Getting ready for the festive season

Using smartphone in a market or department store, closeup image.
17 Nov 2015

Last week, I was in my local shopping centre picking up groceries. On my way out, I passed David Jones and stopped dead in my tracks. There, in the middle of the store, was a full Christmas display with lights and reindeers. My first thought? “We haven’t even celebrated Halloween!” My second thought? “I better get organised..”

Thanks to my iPhone, I have a handful of brilliant apps at my fingertips to not only help me browse, shop, work and play in lead-up to Christmas – but to also help me enjoy time-off.

Here are my top picks;

The first thing you need is a list. Evernote is so simple yet the functionality is great. If you see something you like you can add a note, attach a picture, video or audio file. You can set reminders and make endless to do lists. You can also send yourself articles to be used as inspiration for your table setting, decorations and recipe. An easy Chrome extension lets you clip just about anything you want from a browser, too. There is absolutely no excuse for forgetting a gift, event or task.

In a recent research study undertaken by BanterMob of the top 100 mobile brands, Catch of the Day scored the number #1 spot. Once you have your gift list sorted, the app has a huge range of discounts and special offers across fashion, tech, beauty and more. For serious bargain hunters, sales are released at three times each day – 12pm, 4pm and 7pm – change to your settings to push, and they are sent right into your hands.

I love this app – as do so many others; it’s rated as Australia’s number one direct wine store. Cellarmasters have great prices and quick delivery – but in addition to this they do a beautiful job of telling the story behind the wine. Tasting notes, where the wine came from, profiles on the winemakers and vineyards – a great purchase experience.

If you don’t have time to plan meals – HelloFresh is a great option. With five main grocery boxes to choose from, they also provide bespoke packages based on what recipes you would like to cook – ideal for entertaining. Delivery is free, and the recipes are kept very simple, most meals are under 30 minutes which I love.

Business owners, this one is for you. Sprout Social allows you to schedule your social media in advance, as well as manage responses, queries, messages on-the-go. There are a couple of similar apps on the market – but the beauty with this one is that you can easily pull reports to give you an overview of what’s happened whilst you’ve been away.

If you, like me, get a little too snap happy during Christmas, storage can be an issue. By using Dropbox, not only are the photos safely stored for good – but it’s also easy to share them with family and friends. You can access photos from any device, across mobile, iPad and Kindle as well as laptops and computers.

One of the most beautifully designed meditation apps on the market. Whether you have 5 minutes or 30, Buddify makes it easier to reset, refresh and replenish – which couldn’t be more needed during the lead-up to the busiest time of year. It provides different scenarios to meditate in, so you don’t need to be in a quiet space, but can do so on-the-go – walking, commuting or during your lunchbreak.

Festive season signals holidays and time-off for many. Using Hopper, you can analyse domestic and international flights and determine the best time to fly and buy. If you are not ready to purchase, place your destination of choice on a watch-list – and you’ll be kept updated as the price goes down, or up.

The festive season also means Christmas party season. If you are strapped for time to shop, The Iconic does a great job of getting something to you, fast. 3-4 hours in fact (if you are in Sydney’s metro area). Free delivery, and free return of stock (within 100 days of purchase) makes ‘click-to-buy’ decision very easy and painless.

For more productivtiy tips, read this month’s issues of GLOSS magazine here


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