Published on August 18th, 2009 | by Jules Yap


Is the Ikea pencil going the way of the Dodo?

Well, I’ve not jumped onto the iPhone bandwagon but iPhone apps have jumped into Ikea. Two app developers wrote me about their Ikea shopping apps which are great for replacing the Ikea pencil and shopping list. Personally I love scribbling with that stubby pencil. It’s part of Ikea experience. Heh.

The first is from Danilo who claims to be a big nerd who programs for the iPhone and loves Ikea. You can guess where this is going.

Danilo tells me, “The golf pencil and shopping list they hand out at Ikea don’t cut it for me. I built an app called SwedeShop that keeps track of your Ikea shopping list for you. Here are some screenshots:

Tap out the item name, set a price and dial in the aisle and bin. And you’re done. Optionally, you can set other attributes, like notes, priority or an item image. SwedeShop minds your budget for you and vibrates if you go over. It supports all international formatting and has been localized into English as well as Swedish for good measure.

And that’s about it.

SwedeShop launches on Tuesday. It’ll be free for one day and cost $0.99 thereafter.”

See more of the SwedeShop.

The other is from Jonathan, called the iShopFlat. Jonathan says, “Living in Sweden I see a lot of Ikea stuff. Now I did something I thought was funny and good for the environment. We did a small app to replace the shopping list at Ikea. It’s called iShopFlat and is available on the iPhone AppStore.

Basically it mimics the list you find at the entrance of the Ikea store but also lets you check the price of your items as you go along.”

It also goes for $0.99. See more the iShopFlat.

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

16 Responses to Is the Ikea pencil going the way of the Dodo?

  1. ArchMedia says:

    great idea, not worth $1 though. call me cheap if you want, but Vox has MUCH better ideas that would maybe justify the dollar. At the end of the day, i’ll stick to using notepad and just writing it in there instead of using their pencil and paper.

  2. gobanane says:

    It’s great and I agree 100% @VOX post. There gonna be plenty of new biz opportunities, not just with IKEA, but in the whole retail industry :-) iLove & iLike

  3. smgl says:

    thanks for this article

  4. Jessy says:

    I have an iphone and I’m an ikea fan – this is a great idea! I wish it was still free! I just saw this post today, dang it. Maybe you have a twitter that I can follow, I’ll go look in your side bar…

    The ikea site has a shopping list you can use to save things to, and print later. For those without an iphone this might be better than a pencil and paper. Who uses those anymore? j/k But the IKEA search leaves a lot to be desired.

  5. Marianne says:

    Actually, I use the Ikea pencils as hairpins to put my hair up! They are very light so they don’t weight your hair down and their surface is just enough rough to stay put.

  6. it’s ridiculous to suggest that by producing an iphone app Ikea would alienate its non-iphone-owning customers. It’s not like they’re taking existing functionality away from other customers.

    I think this is brilliant. yes I can make a list at home but I don’t know where everything is or know what a Snalsvik is by the time I get to the shop. I also love how these seem to manage priorities and budgets as well.

    Oh, and we don’t have an iphone, and I’m not feeling alienated at all.

  7. CGdesigngirl says:

    well, ACTUALLY – on the Ikea website, you can add items to your shopping cart and print out a list. On the list are little thumbnail pictures of your items, prices and the aisle location of the item in the Ikea Warehouse. So, really, Ikea has this taken care of already.
    i-people are so silly.


  8. Kimberly says:

    i don’t have an iphone so this wouldn’t be useful for me at all. instead, i’ve used the camera on my regular old phone to copy the necessary information when i had forgotten the little leaflet and pencil. worked just fine! then, erased the picture once i got home.

  9. GrannyMo says:

    Half the fun of IKEA is sitting down and working out where an item will fit in your house. Grabbing a leaflet – the leaflets for sofas are big enough – and sketching there and then.

    Then again, maybe someone can come up with an app that shows a photo of your own room but lets you shuffle your present furniture around the proposed item.

  10. ender says:

    well, not everyone has an iPhone and though most of us yuppies shop @ ikea, I highly doubt they’ll alienate a lot of their shoppers. I don’t think I know of anyone who would get an iphone just to shop at ikea if they didn’t have one already.

  11. laura says:

    very clever! i really love that swedeshop has an option to take a picture of the item you’re looking at.

    that feature would be very helpful for me, since i occasionally want to write things down and keep a wishlist of items to discuss with my husband later. a picture makes it all the more easy to remember all the things i’ve listed. i will definitley use this, and would love to see an official ikea app too.

  12. spyboy says:

    IKEA should print QR Codes on their display labels, so you can just snap a picture of the code and then select the # you need (and it sets the aisle/bin based on the store)

  13. Vox says:

    Why wouldn’t they make use of some sort of barcode reader? This seems the ideal type of app for that.

    Perhaps Ikea needs to jump on that themselves; GPS would recognize which store you are in and access their bin/location database, you scan a barcode and the item is added to your list with the aisle/bin data (& price & stock level, too?)

    They could even have it suggest related products and/or remind you of extras (i.e. moisture barrier for flooring) Heck, it would know where you are in the store, so could show alternate product vignettes.

    I never really thought about shopping apps before, particularly specific store ones, but Ikea IS the perfect business to adapt something along those lines.

    (Oooh, you could send a buddy down to the self-serve while you shop and just send him your list – they could have the product all pulled before you get through the kitchen ware ;-) )

  14. luthien says:

    ikea can just buy the programs off them now for a REASONABLE PRICE ;)

  15. That’s an awesome idea! Ikea should have come up with it themselves!

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