Get all your online shopping more organized with the STOREE app.

Bills, bills, bills – keeping ahead of things with STOREE

Keep overview with STOREE

Beta testers speak out

Before STOREE was launched to a wider audience, we tested the app with a group of beta users over a period of 12 months. Not only did they stress test STOREE and help us significantly refine the technology behind STOREE, but they also rigorously feedbacked on user experience and app design.

We’d like to put some of them in the spotlight and let them share their experience with STOREE and tell their personal stories about how our app specifically helps them in their daily online shopping lives.

Meet Anna

Today, we start with Anna. She lives in a small town in Germany, is a mom and has a full-time job. She was one of the first ones to join the beta tester group and is, as you will find out, a truly experienced online shopper.

Filter your orders with STOREE STOREE overview

Shopaholic in the Middle of Nowhere

When I started using STOREE I did out of curiosity and to support a girl I followed on social media for a million years. Little did I know on how brilliant this would turn out.

There is no nice way to say this. I shop online a lot.

I shop kid stuff, anything my mother saw on TV, I make material reservations online for construction work at home and sometimes even place an order for something off my personal wish list. Oh the perks of being a full time working mom without any shops within a 50km radius.

Bills, bills, bills…

As long as I had to juggle a million emails in my inbox, there were more bills than I can remember I was late on. It’s embarrassing to admit but that’s how it’s been.

To be honest, STOREE and I, we had a rough start. In the beginning it only sat on my phone, silently showing me my orders. When another payment reminder came in, I decided something had to be done.

Taking control

I opened the app and started going in deep, checking what came in and what wasn’t paid and sorting everything out. Ever since that day I keep coming back to check on things. It helps me to have a clear overview not just about pending payments but also about in transit stuff and returns.

Everything at your fingertips

I used to search my inbox for all the details about the latest kitchen gadget my mother had wanted and when it is supposed to arrive or the 20 digit reservation number from OBI, and now it is all within arm’s reach, pre-sorted and aesthetically pleasing.

It makes mom life a little better. And never a bill late!

 

STOREE shows you all order events STOREE shows you all order events

One look is all it takes

With STOREE, you can filter all your orders and be always up to date on delivery, payment and return status. All orders that need to be paid or that are in delivery at one glance, so it’s easy to follow up with what requires actions and when to expect the mailman.

If you click on the status icons in the overview, you can even see more finegrained information on the status such as “Delivery pending”, “Arriving today” or “Payment requested”. They’re displayed in an intuitive traffic light color scheme so that one look is enough to know what’s going on!

The events can also be edited manually so you can also use STOREE actively as an order manager and change events yourself! Paid an outstanding order? – Just mark the order as “Paid” in STOREE!

Get organized today!

STOREE is available for download in the App Store and Google Play.

STOREE in App Store      STOREE in Google Play

2021-06-20T13:39:55+02:00June 20th, 2021|App, Beta, Beta testers, Email, Organization, Productivity, Shopping, STOREE, Tips|

STOREE launched

STOREE launched

After 12 months of tremendous effort and an 8-month beta that included hundreds of avid online shoppers from the DACH and Benelux regions, we are finally ready to launch STOREE for everybody.

The early beginnings

We, the founders of eigenlinks, grew up during the time online shopping exploded. We issued our first orders with Amazon before this millennium, thought eBay was the greatest thing that happened to us after Tamagotchis, and sent German marks in envelopes as the payment method of choice before there were any established digital payment solutions.

Throughout our studies we ordered books, office supplies, things we could not afford as well as things we didn’t need from the internet. Not even the occasional 12 weeks of delivery time could stop us. Despite the many shortcomings in its early days, we love online shopping and believe it has made our lives so much easier.

Online shopping during COVID-19

This past year has challenged everybody and also highlighted the significance of online shopping as the main channel for the purchase of daily goods like groceries, medical, drugstore and household goods. And toilet paper, lots of toilet paper…

With on and off lockdowns throughout Europe, opening hour limitations, quarantines and social distancing, means of buying goods have become limited and dangerous for certain parts of the population. Gradually, online shopping emerged as a viable and simple solution accessible to most.

Online shopping has become so much more than a channel to splurge on products 24/7 in the last 20 years. It offers consumers more choices and transparency, it is time saving and efficient, and it evens out availability discrepancies between the rural and urban populations. It would be an understatement to say that online shopping is a true game changer.

