12/22/2012 10:58 am ET Updated Nov 18, 2014

Last-Minute Holiday Shopping Help


The countdown to Christmas is underway, which means you have precious time to finish up your holiday shopping (and a couple remaining hours of sanity, perhaps?). But don't let the stress get to you. You can still manage to get everything done -- with a little help. Just check out these handy gift ideas and shopping aids.

If you're still looking for inspiration...
Capture gift ideas as they come and actually remember organized with Evernote. Use the service to shoot a photo in-store, take a voice note on the go, or use Evernote's web clipper. You can also try installing Amazon's Universal Wishlist extension in your browser to create custom lists as you browse Amazon and also the rest of the web.

If you can't quite pull the trigger...
If you have a few options for someone on your list, you often have two issues. The first is simply choosing one. Try Wantful, which sends a custom catalog of your ideas to your finicky giftee so he or she can choose. The second dilemma is finding the best price. RedLaser will help you avoid the wild goose chase around town by showing you where to purchase an item locally at the best price.

If you want to send a present again and again...
Want to give the gift that keeps on giving? There are tons of great (and affordable!) subscription box services that will keep gifts coming for months to come.
For parents: Wittlebee sends a selection of just-the-right-size kids' clothes every month.
For coffee fiends: Craft Coffee delivers gourmet tasting boxes.
For canine-inclined pals: BarkBox for monthly dog goodies.
For beauty mavens: Birchbox brings fabulous samples and travel-sized products.

BAM! You're out of time...
Send gifts straight from your phone via Facebook's gift feature, giving you tons of choices. You don't even have to know their home address. For a cash gift that looks a tad more thoughtful, Giftly lets you pick a general idea (spa day, sushi dinner, coffee) and send a gift via text that they can redeem for cash and spend on whatever they like. Plus, if you're lucky enough to live in New York or San Francisco, download the eBay Now app (FREE) and get gifts delivered from hundreds of stores in about an hour. That's right-- you can order up gifts from bed and a valet will deliver them before you nod off.

If you've got no money at all...
At least send a nice e-card. Paperless Post is a popular choice for beautifully designed emails that recreate the feeling of a real letter (designs are either free or relatively inexpensive). Or, you might try the newer RedStamp, which allows you to turn your own photos into classy digital greetings. The app even allows you to design them straight from your phone, making your holiday hellos take no time at all.

If you've made more online purchases than you can handle...
Managing all those receipts and shipments can be a bit of a nightmare. The Slice app pulls them out of your inbox and organizes them for you. It will track all your shipments to let you know what's where, if prices drop on the stuff you buy, and if you need to find a receipt a month from now, you'll be able to search for it with ease.

There you have it -- a little help getting all the gifts on your list. Happy shopping and may you give good gift!

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