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Little pencils don’t stand a chance


New iPhone app brings order to your IKEA shopping trip

Does that say Liljestad or Lillberg? I can’t read my notes. I’m at IKEA and I’m measuring this thing while eying that thing while…ooo! light bulbs, don’t forget light bulbs.

That’s been me on more than one occasion at the blue and yellow behemoth of flat-packed Swedish goodness. But like MJ said, I am not alone. I’ve seen you, my fellow mumbling and fumbling aisle-wanderers—hands full, retracing your steps a few too many times.

Thankfully one among us has done something to make our IKEA experience a little better.

Danilo Campos took his disdain for wee pencils and his talent for iPhone development, and created SwedeShop.

It’s essentially a sophisticated shopping list that helps you manage your trip to the 250000 square-foot retailer.

You can add items by name, with your own notes (like the color, or maybe what room in your home it’s for) and details like the price and quantity you intend to buy. Just like the IKEA handout you’re used to, you record the aisle and bin location for self-serve items or the section if it’s in housewares.

Pretty familiar so far, right?

Budgetize, prioritize, sort and photograph

In addition to freeing your hands from pencil and paper, here’s what the app does that those former trees cannot.

SwedeShop lets you set a budget for your shopping trip and as you add items to the list it shows your current total and your remaining budget. I’ve attempted this tally in my head numerous times. This is a huge help.

You can also prioritize items on your list so when you’ve blown your budget and something’s gotta give, your nice-to-haves and your necessities are obvious.

The sorting within the app is pretty sweet too. When you head to the massive self-serve area you can sort by location and not have to back-track from aisle 29 to aisle 2 for your side tables.

And there’s the photo option. You can add a pic for each item on your list. I don’t think I need to explain how helpful that is.

All that for 99 cents

SwedeShop won’t twist the allen wrench for you and it won’t lift that heavy hunk of particleboard into your cart. It won’t display a database of products or show you a live inventory of what’s in stock at your local store—you’ll have to take that up with IKEA.

But it will help you stay organized, on task and on budget while you’re shopping. And for less than half a latte, we think it’s well worth it.

Grab the app and start making your list. For $.99 you’ll be budgetized and organized on your next IKEA trip.

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