99 problems and all of them are emails

The development of online shopping however has not been exclusively positive. In an effort to inform the shoppers about every single step of the shopping journey, shops started bombarding consumers with messages: One email for when the parcel is packed, one email for when it’s in the delivery van, one email when the delivery van starts moving… You get the idea.

The uprising of marketplaces from which various sellers can sell under one umbrella has made things even worse and more fragmented. Did you know that when you issue one single order at an online marketplace, you’ll sometimes end up receiving up to 35 emails before you have even received the goods? That’s not even including potential returns and refunds.

Back on track with STOREE

As first-gen online shoppers, we did not like what we heard from fellow online shoppers and what we experienced firsthand. We decided to change this by building a digital solution that significantly simplifies online shopping by providing you with a clear overview of all your online purchases and their statuses. This eliminates the need to dig through hundreds of emails in your mailbox and memorize anything.

We believe that online shopping should be easy, fun, and simplify shoppers’ lives, not make them more complicated. We also think that you shouldn’t need experience in supply chain to be able to manage your online shopping.

That is why we developed and built STOREE and we could not be more excited for it to launch!

How STOREE helps online shoppers

STOREE – Your online shopping companion

STOREE helps you organize and manage all your online orders so you never lose track of them. Order details, items, shipping addresses, payment methods, return statuses – everything in one place.

When is my parcel arriving? Did I already pay for this order? Where did I buy this from again? STOREE helps you to stay on top of all your online orders by providing you a beautiful overview with everything you need to know about your orders.

Say goodbye to shopping memos, lists, sticky notes, spreadsheets and forever searching in your email inbox for this one email you will most probably not find anyway due to the cryptic subject. STOREE will filter out and display all the important online shopping information for you.

  • Order Overview
    Shop names, items, prices, shipping, and payment status – all in one place, at one glance and regardless of which shops you shop from.
  • Order Event Management
    Incoming events that are linked to a particular order will be automatically matched and the status will be updated in the app. Alternatively, you can also edit and tick off the events yourself.
  • Delivery Tracking
    Track all your deliveries and always know when parcels arrive. Are they rerouted or delayed? No problem, STOREE can notify you about this, too.
  • Wishlist
    No matter if you find an item you love in your browser or in another shopping app – share it to your universal STOREE wishlist and save it for later.
  • Payment Overview
    Always know which orders you already paid and which payments are still outstanding – independent of your payment method. Whether you use an invoice, credit cards, pay later options – we’ve got you covered.
  • Returns & Refunds
    Ordered something that did not meet your expectations? Manage all your returns and refunds from within STOREE and never forget to return anything again.
  • Contact Shops
    Have any questions or problems with your order? STOREE has implemented contact buttons so that you can contact the online shop of your choice with just one click and easy access to the order number which is needed in every communication.

Simply download the app from the App Store or the Google Play, sign up and get your own STOREE email address. Then use this email address in online shops you love to make orders. These will then appear in your STOREE overview.

If you wish to receive a sneak peek on how STOREE will make your life easier and more organized – simply forward an order confirmation to your new STOREE email address and see the magic happening!

More helpful features!

Looking back on the past 12 months

With the help of our beta testing community, we have learned a lot about building a product, setting priorities, user experiments and processing user feedback. We have continuously interviewed online shoppers, created and analyzed numerous surveys, and learned from bug reports and feedback from testers that have been using STOREE for the past 6 months. This is some of their feedback:

“I love everything about STOREE. The app is such a game changer.”

“STOREE makes it easy to keep trackof things and it‘s really helpful in doing so. I didn’t expect to like it that much in the beginning.”

“I love your app, it’s genius and saves me a lot of time and nerves. You guys did an amazing job! I can’t even remember how online shopping was before STOREE.”

“THANK YOU for this app. I was not aware that I needed STOREE but now I cannot imagine living without it!”

“I love that you developed an app for a problem I didn’t even know I had! Did it annoy me that I had to maintain a checklist when I had several orders going on at the same time? Yes! But I only realized how annoying it really was when I started using STOREE and thought: Wow! Thank you for getting rid of this annoyance for me!”

We shipped new features, went through redesigns, made numerous improvements and fixed hundreds, if not thousands, of bugs. Our testers’ feedback, negative and positive, has been very encouraging and pushed our team to always give their very best in creating an awesome consumer application that helps people solve problems.

We would like to thank this community for their effort, feedback, ideas, criticism and support. We feel immensely proud that you were part of the journey up until now and are hyped to see how far we can go together!

What’s ahead?

Building the foundations of STOREE is only the beginning and creates many product opportunities for the (near) future. There are many more features we plan to implement but, of course, never without user validation and testing.

