Throughout the year, we get ideas.  Sometimes those are ideas for projects, but they are often for gifts.

“Ooh, I’d bet Amanda would like a scarf like that…”

“Hey, remind me to buy a pocketknife like that for my dad at Christmas.”

But when the holidays draw near, or when someone’s birthday is around the corner, all you can do is remember that you had an idea for what to get them — but you don’t know what it was.  As Homer would say: D’oh!


The Easy Way to Keep Track

The best way to keep track of gift ideas is to use a wish list.  And what better wish list to use than Amazon’s?  You can’t lose it (it’s not a slip of paper), and you can pinpoint the exact item (since Amazon has pretty much everything).

It might be the most convenient option there is.  It’s on the internet, so you can access it from any computer or smartphone (Amazon has apps for iPhone and Android).

You can create multiple wish lists and give them custom names, so you can have a list for every person you care about (e.g., “Gift Ideas for Mom” or “Items worthy of Roger”).

And you can make your lists public, private, or shared with specific people.  You’ll probably want to make them private or shared though, so that the person doesn’t find out what you might be getting them.  But you can make your own wish list public — so when someone asks you want you want for your birthday, you just send them a link to your wish list!

I’m sure there are some of you that still aren’t convinced.  “What if I don’t know the exact item I want? Or what if Amazon doesn’t sell it?”  Those are valid concerns.  Fortunately, Amazon has you covered.

Sticky Wish

You can add any idea to your wish list — it doesn’t have to be a specific item!

In addition to adding specific items to your list, you can add a “digital sticky note” to your list.  It’s basically your search terms or your description of the item.  It gets added to your list like normal items, and when you see it, it can serve as a reminder of the thing you wanted to shop for.

Good job, Amazon.  It doesn’t get much easier than that!


So How Do I Use an Amazon Wish List?

It’s pretty simple.  Log in to your Amazon account, and go to the Wish List page (go to Your Account -> Your Wish List).  You should see your own wish list.  On the left you’ll see all of your lists, plus some links to take actions such as “Create another Wish List” and “Manage your lists”.

From that menu, you can rename your lists, view different lists, make new ones, and change the privacy of each list.  There’s also a “Birthdays and occasions” option, which allows you to put in events you want to remember — and Amazon will remind you when those dates are coming up!  No more forgetting birthdays!

Add To Wish List

If you’ve ever wondered what that button was for, now you know!

To add an item to your wish list, search Amazon like you normally would.  When you find something you want, instead of clicking “Add to Cart”, go a little further down and you’ll see a button that says “Add to Wish List”.  If you have multiple lists, there will be a drop down arrow so you can choose the right one.

Once an item is on the wish list, you can move it to another list, delete it, or add it to your cart when you are ready to buy it (assuming you want to buy it from Amazon).

And don’t forget, you can add digital sticky notes for ideas, as mentioned above!


One More Reason To Use Amazon Wish Lists

Have you heard of Amazon Smile?  When you go to, you’ll find the same products and the same prices as you will at the normal Amazon site.  The difference is that 0.5{7ccf5d7f440a8c0a4dff3df5bb9cc0bab88c0e4cf23a41541a36431e043fd86c} of most purchases will be donated to the charity of your choice!

That may not sound like a lot, but it starts to add up pretty quickly if you (and your friends) start using it year after year!

Now, instead of just shopping for your family and friends, you’re helping a good cause as well!  Are you convinced yet that you should be using Amazon Wish Lists?


This Is What I Use

In case you are wondering, Amazon didn’t hire me to say nice things about their Wish Lists.  It just happens to be the way I keep track of gift ideas, and I like it.

It’s convenient (I already buy stuff on Amazon anyway) and it works well (even for things not on Amazon).  That’s why I recommend it!

Try it out, and leave your thoughts about Amazon wish lists in the comments below!