The Wish List

Whenever we see something we want to buy, I add it to our wish list. Not an imaginary list, but an actual list we use to remember gift ideas. It’s been such a helpful tool when someone asks about gift suggestions for our family.

For the last year or so I’ve been using Wishpot to keep track of all our gift ideas. It’s free, and you can add items to your wish list from any source whether it’s Amazon, Etsy, or any other store.

Wishpot makes it easy to share your wish list with someone else. (Here is our family’s wish list if you want to see it.) It’s also good for baby or wedding gift registries so you wouldn’t need to be limited to one store. That is so helpful for me because as time goes by, I want fewer things from usual department stores.

One more nice thing about a wish list is it gives you time to think about something before you buy it. A few days after I add something to the wish list, I can consider it again and decide if it was an impulsive addition or if I still really want it.

Do you keep track of a wish list to share?
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. Thanks for the tip. My paper list is mostly on-line items anyway.

  2. Thanks! I have a paper list, but when my husband looks at it he often has no idea what I’m talking about. He then has to ask me and I find it for him online and it isn’t the surprise he wanted it to be.

  3. oh, yes! I use and use the bookmarklet tool which allows me to add things to my wishlist with just one click! Its very helpful for me and I can edit my wishes with just a few clicks and drag and drop.
    Of course I just add things I really need.

  4. I will surely check this out! Thanks for sharing!!
    Susan´s last post…Crescent Cinnamon Rolls – Jen Tilley

  5. Great post – I didn’t know about that site! I have an Amazon wish list and they have a universal wish list with a button that you can add to your toolbar and use it to add any product on the internet to your wish list. I have a list for me and a list for my kids and family loves to look at the kids’ list especially to see what they need/want/where they are developmentally with toys.

  6. I used to kept a wish list/scrap book. I would cut out pictures of things I wanted from catalogs, and paste them in the book. I was pleasantly surprised a few years ago when I was the winning bidder at a silent auction of a bracelet that I had in my wish book. I wasn’t consciously aware of that when I was bidding on it either!
    The book allowed me to appreciate the beautiful things I wanted, and not have to find a place to put them, or dust them or worry about them getting stolen or broken. I no longer get many of those catalogs (asked to be removed from the mailing list)
    I love the idea of having an e-wish list though. I am going to look into it. My mother in law, who loves shopping WAY more than I do, would appreciate knowing what our hearts desires are.

  7. WOW…I had no idea. I will have to get started for birthdays and next year Christmas shopping…thank you.


  8. I was just telling someone this weekend about my always current wishlist – I just use Google Docs currently for ideas for our whole family, and whenever I pass along a few ideas to one family member, I bold them so I don’t share the same ideas with multiple family members. I also use Google Docs to keep track of giving ideas I have for others whenver I need some inspiration. I’ll definitely have to take a look at

  9. I do keep a wish list on Amazon since I mostly want books. It’s funny how you can keep something on your list so long that you feel like you actually own it. You can get so tired of seeing it there that you don’t even want the item anymore. That’s a good way to save money.

    I also write about my frugal efforts in a journal and I include a little post-it note that has my wish list for the year. I love to collect cookbooks and cooking magazines so I keep a list of the ones I want to add to my collection for the year. And, since I rarely go to the movies, I have a short list of DVDs that I want to purchase or rent from the Red Box.

  10. I do something similar, although less tech-chic :)

    If there is something that I would otherwise buy (immediately!) I bookmark it in my “Wants!” and then leave it sit for a month. I check in periodically and you (well, probably not you, but others maybe) would be shocked at how few I actually end up buying.

    For kiddo gifts I’ve been using a hidden page on my blog. People who ask what my dude wants get the link. It has been so successful that I actually have to regroup on what WE are actually getting the little guy this year.

    I am FOR SURE making this, though – so cute!
    Zom G.´s last post…Hi You

  11. I see some other people mentioned this as well… now has a universal wish list and I have been making the most of that this Christmas! It’s so nice to be at any site and be able to click the “add to wish list” button. Plus it enters you to win money from MasterCard (you can dream, right?).

    On another note, I just found your blog/website and I love it! Will certainly be coming back and I’m totally jealous of your planned move! Best wishes!
    Carrie´s last post…Five UNDER 10

  12. I have a much-neglected wish list from Amazon. I didn’t know they now have a universal feature! I’ll have to check that out.

    I have heard nothing but good things about Wishpot, but I’ve been so conflicted about the idea. I mean, is it tacky to share things like that? And what if someone asks for gift ideas and I send them the list and they purchase nothing from it, not even anything similar? Will I be all bitter and thankless? So yeah. I have inner turmoil about the wish list.