We will also continue to improve the tech behind STOREE and introduce new languages to be recognized so that online shoppers around the globe can become organized with our app.

STOREE’s launch is the joint result of our fantastic beta testing community who helped us by online shopping (there isn’t a more awesome and fun way to help, is there?) and providing feedback, our advisors Jeroen, Finn, Guido, Romano and Thomas, and our team.

We can’t wait to show everybody what’s yet to come.

Your STOREE team

Links:

2021-06-16T09:01:00+02:00June 15th, 2021|App, Email, Launch, Organization, Productivity, Shopping, STOREE|

Music that made STOREE

Music that made STOREE

Playlists are mood barometers

During the last few years, the team behind STOREE has spent a crazy amount of time building and developing the app. Just like many others, everybody in our team loves music and it is a big part of our daily lives. Whether we blast it from speakers in the office, at home or through our headphones, there’s essentially always music playing. Some of us work more efficiently with music while some others need silence to fully concentrate.

Then again, some listen to music to get motivated and pumped, others use it to relax and calm down after exhausting work days. As different as we are in when and how we listen to music, our preferences in music stunningly differ even more!

We’ve collected some of our team’s most favourite playlists and want to share them with you! After all, playlists reveal a lot, and these are the playlists that made STOREE. Listen to Yi-Chin self-motivating pop playlists, Philip’s odd remix of all genres you could possibly think of, Nemanja’s melancholic soundtrack of everything minus work.

Get it poppin!

Yi-Chin’s favourite genre is good old mainstream pop and that is for a good reason: This music is light-hearted, never fails to lift her spirits, and there are so many different sub-categories of pop music. While she is a big admirer of music in general, she will always choose pop as her music to work, cook and work out to. Even if you are not into pop, try listening to any of her playlists during working hours and you might be surprised. It makes being lost in Excel sheets so much more pleasant!

You can choose between Asian Pop which includes Mandopop/C-Pop (that is, Chinese pop music) and K-Pop (that is, well you guessed it, Korean pop music), UK pop songs especially from the 90s (there IS a risk you might unconsciously end up dancing on your colleague’s desk, if you are not willing to take this risk, do not click this playlist!), an amazing 80s playlist which took ages to assemble, and a nostalgia playlist.

These playlists are also very suitable for long train or car rides: You won’t even notice how time is passing by. We’ve been friendly enough to test this for you!

STOREE: Yi-Chin's Azn pop playlist

STOREE: Yi-Chin's UK pop playlist

STOREE: Yi-Chin's 80s playlist

STOREE: Yi-Chin's nostalgia playlist

Relax, don’t do it

Philip and Nemanja on the other hand will rather listen to relaxing music once work is done for the day. Both prefer no-music environments during work to the point that Nemanja even wears noise-cancelling headphones when there is no one else in the room (his thoughts must be super interesting!).

Was it an exaggeration to say that our playlists simply could not look more different? While Philip enjoys his after-work beer with Enya, 50 Cent and Bob Marley on the same playlist (…is this even legal?), we are most likely to find Nemanja with a glass of distinctive red wine on the couch listening to Postrock bands like MONO, If These Trees Could Talk or Caspian.

Curious to explore what these guys are up to when they’re not working on STOREE? Have a little taste of their relaxing playlists:

STOREE: Phi's chillax playlist

STOREE: Nemanja's postrock playlist

You can access our STOREE profile on Spotify to save our playlists for later.

Just like we rigorously fill our playlists with music we love and listen to daily, we are super excited that soon everybody can start filing their online orders into STOREE. STOREE gives online shoppers the only overview of their purchases they’ll need – all important information, always at their fingertips. Regardless of where they ordered from, which payment option they chose and which forwarder will deliver!

No more digging through mailboxes and juggling between different apps to look for tracking information and payment details. By the way, our playlists are also very well suited as online shopping soundtracks, this has also been successfully pre-tested by us!

STOREE - All your online purchases at your fingertips

STOREE will soon be officially available for download for iOS and Android mobile devices.

We can’t wait to help online shoppers to simplify their shopping organization so they have more time for what really matters: For example, dancing or relaxing to music they love while knowing exactly when the postman will ring and deliver a long-awaited order.

2021-06-08T12:48:06+02:00June 8th, 2021|App, Organization, Productivity, Shopping, STOREE, Tips|

Why one email address is not enough

Too many emails

What’s your email address?

If this question does not make you pause, count and think about which one you want to share, then it might be time to reconsider.

