Unfortunately for me, my birthday and the Christmas holiday are within a week of one another. Every year around the same time, usually a week or two before Thanksgiving, I get the same request from members of family, “Can you send me what you want for your birthday / Christmas list?”
I used to send them a blanket email with some items that were copied and pasted from my Amazon wish list, which wasn't exactly a great way of managing what I wanted. I mean, what's to keep different family members from buying the same thing? At least if they bought it directly off the Amazon wish list, the item would be marked as purchased.
I finally got smart and created a perpetual gift list registry using Evernote. Below I'll explain how it works and how to set it up.
As I have mentioned before, I love Evernote. It's an amazing program and they keep adding features that make it even more remarkable. One of the best features they added was the ability to share notes and notebooks with friends, family, work colleagues, or anyone else you'd care to share with.
I created a special note that I can update periodically so that my family and friends have access to a somewhat updated list. I don't have to waste a bunch of time putting together a list year after year and I can spend a few minutes periodically updating it, and then I can email a link to the list to whomever I choose.
Here are the steps to creating an Always Up-to-Date Gift List or Registry that's perfect for sharing:
- Create a note in Evernote. It doesn't have to be in a specific notebook.
- If you haven't already done so, create a wish list on Amazon or any of your favorite online retailers (this is optional as you can just list items you want).
- You can add images of items you want, indicate a priority, etc. like I've shown in my example. Since some of my family are not as technologically savvy (sorry!) I included a quick how to at the bottom of the list for sorting wish list wants on Amazon.
- Once you have the list where you want it, click the arrow in the upper right corner of the note. This will give you sharing options including the ability to copy the shared note link to the clipboard.
- I took my copied “ugly” link (https://www.evernote.com/shard/s48/sh/96a70699-138e-445a-b3fb-1a9cceae5061/5e07a881445e295c8da7c286960090e6) and created a custom short URL: http://jgalm.com/jarrodxmaslist (much prettier). I used Bit.ly to accomplish the shortening.
- Share it with your friends and family and anyone else you'd like to share the list with.
All you need to do is make sure they bookmark the link and you'll be good to go. Now they can visit the link whenever they get the urge to see what's on your list. You can disable access to your note at any time, but if you use a link shortening service, you'll have to update the link should you decide to share the list again as Evernote will assign a new link to the note. If you don't shorten the link, you'll also have to send out an updated link to your friends and family.
This has been a huge timesaver as I don't have to send separate emails and everything stays pretty consistent.
How about you? What kinds of notes do you share with Evernote?