January 23, 2008

Preemptively Save Christmas ’08 with the Amazon Gift Organizer

Posted in organize, unclutter at 9:13 am by Kris

Preemptively Save Christmas ’08 with the Amazon Gift Organizer

Amazon.com
: Amazon Gift Central


With the holidays’ major combat operations now complete — but while the
trauma of bell fatigue and the stink of Orange Julius are still fresh in your
mind — I wanted to share a simple tip on something that was really useful to me
this past Christmas and that might make your own life easier for next December
or any other giftable event along the way.

So, you certainly know that you can create an Amazon Wish List to let
people locate and purchase items you would enjoy having as gifts;
that’s been around forever (and most needy cam girls have the iPods and panties
to prove it). And you may even have caught on that you can now have multiple
Wish Lists (with differing privacy settings). And if you’re a power user (read:
“Amazon Prime dork”), you will surely be utilizing the very helpful Shopping List
for finding and re-ordering repeat items like printer toner and blank CDs. But
were you aware of the crazy-useful “Gift Organizer?”
Well, okay, then.

Amazon has been smart about combining several pieces of existing
functionality to create the Gift Organizer. For example, you’ll probably start
simply by identifying the wish list of a friend or family member. That’s pretty
useful, because you can see when birthdays and anniversaries are arriving in
order to gift accordingly, plus, what’s better than giving someone something
they actually want? Quick win, there.

But then it gets better. Once the folks in your gifty circle are identified,
you can also start bookmarking gift ideas that might be nice to give them in
the future. So, as you surf Amazon and notice stuff that might be cool for Mom
or Aunt Sue or that nice UPS man, just click “Add to Wish List” and select the
person it’s intended for. Into the hopper it goes. Ubiquitous capture. Swish.

Furthermore, as you purchase actual things for the people in your
circle, Amazon lets you identify who the items were gifted to (you can
even clean  up your recent purchase history this way). That information gets stored in
your per-gifted-person area where you can continue to add new ideas for future
gifts from any Amazon item page (again, very much like adding to your own wish
list, but for others). On top of it all, Amazon will then employ their awesome
collaborative filtering to suggest more items that this person may like, and
the music goes ‘round.

Now, the cool part of all this — even if you don’t use Amazon very much — is
that Amazon.com is friggin huge. Which means that they (or their “Marketplace” partners) carry a
ridiculously high percentage of the purchasable, shippable items available in
the consumer universe. So, if you start using the Gift Organizer today — even
for stuff you have no intention of buying from Amazon — your life is
going to be much easier the next time a gift-giving occasion rolls around;
you’ve capitalized on several months of passive, half-assed attention to
actually do something useful.

Other ideas? One might be to create a few notional gift recipients to
represent clients, co-workers, or the other compulsory gift recipients in your
life; finding that clever, inexpensive gift at your leisure is a lot
less stressful than having to tear ass on December 21st.

In an ideal world, giving gifts to your pals shouldn’t feel like a stressful
race. If your heart is willing but your tolerance for malls is weak, try giving
the Gift Organizer a spin. You can always make your own
Orange Julius
.

 

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