While one might get the impression that emails are long dead and belong on a pile with CDs, DVDs and vinyl records, the truth is that emails are bigger and more important than ever.

She came to stay

There are newer and better solutions available that seem to replace emails in your personal and professional lives, like messaging apps or instant-messaging services, but emails are surprisingly sturdy and remain an essential part of our daily communication.

And it does not seem to be changing anytime soon.

Old but gold

The email was born in the 1960s which makes it older than most of its current users. It is estimated that 320 billion emails are sent and received on a daily base. The insane number this adds up to on a yearly base is hardly imaginable and it only keeps growing.

When we empty our physical mailboxes, we always make sure to neatly separate important letters from the government, doctors or the tax advisor from promotional leaflets, letters convincing us to invest in an annual lottery subscription and the best 99 cent offers of the week.

So why would we not want to this in our digital mailboxes, too?

Wrong place, wrong time

Nothing is worse than not being able to find an official confirmation in your email inbox because it is buried between all the newsletters for funny socks, toys and garden hoses.

The other way around, it also gets very annoying on a shopping spree when you are looking for this one 25% promotion code you know you received but you just cannot find.

The solution to this is easy: Split them.

name@reputable-email-provider.com

Many emails we receive are important to us on different levels, for different purposes and at different times.

Having them mixed in one single mailbox can be a true nightmare. The longer one email address is used for all purposes, the more creative our ninja-inbox-searching-skills will have to become to ever find something again.

A great first distinction to make is to keep a primary email address for all important private matters and official communication with government and tax authorities, doctors and for job applications.

These days, using first.and.last.name separated by whatever characters are allowed @a-great-email-service-provider.com is the common style to opt for. It leaves a serious impression and is easy to remember – what more could we wish for in an official email address?

Why you need a separate shopping-only email address

The second email address we’d want in place is purely for shopping-related emails. It is important to keep all your shopping-related emails as they contain purchase agreements you enter with every online shop you use.

Often warranties and policies are also part of these emails. Therefore, it is strongly suggested to be able to refer to these emails at any given time.

Every online shop requires an email address from us. At this point, the email address is used for commercial use and will be, sometimes magically, served with newsletters, discount codes, customer service, review requests and much more. This is why some people might mistakenly refer to it also as “spam email address” as they already expect it to happen.

Having more than one email address will prevent this and keep all inboxes clean.

Use STOREE

While basically any email provider is suitable for the setup of a shopping-only email address, there are options that offer more advantages than others.

Or simply one that’s oustanding.

When you sign up with STOREE, you can create your very own shopping-only email address. How about discount-code.connoisseur@storee.email? – You got it. Or jane.doe@storee.email. – No problem!

Not only can you use this email address in online shops and start separating your personal emails from shopping-related emails, but the STOREE mobile app will also provide you with a sleek overview of all your orders, their relevant details and events.

This allows you to easily see everything important at one glance.

What is this dark magic?

We use state-of-the-art machine learning, natural language processing and automation techniques to extract only the important information from shopping-related emails and display them to you.

On top of that, you will always have access to the original emails from within the app itself and all emails are also forwarded to your primary email address for reference, too.

This way you’re in full control, at all times.

Ready to clean up your emails?

Don’t have a shopping-only email address yet?
Get your very own STOREE email address – available for iOS and Android.

2021-05-18T14:02:39+02:00May 17th, 2021|App, Email, Organization, Productivity, Shopping, STOREE, Tips|

STOREE beta testers plant trees

STOREE testers plant trees

Beta testers thrilled about STOREE

Over the last months, STOREE has wrapped its first closed beta testing round with a number of selected German and Dutch power online shoppers.

Due to their busy lifestyles or because they simply prefer spending their free on pleasant activities (could anything be more relatable?), the shoppers do not want to spend time on organizing their online shoppings. After all, online shopping is supposed to be fun and convenient in the first place.

Everything at one glance, that’s amazing! This is just what I need. Can I use it already?” is the most frequent feedback STOREE has received.

The testers loved the convenience seeing anything related to all their purchases at one glance: It’s simple, convenient and clear. No matter what and where they shopped, STOREE’s overview includes every shop, from big ecommerce players to the small corner shops.

Test, love, plant

We appreciate the time and effort the testers have put into testing STOREE and providing us with valuable feedback. That is why we gave the testers two “thank you” gift options to choose from: Either a voucher for an online shop of their choice, or have a tree planted in their names. We’re stoked that 95% (!) opted for the tree and we went straight to work!

