The best way to save on shopping is to get it under control: start counting money and planning your purchases. This is hard and (as many will say) makes shopping less fun but with the tools I am sharing today your holiday shopping experience can still be enjoyable .
1. Plan your shopping with online productivity tools
With so many things we have to do daily, it is really essential to find some tools that will remind us of what we need to do today. Unlike many of you may think, good productivity tools don’t have to be paid. Here are two really advanced tools that will help you get more organized and productive and won’t charge you a penny for that:
RememberTheMilk has such a plethora of productivity tools that you just can’t help wondering how come this utility is still free. Here are just a few that looks most useful to me:
- Assign tags to each task to be able to easily find it (additionally you can search by priority, status, word, location, etc):
- Check handy overview of daily tasks, tags, notes and messages;
- Add tasks or items in your shopping lists from Twitter or Gtalk;
- Integrate with Google Calendar (which makes it possible to add, edit, complete, and postpone your tasks from within Google Calendar)
ToDoist has plenty of features but they require a bit of time to learn to use them. Here’s a quick feature overview:
- Organize your daily tasks and shopping plans by projects. Each project is assigned a different color to visualize your to-do lists.
- Set task priority;
- Schedule the tool to remind you of your upcoming tasks when they are due. Use the special syntax that allows for much flexibility:
- Integrate the tool with Gmail to add tasks right from Gmail interface;
- Add FireFox sidebar which allows quickly and easily manage your to-do list.
2. Organize your spendings with online shopping lists
There are quite a few services online that let you easily create shopping and wish lists to plan your budget and never forget to buy anything. This is especially useful during the holiday season when shopping gets almost hysteric and impossible to control.
In this post I am listing just a few (my favorite) sites allowing to maintain shopping lists that will help you organize things you plan to buy, things you really need (but probably are not too excited about) and thing you dream of but don’t dare to ask for:
Kaboodle is one of the most feature-rich shopping organizers: it lets users add products manually or via the FireFox addon, sorts items in categories, allows to add tags to faster find them, etc:
Buxr is a shopping community rather than a tool but it does offer a few handy utilities for a more organized shopping experience. Its wishlist feature is basic but turns really handy for organizing deals you find at the site and want to store to refer to them later:
3. Learn to Get Organized:
Best tips on getting organized from around the web:
- 27 Great Tips to Keep Your Life Organized from Zen Habits;
- Get More Organized with Google Calendar by yours truly;
- Productivity guide (pdf) over at MUO;
- 100 Terrific Productivity Tools for the Bored or Unemployed.
I hope this post will be quite in time for the upcoming intense (in terms of shopping and spending) holiday season.