Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.
Last week we reported on how TechHub was boosting London’s tech scene. One of the startups currently being ‘boosted’ by Silicon Roundabout’s co-working space is Use it or Lose it (UseItOrLose.it).
Launched earlier this year by Stuart Robinson, a service designer and interface developer, Use it or Lose it is a photo sharing app that helps you lose things. Now, we don’t mean down-the-back-of-the-sofa ‘losing’, more ‘decluttering’ and getting rid of all that spare stuff you have lying around at home.
The web app is pretty straightforward. The sign-up process takes seconds, and once your logged in, you’re presented with this blank canvas:
Click the upload button, select images of your clutter stored on your computer and they’re uploaded to your account. You can then create new labels, such as ‘Books’, ‘Stuff for sale’, or any category you wish to use. The labels are then tiered down the left-hand column, and you can drag-and-drop the images into relevant folders.
With a folder highlighted, you’re given a ‘Share these as a collection’ option at the bottom of the screen, which you click and a unique URL can be shared on your Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Use It Or Lose It has a nice interface, and it is broadly intuitive, though there are parts that could be improved. For example, the ‘Share these as a collection’ button is tucked away at the very bottom of the screen and it’s not easy to see. Given this is one of the core functions of the Web app, it would make sense to have this feature made more prominent on the page.
But the Web app may not be the startup’s crowning glory. A dedicated iOS app was released in mid-June, which integrates with the iPhone camera and it has geo-tagging and instant uploading built-in.
The iOS app is actually really nice and it’s intuitive to use. It’s the mobile version of Use it or Lose it that is likely to sell you on the idea, though you may still be wondering about the exact use-cases of this app – surely the need to ‘get rid of stuff’ doesn’t merit a dedicated app?
Well, there are apparently a number of reasons why you would want to use this app. For example, if you’re putting things into storage somewhere, you can keep track of what’s in your lockup. Or, if you’re lending stuff to friends, it could be used to help you remember who has what.
Maybe you have a collection of things – be it stamps or Star Trek paraphernalia – that you want to share with like-minded people? Use it or Lose it could potentially be put to use there too.
Overall, Use it or Lose it is a nice idea, accompanied by nice software and a nice design. It won’t appeal to everyone, but those who like to bring order to their lives and document their possessions for whatever reason could certainly find a use for this app.
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