STOREE has teamed up with locals in Niemandsfreund in Baden-Württemberg, Germany to reforest the local forest. As the literal translation of Niemandsfreund is “Nobody’s friend“, we interprete it as a sign that this protected landscape really does not want to bothered by anything that does not naturally belong in it.

Niemandsfreund in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Back to the roots to plant roots

The forest is located nearby Wangen im Allgäu, not far away from Lake Constance. Big parts of the forest were destroyed in a storm in early 2020 and required urgent reforestation.

With one of our cofounders Barbara having her roots in that exact region, we have decided to invest our efforts towards supporting this area to plant more trees to strengthen the vegetation and ecosystem.

Planting trees in Niemandsfreund

Making an Impact

We believe it should be easy for people to make an impact and we’re very happy that so many of our beta testers have taken on this chance to do this together with us!

All testers who opted for tree planting also receive emails with a picture of their very own tree. We hope that it makes their day as much as they did make ours by beta testing and loving STOREE!

Curious to test STOREE, too? Sign up now!

2020-11-18T08:09:14+01:00November 17th, 2020|App, Beta, Organization, Productivity, Shopping, STOREE|

Relax during Holiday season – with STOREE

Christmas with STOREE

After a very successful closed beta test round with a group of selected heavy online shoppers, we’re ready to enter the next stage to bringing STOREE to the market. What better way is there than to combine this with the upcoming Holiday season?

This year’s Christmas will be different for many of us but that does not mean that we cannot make the best of it! It is expected that many more shoppers will order their presents online this year, and have them directly shipped to the lucky present receiver. More than ever, many people are eager to support local and small shops and businesses. This translates to opting for smaller online shops that might not offer the convenience we’re used to from the big players.

Ordering from small online shops therefore requires more organizational effort from the shopper and also poses a higher risk to shoppers as the terms and conditions need to be studied first before ordering online. With big online shops, we usually know the terms and conditions by heart and are also used to great overviews of all our previous purchases. This simplifies reordering and organizing.

With STOREE, shopping from small shops will become significantly easier, no matter where you shop. STOREE offers an overview of all your purchases across all shops: Up to date delivery and payment status, reminders of when return windows expire, follow ups on refunds and much more.

As STOREE is not officially launched in the app stores just yet, we’re giving away 25 exlusive seats to heavy online shoppers who plan to splurge on online shopping in the upcoming season with all the attractive offers and sales. Singles Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, last minute Christmas gift shopping… you name it. Don’t ever get lost in your order emails – let STOREE handle it for you!

If you’re interested to apply for one of the exlusive seats, sign up on our website, or get in touch with us via Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

2020-11-12T16:28:36+01:00November 12th, 2020|Organization, Productivity, Shopping, STOREE, Tips|

Confessions of an ex-beauty-blogger

Beauty blogger blush stash

How I became a beauty blogger

One day in March of 2010, I decided to start a beauty blog. I was in the middle of my Master’s studies in Utrecht, and was desperately looking for a new passionate hobby to escape the dry reality of books, exams and libraries.

And what could be less dry than colorful nail polishes and eyeshadows, shimmering powders and beautifully scented cremes? I madly fell in love with the magic, beauty and power of make up. It might not be irregular for a girl at the age of 24 but slightly odd as I wasn’t really skilled. Even today, I think my skills are fairly limited but after all, passion is not about competition but about what makes your heart sing. And man, did it sing loud and clear.

US imports

Soon, I caught myself spending endless hours in beauty forums, drugstores and at make up counters. We shared excitement about the latest limited editions, gave each other product recommendations or just discussed about the difference of that peachy blush to that other peachy blush.

At that time, before the rise of Kylie Cosmetics, Charlotte Tilbury, Fenty Beauty and before Korean skincare became popular in Europe, the places to purchase from were limited. Together with other make up addicts, I issued collective OPI nail polish orders to US eBay sellers. Back then, they were not even available in Europe other than through professional nail art resellers and when they did enter the European consumer market, $5.99 vs. €18 was still a quite convincing argument to stay loyal to eBay.

It felt like we were constantly waiting for some deliveries from the US, praying that our parcels would be overlooked by customs as we were poor students running on a low budget. But we were definitely students on a low budget with the most stylish manicure in town!

Stop wishing, start shopping

Without any particular strategy or concept in mind, my blog quickly earned a witty and loyal audience, 43k unique visitors and 220k page views per month. We even gained some “international” recognition (an interview for an Austrian magazine does count as international, doesn’t it? #fakefame) and were recommended by the German newspaper with the widest reach, Bild am Sonntag. Despite the fact that my head was filled with blushes and lipsticks rather than economics theories, I managed to successfully finish my studies.

