SHOP 'TILL YOU DROP CITY — The holidays have long been touted as the “most wonderful time of the year.” Although it’s hard to deny the pure joy that this season brings to many of us, it’s also impossible to ignore the additional stress that comes along with it.
From airport pickups to party planning and gift buying, the responsibilities involved with the holiday season can take a serious toll on your psyche if you don’t prepare. Fortunately, technology offers up some awesome solutions in the form of online tools and apps that can help you get organized and stay on track this season.
If you could use a hand in maintaining your sanity as you juggle the items on your holiday to-do list, check out the following online tools and apps to more effectively manage each task.
Long distance travel increases about 54 percent during the holiday season, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. If you have family or friends flying in from out of town, Flightaware can be a fantastic resource to help you keep track of when and where they will be landing.
You can use the app to receive the latest updates and exact location of any commercial flight anywhere in the world. The app provides data for radar overlays, complete flight details, and terminals for departure and arrival. You can either choose to find and track the flight yourself, or ask your friend to share their info with you through the app to get alerts and push notifications for their flight status.
2. Online scheduling
One of the most frustrating things that can happen to you when you’re running on a tight schedule is to have someone forget about the plans you’ve made. Fortunately, scheduling appointments on a shared calendar or appointment platform can help. Sure, it might seem excessive to create an invite for catching up with a friend over coffee, but it works if you want to make sure that your plans are set so you don’t waste your time.
3. No More Socks
We all know that finding the perfect gift for each person on your list is fun at first, but it starts to get a bit old when you cross off the names of the people you know best and get down to the names of the people who you really don’t know that well. That’s where No More Socks can help.
The app includes a feature called the Ideas Pad that allows you to brainstorm gift ideas in a forum of other users. You can use the Idea Pad to browse shared ideas from others and crowdsource suggestions for your gift. This app also allows you to create shopping lists and track events, but it’s most unique feature is definitely its ability to provide you with crowdsourced suggestions from others.
4. Santa’s Bag
Organizing your list and tracking your budget for each gift can be a bit difficult if you’re working from memory. Fortunately, Santa’s Bag provides a digital solution for tracking the gifts you purchase. The app which has been recognized by influencers like the New York Times and Forbes provides a smart shopping list manager for iOS devices.
You can build your list, set budgets for each gift, create wish lists and shopping lists, track your shopping progress, and share what you’ve purchased, all in one convenient app.
5. The Slice
Finding the right gift at a price that fits within your budget isn’t always easy. The Slice app can help you keep track of deals and price drops on the items you have your eye on so you can make sure you get the best deal possible on each gift you purchase. This is especially handy since prices tend to fluctuate often during this season thanks to seasonal sales.
On top of Slice’s ability to help you identify price drops, the app can also track packages and alert you of any hazardous product recalls on items you’ve purchased. This is all done automatically through e-receipts in your email.
6. Easily Do
Digging through your email account to find receipts, package tracking numbers, and flight information gets a bit time consuming when you have to do it each time you want to check in on your holiday purchases and travel plans. Fortunately, there’s a new app that can help you do it all in one place.
Easily Do is available on iOS devices and can help you organize your inbox and rid your life of digital clutter by providing a platform for you to digitally store important information in your emails in one convenient app. The Easily Do app even lets you unsubscribe from the pesky emails you accidentally signed up for while purchasing a unique gift from a new online shop.
Finally, we get to one of the most stressful parts of the holiday season which is managing your financial situation. American consumers will likely spend an average of $935.58 during the holiday season this year, according to data released by the National Retail Federation. From gift purchases to charitable contributions and event fees, your credit card likely takes a pretty big hit this time of year. Mint is a fantastic resource for keeping track of what you spend and where. Although the app can’t keep you from overspending, it can help you become more aware of what you’re spending and show you where you might be able to cut back.
All of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season can be a bit much at times, but it’s all worth it when you get to enjoy the season of giving with close family and friends. Hopefully these tech tools will help you stay organized and reduce clutter as you shop, travel, and attend holiday events this season!
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