6 useful apps to organize your holiday gift lists

The status of your holiday gift list is… complicated. It’s available on post-its and slips of paper, as entries in the Notes app on your phone and as bookmarks in your browser. This can make holiday shopping a confusing task and inevitably lead to forgotten items.

Before that happens, get first on your holiday gift list and download a gift list app. Once you’ve created your list, you won’t have to double-check it because a good gift list app handles most of the tough tasks: syncing between platforms and figuring out which stores have the items you’re looking for. , as well as things like the sizes of your gift recipients.

A gift list app is probably one of the cheapest gifts you’ll buy this season, as most are free or under a dollar. It will definitely save you from the vacation blues and might help keep your vacation budget from slipping into the red. A note: some of the apps have a very specific Christmas name and look, but work well for any holiday, any time of the year. (And for some real gift ideas for everyone on your list, check out PCMag’s Complete Guide to Holiday Gifts.)

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Buying and budgeting is made easier with the Christmas Gift List (Android) this year and next as it archives your list to remind you of your favorite people’s favorite items. The app is also password protected to keep what’s packed secret. And it handles multiple currencies and languages.

Same name, different application. Satisfying items check mark will likely be your favorite feature of Christmas Gift List (Android). Or you might prefer to have a countdown to Christmas, track your budget, and even start planning for next year.

Christmas gift list tracking

There’s a countdown to Christmas at the top of Christmas Gift List Tracker (iOS), not that you necessarily need it if you’re on top of your gifts to the point of using an app. What you can probably use, however, is the bar graph with your budget that is right below it. It lists all your purchases on your various gift lists and lets you know how much you have left. The app also lets you view lists from previous years to avoid giveaway mistakes, collaborate on lists, and set a password so no one can spy.

GiftPlanner (iOS) covers all the holidays, events and birthdays you need to buy for; balances everyone’s budget; has a bookmarklet that adds items to your lists as you browse online; and can even send gift cards directly from the app. Also, if you have a hard time remembering what something is after packing it, you can take a photo and store the information.

Giftster (iOS, Android) is especially useful if you organize lists for groups of people, such as families, friends, or offices. You can write your own lists for those you buy for, or you can get them to join Giftster so you can see what they want and buy it with one click. There is also a Secret Santa feature which makes it easy to exchange gifts.

Distribute the dough you have to spend by who you spend it with The Christmas List (iOS). You can also organize your list by store so you don’t make multiple trips in person or fill online shopping carts (and pay shipping costs) more than once. If you share the duty of giving gifts, there are some easy ways to send your lists. The countdown function lets you know how many shopping days you have left this season.

yellow background with identical gifts arranged diagonally with red bows

(Image: Yulia Reznikov / Getty Images)

For more ideas, keep an eye out for PCMag’s Complete Guide to Holiday Gifts.

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