I kept blogging throughout my first job. With the first job usually comes the first real cashflow – KA-CHING! And maybe it’s not difficult to imagine what I did with what felt like a sudden fortune (let me assure you, it wasn’t) and that long wishlist of mine that had been growing impatiently.

Life in a DHL parcel shop

While I enjoyed shopping all the nice products I was not able to afford before, I was also a bit worried about the fact that my apartment slowly started looking like a DHL parcel shop. Apart from the things I ordered myself, I also received many unannounced PR parcels from brands which added to the chaos.

In order to stay organized, I helped myself by maintaining Excel sheets on all the products I owned and which I still wanted to write a blog post about, which needed to be tested, etc. While I do highly appreciate Excel from a professional point of view, I always feel that using them in private life is always a bit of a turn off. Does anyone really enjoy looking at spread sheets in their free time?

Not so EXCEL-lent

Three years into blogging, with a full time job and challenged by the real “grown up life”, I felt things slightly getting out of hand. At that point, I was not even sure anymore if I already own a certain product or not, and where in my warehouse-apartment I could possibly find it. I ordered from many different shops as some brands were only available in the US or the UK. I noticed that I was not even aware of when to expect which deliveries, which order was already paid for and how long I could actually return items.

Of course, I was not only ordering beauty related items but other products as well: Fashion, decoration, furniture, household items, electronics, books, pet food, etc. While I found my inbox flooded with e-mails that tried to inform me about everything related to my online orders, my twitching eye and constant urge to start yet another hate-love Excel sheet told me that this was not giving me the overview that would really simplify my life.

A STOREE is born

My own frustration and experience inspired us to make STOREE. If you search for “online shopping organizer app”, you usually find apps that help you organize or list what you wish to buy in the future. Or you’ll find apps that are connected to certain shops and tempt you to shop more.

STOREE shows you orders you already made, and allows you overview of the products, the shops you bought from (we were surprised to learn how many people actually forget where they shopped, and they simply cannot find it back when needed because, obviously they don’t know what to look for) and the expenses. STOREE also helps you to know when your parcels arrive and remind you until when you can send them back. It works cross-shop which means that regardless of where you purchased, it will all be in one overview.

 

STOREE app screens

 

Become a STOREEteller

I’m still passionate about make up and beauty, also beyond my active blogger career which only lasted for about 3.5-4 years. The only other passion that’s grown even stronger is the one for convenient digital solutions that work in favor of the consumer and truly simplify their lives. This is why we are developing STOREE. If you want to organize your online shoppings and try the app before the official launch, you can sign up for free and exclusive early access here.

Join our community of STOREEtellers, too. Share your thoughts and experiences with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Or just to prove me wrong and let us know if you are one of the spread sheet loving unicorns that I believe didn’t exist :)

2020-05-26T13:13:15+02:00May 26th, 2020|Organization, Productivity, Shopping, STOREE, Tips|

Support locals and give the best gifts

Maybe you are familiar with this situation: You need to get a birthday gift for your friend. Birthdays and Christmas never come as a surprise, but somehow they always do.

There’s a ton of ideas coming up, you think about their hobbies and interests, or maybe activities they mentioned they want to pick up. You even remember particular items they pointed out they liked during a shopping trip or a fun night out. Of course that’d be a on point to find this special something for them that they will love and at the same time be really useful. You plan to hunt down this special something and be the best friend ever.

Then life happens, and all your great ideas and good intentions go down the drain.

Pressure at work, chaos at home, stress everywhere.

Before you know, it’s three days before their birthday and you’re slightly panicking. Coming empty-handed to the party is not an option, so you cater to what most people would in this situation: Visit one of the big online shops that guarantee overnight shipment and buy a generic gift that’s not near what you originally wanted. There’s just no time browsing anymore. Of course, your friend will still be happy about the gift and that’s what matters. But you’re not fully satisified with how that went and promise to yourself that next time will be different.

But where can you actually find online shops that sell unique, handmade products? What if you could easily find these, and at the same time support your locals? We thought, that would actually be pretty neat.

Supporting local business is what the STOREE team strongly believes in. This is why we have compiled a list of small and local online shops in the Netherlands. It’s full of local makers, entrepreneurs and creative crafters offering their beautiful unique items. We are delighted to see the number of small Dutch online shops that are already on the list. And our STOREE app will soon help you to keep overview of all your purchases from different online shops. If you are too excited to wait for the official launch, we invite you to sign up to become an early tester.

