The holiday shopping season is now in full force and if you’re buying a lot of gifts for a lot of different people, you can get help keeping track of everything with Gift Plan by Glasshouse Apps. Gift Plan is an app that will let you track all of your important occasions and holidays and the people in your life you need to buy gifts for.
Gift Plan’s key interface elements are presented in four tabs: a calendar, gift ideas, occasions, and a shopping list. The calendar tab shows you a month view and tapping on a date shows you all of the people you’ve tagged as a gift recipient for the selected occasion in the area below.
The Ideas tab is where you make up your gift shopping list, allowing you to quickly jot down something you see in a store or come across online, complete with snapping a photo of it, or copying and pasting a URL into the Notes field. If you already have a recipient in mind, you can “assign” it to a specific person or leave it unassigned to hold on to it as a general gift idea.
The Occasions tab is where you define all of those gift-buying-worthy occasions, like holidays and anniversaries. The Shopping tab shows all of the items you’ve marked as “to buy” in your Ideas list and provides a handy total in the top right corner so you know how much money you’re about to spend if you buy everything on your list.
You don’t have to do birthday and people entry manually – Gift Plan can import people (and their birthdays, if you’ve saved them) from your iPhone’s Contact list or from your Facebook friends list. For each person saved, you can even enter their likes/dislikes and clothing sizes. When it comes to getting reminders about upcoming occasions, you can get push notifications up to three weeks in advance to give you enough lead time to get to a store to get your shopping on.
Here’s a demo video prepared by Glasshouse Apps– it’s a couple of years old now but still shows the main features still present in the current version of Gift Plan:
There are a couple of things about Gift Plan that could be improved. While I love the calendar view to give me a visual representation that is the most meaningful to me when I need to do something by a certain date, I wish that the area below would automatically show the recipients for the next occasion on the calendar. As it stands, Gift Plan doesn’t make good use of the entire screen by showing me absolutely nothing below the month view unless I tap on an occasion date. And adding gift ideas takes a lot of tapping on a lot virtual buttons and different screens and looking at an app like Clear makes me believe that there could be a much more fluid and streamlined way to do this.
With all of its features to manage multiple gift-giving occasions and a large number of gift recipients, Gift Plan might be overkill if you’re looking for an app to help with just your Christmas shopping but at only $2.99, it’s likely to be one of the cheapest things you’ll buy within the next few weeks and can help you stay sane as the holiday shopping
madness season continues.