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Create a holiday wish list to get the gifts you want

If you're planning to create a holiday wish list this year, we have you covered with some nice options from across the Web.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
5 min read

Earlier this week, I showed you how to create holiday shopping lists, so you know what to buy when you hit the stores this holiday season. But what if you want the gifts? Today, I'm taking a look at some services that allow you to create your own wish list for the holiday season. Some of those tools you might have used before, others are a little less known. In either case, you can tell your friends and family what you want this holiday season.

Before you check those services out, try out CNET's own holiday wish list. It's full-featured, well-designed, and based on my experience, provides an extremely useful option if you're looking for a holiday wish list.

Get a wish list

Amazon Wish Lists Amazon's wish lists are some of the best-known in the space for good reason: the site makes it quick and easy to add just about any product to your wish list.

While browsing Amazon, you can add any product on the site to your wish list by simply clicking the "add to wish list" option to the right of the page. In my experience creating wish lists on Amazon, I've been quite impressed. The information can be accessed by anyone, they can quickly buy the product for me right from the wish list, and the product is sent to my address once paid for. Amazon's wish list feature is easily one of the best services in this roundup. That is mainly due to that "end-to-end" offering. Everything from finding the product to buying can be completed on the site.

Amazon Wish List
Amazon Wish List is one of the best services around. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

GreedyMe Although it allows you to add content from anywhere across the Web to create your own wish list, GreedyMe just doesn't provide the kind of experience you'll find from a service like Amazon.

When you try out GreedyMe, you'll find a suspect site design. It's a little tough on the eyes. Once you get past that (it might take awhile), you can create your wish list. To do so, you'll need to either add content to your wish list by linking to another site or by inputting product information manually. When you find a product you want, the site analyzes the link, lets you input a description, and choose an image to be displayed. It's a relatively quick, simple experience.

If you plan to share your wish list with someone else, you need only to provide them with a link to your GreedyMe page. Unfortunately, the site won't track when you receive the item, so you'll need to input that manually after you receive it. GreedyMe is a so-so service. Consider it a last alternative.

GreedyMe has a suspect design and some sub-par features. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

ListIdeas ListIdeas is one of the more reliable wish list services in this roundup. It provides some outstanding functionality and a nice design to make it a top service.

After signing up for ListIdeas, you have the option of either manually inputting information into your wish list or downloading a bookmarklet that allows you to quickly add items to your ListIdeas wish list. The premise is simple: go to a product page and click the ListIdeas bookmarklet. In a matter of seconds that item, complete with all its important information, is added to your wish list for anyone to see.

But where ListIdeas shines is in all the sharing options. You can embed your wish list into your blog. You can also share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. The company even has a Facebook app that imports your list for you. Those sharing options make it one of the most useful apps in this roundup.

List Ideas
List Ideas also lets you input information manually. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

TheThingsIWant TheThingsIWant is another one of those services that made me wonder why such a useful tool could have such an awful design.

When you start using TheThingsIWant, I think you'll be a little disappointed by its design. The service just doesn't match the design of any other service in this roundup. That said, it's a surprisingly useful tool that should help you quickly add content to your wish list. Like ListIdeas, you'll need to download a bookmarklet. Once you're done, you'll find an option in your bookmarks toolbar allowing you to add a particular item to your wish list. Once you say you want to add the item to your wish list, it's automatically displayed on the TheThingsIWant wish list page.

Like ListIdeas, you can share your wish list on Facebook, but it doesn't quite live up to ListIdeas' model. And like every other service in this roundup, friends and family can view your wish list, but you'll need to manually update it when you receive a gift. TheThingsIWant is a fine site, but if you're looking for something similar to it, go for ListIdeas.

The Things I want
The Things I want displays a page like this when you use it. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Wishlistr Wishlistr is one of the best-designed services in this roundup. It combines that intuitive design with a quick input feature that should appeal to most users.

Like some of the other services in this roundup, Wishlistr will let you go to a site and add that page's content to your wish list. You can also manually input details on what you want. It's not as bad as you think, though. The site requires a name, a link, and any additional info you might want to input. When I added items to my list, it took just a few seconds. That said, you won't be able to see from the site if people buy things on the list, so you'll need to edit your list as you get gifts. I should also note that you can quickly import your Amazon wish list, which is a nice option. Check out Wishlistr; it's a nice site.

Wishlistr lets you input what you want. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Wishpot Within a few minutes of using Wishpot, I saw value in the site that most of the other services in this roundup just couldn't match. It combined outstanding design with even better functionality to be one of the best options in this grouping.

After you sign up for Wishpot, you have the option of adding a bookmarklet to your browser to add items to your list, search the site to find offers across the Web, e-mailing a product's information from your mobile phone, or adding it manually. In either case, the experience is smooth and rewarding. It easily bested much of the competition.

Unlike so many of the other services in this roundup, you can easily track which gifts were purchased on the site with the help of a "reserve" feature that friends and family can use. Whenever they have decided to buy an item, they need only to reserve it and no one else will buy it. I should also point out that Wishpot constantly monitors pricing and gives you alerts when the price drops. You can also ask for cash contributions on the site to be put toward the purchase of the respective item. I could go on, but I think it's simpler to say that Wishpot is a fantastic wish list service.

Wishpot lets you search for items from the site. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

My top 3

1. Amazon Wishlists: It seems easy to give Amazon the crown, since it's an online retailer, but its experience is the best.

2. Wishpot: With so many nice features and a price-checker to boot, Wishpot is a close second behind Amazon Wishlists.

3. Wishlistr: There's something so appealing about Wishlistr. It has a nice design and great functionality. Check it out.