    I do love that you can include Etsy things on Wishpot. That feels a lot more organized that marking hundreds of things as favorites and never returning to them.
    Megan@SortaCrunchy´s last post…Lay It Down- Can You Be Fully Present This Holiday Season

    • I think it’s tacky if you say, “Please buy me something but only from this list.” But for gift suggestions it can be really helpful, especially for relatives who are out of town and you don’t get to see them often enough to stay up on their current interests, or for kids who grow and change every few months.

  13. We use a different online site for our wish lists but I like the prettier format and more robust sorting options of Thanks for sharing!
    Freedom Journey´s last post…Planning for 2011

  14. This is so interesting! I’m not much of an online shopper, but I can see how incredibly helpful this would be. The only thing that worries me is that with everything online (your shopping and your bank account), it can seem like a game. This is probably why I shop in person. I like to look at the item I’ll actually be taking home with me.
    Jennie´s last post…Living Through a Transition Period

  15. i have a wish list every year for the holidays! i use its really simple and helps me keep everything organized. my whole family uses the website also and it just makes everything so much easier…you can add things from any store online or sometimes if i’m out shopping i’ll use my iphone app and i just scan it and it adds the item to my list. it just makes holiday shopping so much faster

  16. I keep a list of ideas for gifts for family members. As I think of gift items throughout the year I jot the ideas down in a notebook and then when a birthday or Christmas comes I have an idea of what to get them. I find this to be really helpful.
    Bencer99´s last post…Stamp Club

  17. I love this idea. I don’t really ever want much but when my mom asks for christmas or birthday ideas I can’t ever remember ANYTHING I ever wanted.
    Tonya´s last post…30 Minutes and Done!

  18. Amazon has an app that can add to your browser that allows you to add things to your amazon wishlist at just about any site. It’s pretty handy.

    Now if I could just get the extended family to actually ask us for gift ideas! Any hints for that?

  19. Love this idea, especially for the kids’ birthday!
    Marcia Francois, Organising Queen´s last post…7 Secrets of the Super Organised

  20. I have not heard of wishpot, but will have to check it out now.

    I have a HUGE amazon wishlist. I just add things to it anytime I think I am interested in something, that way I don’t forget it. I made my huge list private, so it is more of a running list for mysekf. But I also have a shorter public list. My parents and sister are in Australia and they are always wanting to know if the wishlist is up to date. They are so kind and buy me birthday presents from it and have it shipped, that way they don’t mail stuff from Australia (which costs a fortune).

    I wish all my friends and family had wishlists. It would make gift giving so much easier!
    Stacy @ Delighting in the Days´s last post…Lip Balm Tutorial

  21. Rachel, there is nothing for Tom on your wishlist!

  22. Rachel,
    Thanks for sharing Wishpot with more people. I use it year round and I love that I get emails when items off our lists are on sale! Makes shopping even easier!!!
    Meegan´s last post…Advent Calendar 2010

  23. love wishlists… I use amazon’s because mostly the only things I really want are books :) l-o-v-e books and reading… will introduce this to others though, because the family usually want other “stuff” :)
    angelvalerie´s last post…revisiting goals and motivation is this the never-ending story

  24. I keep a list too but I’ll be using Wishpot instead of my ol’ spreadsheet system next year. Thanks! Oh, and I do the same thing – add an item to the list and go back a few days/weeks/months later and cross it off. I like to keep the item on the list so I can see how many things I want but ultimately don’t need. It satisfies my need to shop without spending a penny. It also satisfies my need to make lists (for everything).

  25. Love this idea! Totally intending to sign up and plunk all our ideas down in one place.
    carmen @ life blessons´s last post…God- Brussel Sprouts &amp Getting the Job

  26. Very helpful; I’ll be sure to check it out. I was always a little frustrated that the Amazon list could only be Amazon (even if it makes sense :-).

  27. I’ve been using Amazon’s universal wishlist, but I’d really rather not support them anymore. A few months ago they had a dispute with a publisher so they removed all books published by that company without notifying the authors.
    I’ve used other wishlist services before but they were hard for non users to access, so I will be happy to check Wishpot out.

  28. I did not about wishpot site, thanks for letting us know. Best thing for us that we do not write it down, if we remembered it, it was important enough to buy, else why worry about it.

    How is your preparation going for Italy going? Kids are going to miss friends and family or you have some there? Did I tell you, you are so brave and cool for trying this?
    zengirl @ heart and mind´s last post…Meaningful Happy Holidays From Heart- Not Wallet

  29. Lily (from Italy) says:

    My wishlist is actually an e-mail I write to my boyfriend, who then can take inspiration and also give suggestions to his family. :)

  30. We have a family wish list for Christmas too but on since we add items from etsy on there. Love the idea of a holiday wish list – doesn’t make you greedy it’s just so much easier and it’s definitely fun to put together for the kids because they like offering their opinions and we get to approve them without any extra stress! :)