Packing is so easy! Of course, that’s until I rely on my brain to remember what to pack and my brain replies with “yeah, right!”.
In very much a GTD style, I am of the idea that I need to relieve my brain of any excess information, so that it can focus on what’s most important: Enjoying my trip with cero stress.
Back in August I posted an article about having a packing list, a mechanism that allows me to check if I’ve packed everything I need using an Excel table which I made available for download and through my Toolkit page.
This list is a comprehensive inventory of all the things I need when I go on my cultural travel.
I ended up developing this list when I got tired of forgetting things (and many times quite important things like my passport) in the haste for starting my trip.
A packing list can always be improved
I immediately purchased the app (Are you kidding? There’s an app for that?) for $2.99, a bit pricey but ok.
I’ve used the app since it came out and here’s my review.
Every time I think I’m going a bit too nerdy, someone else comes up and is nerdier still! I love it!
What Packing Pal does
Basically the app allows you to make personalized packing lists for your trips, you can add your own items or select them from a library of hundreds that comes included in the app.
When launching the app, the first thing to do is to create your own list either with new items or selecting from the catalog.
In this example I’ve created a list called “Carito’s Standard List” which I plan to use as base for all my trips.
I’ve included everything that was on my Excel spreadsheet and it’s quite surprising to see that the main categories are practically the same!
Of course, you can tweak the categories to match whatever your desire, but it’s cool to see other people tend to pack the way I do!
Categories will display in different colors and when you tap on the small arrow, they will drop down showing you the content of that category.
Adding items is easy enough, you just hit the + button on the right.
Then you get and Add Item screen where you have three different options. Custom lets you add any item that’s not in the catalog.
Search lets you find the item by alphabetical order.
And Browse allows you to find the items by category and subcategory, out of the included catalog.
When you’re making your bags, you start checking the items you’ve already packed and by tapping on Incomplete the app with filter those and leave you with just the items that are still to be packed.
The My Lists view will show you the percentage of completion for each list.
By clicking the Edit button, you can delete the list by using the minus sign, or enter an edit field by taping the right arrow.
At any time inside the list you can press Edit and the items will display the minus sign to delete the entry and a right arrow to edit it.
By tapping the arrow inside a rectangle icon, you can clear all the items, email or print the list.
In the Catalog section you can add or edit the current categories to your liking.
The Tips section brings you information about how to pack.
The Setting section allows you to import catalogs from other users or import a list. You can also export your list, send feedback and reset the catalog.
- Very easy to use and intuitive.
- Nice looking interface with pretty colors.
- Sharing your lists seems easy, though I haven’t done it myself.
- The ability to replicate lists, so you can start with your standard list and then customize it for different trips, that way you don’t need to do everything from scratch each time.
- There should be a way to go back to the category I was in before, when adding items manually.
- I want to be able to change the colors of the categories at will.
- I’d like to be able to order the items alphabetically or manually or by subcategories.
- Comes with a pretty extensive list, though no passport or hat! (You’d think those would be included, huh? Or did I just not see them?)
- No auto-correction.
- The tips are only text, there should be some pictures or even better, some videos!
I do recommend using Packing Pal, though it can be improved and I’m sure it will in the future, I think it’s a fantastic way of automating and speeding up your trip planning!
Not only does this app help you in packing your luggage before your trip, but it helps you keep track of your stuff when coming back or if you’re traveling to more than one destination.
Had you downloaded my packing list before? What did you think of it?
Have you used Packing Pal yet? What are your comments?
Do you use any other method to help you pack?
Tell us in the comments!
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