A Stress-Free Holiday Is Only One App Away
Special to CNBC.com
Gift List Apps
There are so many gift list organizers, it's really a matter of finding the best one for you. Be sure to avoid the ones that the developer isn't updating, especially if you're going to pay.
Gift Plan for iPhones is certainly one of the most versatile and well-designed. The profile view is the hallmark of this app – store gift ideas, personal tastes and clothing sizes for your friends and family. Gift Plan also imports birthdays from your contacts list and Facebook.
The free version of Christmas Gift List Planner for Android devices lets you track how much you've spent and what's been purchased, mailed and wrapped for people on your list. The paid version unlocks additional features like a gift ideas list, password protection, and barcode scanning to add items.
Though technically a grocery list app, List Bliss is an excellent option for couples who want to split the shopping. It's one of the few apps that lets you sync lists between phones so you can see what your partner has purchased. List Bliss is available for both the iPhone and Android.
Available for iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, Nokia
The holidays are no time for strolling aimlessly through the mall. Crowded stores, pushy shoppers and the constant danger of holiday soundtrack overload all make it imperative to get in and out.
FastMall gives you turn-by-turn directions to help you do just that. Since you can download interactive maps, there's no need to hunt out a mobile connection. Apply filters to the maps to quickly find points of interest, or shake your phone to call up the nearest restroom.
The built-in audio recorder can help you recall where you parked, but it's also good for taking notes while you've got your hands full.
Even if you know your local mall like the back of your hand, FastMall can save you time by sending you notices about sales at your favorite stores and delivering deals to your handheld device. Coupon codes make redeeming those deals a snap.
It's easy to go into information overload on Black Friday. There are plenty of apps that will do the number crunching and store location to help you get rock bottom prices fast. (Read More: Black Thursday? Stores Encroach Deeper Into Thanksgiving)
In addition to streamlining the ad-perusing process, the Black Friday app by dealnews.com for the iPhone and Android compares sales with deals at other stores and online vendors. You can also store ads, get push notifications from your favorite stores and save items to a shopping list and check them off as you go.
TGIBlack Friday has similar functionality, but integrates with social media, so you can pool your resources with other savvy shoppers. You can send your list by email and share it on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus using your iPhone and Android device.
Zoomingo Local and Black Friday Deals, which is also available on iPhone and Android, aggregates the most popular Black Friday pins on Pinterest, uses GPS to find the best deals near you, and lets you "like" an item and monitor it to see when the price drops. The app is also optimized for tablet view.