Are you also an owner of a small online shop, or have a favourite shop that you think deserved more attention? Join the cause #supportyourlocalsNL #supportsmallbusiness #kooplokaal (ook online) and add it up to the list.

Happy gifting! We hope you enjoy being the superstar at the next birthday party and if you haven’t yet – join the STOREE community on Instagram and Facebook to never miss any useful tips on organization, productivity and online shopping again.

2020-05-17T18:40:43+02:00May 17th, 2020|Organization, Shopping, Tips|

Keep calm & stay organized

Organizing life has always been challenging, even in times before the crisis that came to change our lives in so many different ways. But while the big discussions around the crisis take the political and economical stages, we are all struggling with the new set challenges in our every day lives.

Working from home, back to back video conferences, e-mails piling up, staying fit and healthy, taking care of our loved ones, maybe entertaining and teaching the kids at home, keeping the household tidy and running – that’s a lot to juggle at the same time.

So, how can we increase our efficiency to keep our calm? Here are the top five tips that our community has gathered:

1. Create a to-do list

Yes, it’s old but gold and we absolutely see why! It is undoubtedly one of the most satisfying feelings to tick the boxes off one by one and it can probably only be topped by doing that with a glass of wine in the other hand, or a jar of Ben & Jerry’s.

Keep a to-do of of your daily tasks, and most importantly stick to them. We see how this is so popular since the infamous to-do list can be scribbled on a napkin, the back of an envelope, the newspaper, even toilet paper (if you are one of the lucky ones who’s stacked plenty of them in the basement and can become creative with the use of it) or even in your head (that is of course only, if you’re blessed with a good memory). It helps to give the day structure and allows you to celebrate the little daily achievements with yourself. Nothing feels quite as rewarding as a completed to-do list (okay, actually there’s quite a lot but you get the point).

2. Take on what’s most annoying first

We tend to put the most unpleasant tasks at the end of our to-dos, or even continue to reschedule them just because we really don’t want to do them.  Eventually we have to face the truth: There’s simply no way around getting them done and if you don’t, nobody will. So why not tackle the most annoying tasks heads on first, so things can only improve after that and we’re more relaxed since the worst part is already behind us? Not everything has to feel like a steep mountain climb.

3. Involve your kids (or pets, if well-trained)

Locked at home with kids full of energy? Well, why not involve them and recycle their energy in useful tasks like tidying up or cleaning the windows? The kids might not be able to live up to your usual cleaning standards, but see it this way: If they already scrubbed off most of the dirt, it’ll at least be easier for you when you redo it. Channel their energy for your purpose and be rewarded with exhausted kids when it’s finally bed time. If that doesn’t do the job, then replace this with another physically challenging activity like pointlessly carrying boxes from A to B and back.

For the pet owners, this one depends a lot on your training skills and your persistance. We’ve tried explaining the drill to our cats several times, and sometimes I imagine seeing them making extra effort in catching the insects off the walls. That’s better than nothing, we assume.

4. Communicate clearly and delegate tasks

Nothing is worse than explaining things over and over again like a broken record, and reminding people like an annoying push message. If you live in a household with several members (or even only one with an extraordinarily resistant hearing), make sure to communicate clearly and upfront what are their tasks and until when they need to be delivered. For this one, there’s no method too cheap: Make use of any tool you can find to help you achieve this. If you’re blessed with the memory of an elephant, it might be helpful to understand that not everyone is, so be sure to make use of classic and technological tools like post-its or apps.

The reason why this point is particularly important is that this will help to keep your own calm. Nothing is as important as your energy level and you want to make sure not to drain it on avoidable discussions. So in order to keep the atmosphere at home happy, make sure to communicate clearly about who needs to do what until when, or who has an important video call at which time and cannot be disturbed under no circumstance.

5. Regularly indulge in Me Time

Many of us are familiar with the term “It’s not all about you”. Well, but sometimes it sure damn is. In order to keep sane and balanced, it’s occassionally needed to even enforce quality time with ourselves. Try to aim at a good total 30 minutes per day just for yourself. Whether you’re a crazy busy parent, a dedicated employee, a freelancer under pressure or a student with too many deadlines, we all need time for breathing and reflecting.

