preparing for my holiday shopping.

But have I actually done any Christmas gift shopping yet? Well, no.

***

A lot of people do their holiday shopping on Black Friday, which is great. I stayed home in my sweatpants.

However, I have taken some steps to accomplish my gift shopping (and keep track of my holiday gift expenses) with an app that I found on the Google Play Store, “Christmas Gift List Planner.”

With over 300 reviews and a 4.2 rating, this free app created by Iwuana seemed worth a try. So I decided to see if it was naughty or nice. Here’s what I found.

MAKING A LIST

The first thing I noticed about this app is that it looks exactly like a list. This is to be expected, considering it’s called “Christmas Gift List Planner.” You can pretend you’re Santa and write down all the names of your recipients.

Although the layout and format of the app are very clear, the button for adding a gift recipient isn’t; however, after clicking the menu button on my phone, that option pops up. So I added in my mom, my dad, my brother, and cousins. The main page lists all your gift recipients alphabetically.

When you add a person, you not only need to specify who they are, but also the allotted budget for them. I guess this depends on how good they’ve been, right? At the top of the screen, a tiny box calculates your total budget. Next to that is a listing of your actual budget, that is, the total of you’ve already spent on gifts. Also, the most expensive gift, as well as how many people you still need to buy for are listed. (In my case, everyone.)

ADDING A GIFT

A little pencil to the right of each person on your list lets you add a gift. Under the “gift data” screen, the app allows you to enter the name, description, quantity, and cost of the gift.

It even offers a box to check off whether the gift is wrapped and ready. The app developers thought of every detail. Also, in the additional features, which you have to purchase, the option of adding a gift by scanning the bar code is available.

Most importantly, the more gifts you add, the more your actual budget increases. One thing that I wish this app did was deduct what you spent (actual budget) from total budget, rather than listing the numbers next to each other. But I guess that’s what calculators are for.

CHECKING IT TWICE

In the upper right corner of the screen, I noticed a little gray bag. It took me a second to realize what it was. I figured it was a trash bag, because, you know, gift wrapping involves a trash bag, right? Especially for unwrapping gifts.

Then, I realized, when you add more gifts, the bag actually turns red. So you are like Santa after all!

SO, IS IT NICE?

Overall, this app essentially lets you type out an entire gift list. It presents a clear, organized way to see who you’re buying for and what you have spent.

Typing everything out takes motivation, perhaps even more motivation than it takes to actually go gift shopping. I would say that if you prefer having everything on your phone, right there, and ready for you to see, this app would be great. For me, I’d rather write everything out. That means carrying around a notebook (which I happen to have all the time anyway).

Finally, there are a number of gift planning apps on the Google Play store, and I’m sure there are plenty on the Apple store too. This app is nice, but is it necessary? That’s up to you.

What do you think? Would you use a gift planning app? Have you started holiday shopping? 

(Note: SALT™ does not endorse this app. We encourage you to do your own research, i.e., check twice, before downloading or purchasing any mobile app.)

(Photo: Anastasia Abramova)

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  1. Faith December 7, 2012 / 3:26 pm

    I like the idea of an additional scanning feature….but not enough to pay for it!

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