January 19, 2015
If you are preparing to move or have just moved in, you need something to help you leave the chaos behind and get your life back. And that was exactly what I was looking for when I moved my stuff from one garage to another. Sortly does two things at a high level: it keeps count of your items and their value, and it helps you — and other users with whom you share that private info — locate them.
To get started with Sortly is very easy. After downloading the app, I was able to create an account and start using it in about a minute, as it welcomes every new user with a tutorial explaining all the basic features you need at first launch.
Users can try any of the existing locations or a custom location (aka category) as soon as they log in and create a well-structured, easy-to-access list by adding sub-locations like rooms, boxes, cabinets, and more. When finished adding locations, it’s time to add the items.
Sortly doesn’t limit itself to a list: at each input step, users are presented with the option of adding an image of the location or item alongside the item's quantity and price value. While adding an image of an object or location may not be of interest to you for personal use, it can be very useful at times, especially if you are using this app to keep things organized and inform your team about the new location of certain files, for example.
To help anyone visualize the location or item, Sortly provides basic image-editing tools that help users highlight a certain area of the image they took, either by geometrical forms or by placing arrows on the picture.
The app provides a well-designed, easy-to-use, and intuitive entourage, which makes navigation and data input fun. That’s the hardest part: introducing data. Fortunately, Sortly’s design is really helpful here, removing any clutter that could block your productivity.
Sortly is lightweight and responsive, and it incorporates a great search function that allows you to search for just about anything: it will start displaying search results as you begin typing, speeding up the search process.
The free app also provides free cloud support, which functions well but is limited to 5,000 locations and items and 5,000 photos. The best part of the Sortly Cloud is its ability to continuously sync my locations and items with another device that is using my credentials, like an iPad, so others, like my wife, can see where I put things.
There is a catch, though: Sortly will use your device’s settings when displaying the price of the item. After syncing my list with my wife’s iPad, I was surprised to see that the numbers remained the same, but the currency changed. That, however, can be fixed easily in the settings tab.
Sortly users can link their Dropbox and Evernote accounts for easy sharing, but at this point the limitations of the free version come in. Additionally, the recipient of your email with the Dropbox link must have Sortly installed to be able to view the list.
Sharing the database you have built with others comes at a price: the free version is limited to a text-only list (CSV). If you want to share just the photos, you need a subscription. If you want your information encrypted and synced with your favorite apps or exported in a nicely formatted PDF or Evernote report, or if you want to remove storage limits and ads, you need to choose a subscription.
There are three types you can choose from: you can either pay a monthly fee of $0.99 or a yearly fee of $9.99. The best option, however, is to pay a one-time fee of $39.99, and you get lifetime access.
I particularly like using Sortly because its design, ease of use, and responsiveness make the dull job of keeping track of the items I have in my garage a fun thing to do. Its search function does a terrific job of helping me locate my stuff. I think the free version is enough for personal use, since you won’t be sharing your list with anyone, but when it comes to business use and sensitive information, the premium version is a go. Sortly is available for free on the App Store [Download Link].
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