People are different in the way they use it and while to outsiders it might not look like me time, it’s entirely up to you to decide how you define and interprete it. Some might read a book, some might let their thoughts wander freely, some might want to shop some nice things online, and others want to just sit on the couch and stare at a wall in silence.

No one is to define what your me time should be but you. But be sure to aim for it to relax your mind and clean it from the clutter of the day (rumour has it, that this is actually sleep’s job, but it’s good to pre-prepare, isn’t it?).

Join our Facebook and Instagram communities to share your ultimate “Keep calm & stay organized” STOREEs!

2020-05-17T17:30:04+02:00May 6th, 2020|Organization, Productivity, Tips|

Opening hours and status of stores in the Netherlands

With COVID-19, many retailers and online shops in the Netherlands have changed their terms and conditions. Some physical shops are back to open while some remain closed. Curious to see what’s the status and opening hours at the most popular Dutch shops? We’ve listed them here for you according to the information the shops provided on their official websites.

Status: May 18th 2020

This list will be regularly updated.

Generally, these rules apply for the Netherlands in accordance to advice from official health entities:

  • Keep 1.5-2m distance to other shoppers and shop employees
  • Shops are obgliged to ensure a limited number of visitors potentially causing lines
  • Do not touch things unnecessary, also not displayed items
  • Do not spend more time than necessary in the physical stores, avoid browsing or strolling
  • Avoid entering shops in groups of more than two (including kids and infants)
  • Restrooms might be not accessible, as well as gastronomy (cafés, restaurants, food counters) and playgrounds

Albert Heijn

  • Stores: All Albert Heijn stores are open as usual at 1.5m distance rule
  • Online orders: Currently, only orders up to 250€ possible, limited availability of specific product groups, recently introduced also deliveries of online orders on Sundays. Overall still very difficult to find a vacant spot depending on region.

Apple

  • Stores: All Dutch Apple stores are closed until further notice
  • Online orders: Possible without reported delays

bol.com

  • Stores: None available
  • Online orders: Still occassionally expecting longer delivery times due to increased number of orders

Coolblue

  • Stores: All shops are open at normal opening hours
  • Online orders: No reported delays

De Bijenkorf

  • Stores: As of April 29th 2020, open with changed opening hours and 1.5m distance rule. For the opening hours of your specific local store, check here. Their restaurant and café areas as well as toilets remain closed.
  • Online orders: No reported delays, return window to 60 days

H&M

  • Stores: All Dutch shops open. Opening hours might have changed, check the specific opening hours here.
  • Online orders: Increased return period from 30 to 100 days only for any purchsase made between March 19th and May 6th 2020

IKEA

  • Stores: As of April 28th 2020, all Dutch stores are open with changed opening hours (check here for your specific store) and 1.5m distance rules. Only two persons (enfants and children count also as one) are allowed access together, it is not allowed to bring your entire family along. The restaurant and playround remain closed.
  • Online orders: You can continue to order online via normal shipment or pick-up option at your local store. The pick-up option requires an additional fee of 2.99€ and product availability is more limited compared to the shipment option. Pick-up slots are defined upfront and need to be met. When arriving for pick-up orders at your IKEA store, signs will lead you to the according pick-up spot.

MediaMarkt

  • Stores: All Dutch stores are open with changed opening times (click here to find your store) and 1.5m distance
  • Online orders: No reported delays, deliveries until house door, installations of bigger devices on spot can only be done when 1.5m distance are ensured, further technical instructions are offered via phone or Facetime, repairs can be delayed due to limited resources,

Nike

  • Stores: All Dutch shops and clearance shops are open with changed opening hours
  • Online orders: For all online orders placed on Nike.nl after February 14th 2020, the return policy has been extended from 30 days to 60 days.

Wehkamp

  • Stores: None available
  • Online orders: No reported shipping delays, possibly busier at times

Zalando

  • Stores: None available
  • Online orders: Still occassionally expecting longer delivery times due to increased number of orders

Zara

  • Stores: All Dutch shops are open at normal opening hours
  • Online orders: For all orders placed between February 17th and April 18th 2020, the return window is extended to May 28th 2020; shipment forwarders may currently vary

Which other physical stores are open by now? We recommend to check the opening hours and special safety measurements for the specific store you might plan to visit: HEMA, Blokker, Action, Gamma, Praxis, Hornbach, WE Fashion, C&A, Pearle, Decathlon, JD Sports, Douglas, Rituals

Any brands or shops you are missing on this list?
Let us know on Facebook or Instagram, and join our STOREE community.

2020-05-18T15:57:17+02:00May 6th, 2020|Organization, Tips|