How to Put Valentine’s Day on Autopilot

Six automated gifting apps that can save you from the doghouse

By The Editors

How to Put Valentine’s Day on Autopilot
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08 February 2016

It takes time to breadcrumb rose petals throughout your house and build the world’s most tear-jerking power ballad playlist before Valentine’s Day.

Problem: You don’t have much time.

So herein, you’ll find a virtual black ops team of set-it-and-forget-it apps and services that can automate all your romantic inclinations — for Valentine’s Day, anniversaries and beyond.

Scratch
Scratch hires a living, breathing, professional human shopper to guide your gift purchases. Start an account with all relevant personal info (her likes, special days, etc.), then have an online chat with a pro shopper. Within a few hours, they’ll give you intel on personalized recommendations at various price points. And if you find the item for less within 30 days, Scratch will reimburse you the difference. They’ll even proactively remind you about upcoming gift-worthy days. (Editor's note: as of late February, the site's mission stayed the same but was rebranded as HelloShopper)

TaskRabbit
A national resource that allows you to outsource small jobs and errands to a third-party “tasker.” Simply input the task you looking for, find the nearest available “tasker” and pay online when the job is done. (Just need to get the place clean? Try Handy.)

Print Studio
Turn that Instagram shot of her into a card or photo book with the Print Studio app, which prints all sizes and offers full-bleed pages with multiple options for cover designs. Finish the sentiment off with the right card stock then have it mailed and ready next to the rosé. (Bad news: the deadline for getting this on V-Day was February 4th. Good news? It works just as well for anniversaries and birthdays.)

Hotel Tonight
Nothing beats the surprise weekend getaway, and Hotel Tonight negotiates massive discounts on unsold rooms near and far. In two swipes of the trigger finger, you can book a room for the weekend (options include “Basic,” “Hip” and “Luxe”). Pairs well with Hitlist, an app that offers heavily discounted last-minute flights around the globe.

The Bouqs Co.
Need a honey-I-love-you flower arrangement but you don’t have time to pick one up? With The Bouqs Co., you can order nationwide and set up an on-going subscription so she’ll never be without flowers again. Simply input your intended’s special days (birthday, V-Day, etc.) and you can have beautiful flowers sent to her for eternity.

ifttt
“If this, then that.” Or, a productivity tool that lets you automate pretty much anything. And you don’t need to be a technophile to create commands. Maybe every time you two take a picture with your significant other you can have it automatically upload to your Facebook page. Or have it schedule a reminder to deliver chocolates on certain days. With this app, you can even turn down the lights when the moment is right. 

—Eric Brown

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