Planjam does date planning/bachelor parties for nerds

Planjam helps you plan local itineraries for nights out, or a simple shopping trip. It's GTD for social stuff.

If you've ever been put in charge of a guys night out, there's a new app for you. Personally I just go out and see what happens, but I know people who like to make itineraries, and they need tools. Planjam is such a tool.

The easiest way to describe it is like the Yellow Pages combined with Tripit's itinerary planner. All you have to do to create a plan is plug in your ZIP code, and pick from a selection of landmarks, restaurants, and local attractions that have been categorized by what scene you're into. Planjam will whittle down the potential results by activity, from romantic, all the way to family places and a night on the town for a group of guys or girls.

Once you've found something you like, you simply drag it over to your itinerary, and continue hunting down things to do. When finished, the entire day (or night) can be printed, complete with important things like maps with directions, and phone numbers and addresses. It'll even go so far as to guesstimate how much time you'll be spending at each location, and how much it will cost.

Planjam's planning tool is simple to use, just pick what kind of scene you're interested in, and drag over anything that piques your interest to your itinerary. CNET Networks

What makes Planjam interesting is its plan building tool. While community services like Yelp and Yahoo Local offer great user reviews and categorization for a destination, they doesn't always offer a way to organize that information in a way that's exploratory. Yelp has lists and Yahoo Local has its weekend guides, but both are short on an actual planning tool.

My one major qualm with Planjam is that it's trying to reinvent the system by offering its own review pages instead of piggybacking on one of these pre-existing user review sites. While the tools are great, it's just the pits if you're blindly picking out places that might have a bad rep. To avoid this, the service is employing some its users as "scenesters" who get a free T-shirt and profit sharing for writing about some of their favorite local hotspots. For me, it's simply not enough to make up for the amount of places that don't have user reviews compared to those that do on competing local review services. If the Planjam folks are serious about building out their directory, I think the first step is integrating existing ratings from other services like Google and Yahoo have done on their directory pages.

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Software
About the author

Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.

 

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