Placeboard – Remember, organize and share your favorite places or locations ($4.99) by Quentin Mathe is an app to help you remember and organize those places that you love or want to visit. It is similar to other apps that are already out on the market, such as Rego and Picplace.
I love going out and exploring new places to eat or hang out with my friends and family, but when you live in a big city like Los Angeles, keeping track of all of that can be quite a daunting task — it’s a huge city with plenty of smaller cities in it, after all. As I am constantly getting recommendations on new places to eat or check out, I have to keep a list somewhere that I can refer to it later. I use Yelp often for bookmarking, but it’s a damn shame that they think of bookmarks as an afterthought — it’s incredibly hard to get to within the app and even the website. I have been using Rego often since I gave it a whirl in 2014, but I’m always up for checking out new apps that do things similarly to what I already use. I mean, how else will I determine which app works better for my needs? So when I got the news of Placeboard in my inbox, I was intrigued in giving it a try as well.
The design of Placeboard is pretty simple and barebones compared to the competition, so if you are a fan of minimalism, then Placeboard has it. The app features a lot of white with a soothing mint green accent, which I like a lot. The typography is fairly plain and easy to read, the iconography is straightforward, and everything is organized by groups and tags, making it easy to navigate. Instead of relying on just folders and lists, Placeboard makes use of tags, which is the more popular and efficient way of organizing things it seems (this is how I use Evernote). You can even collaborate with other users to create lists of hot spots, which is fantastic for vacations or fun trips with friends and family. If you’ve used other apps like Rego, then it may take a bit of getting used to Placeboard, since some things are a bit different. However, once you get the basics, the app is pretty easy to use.
When you first launch Placeboard, the app will be empty, naturally. To add an item, just tap on the “plus” button in the top right corner. This brings up three options: Place, Tag, or Share List.
If you choose to add a place, Placeboard brings up a screen where you can select the range radius (from 500 feet to infinite), then type in the point of interest that you’re searching for. Placeboard will give you results instantly, and you can see just how far away the place is from your current location. Another option is to drop a custom pin wherever you want, in case you can’t find it in the search results. When you find the one you’re looking for, just tap on it to select it, and then tap the “Add” button in the top right corner. Then it will be under “Unclassified,” though you can tap the item to view it on the map, get business details like address, city, phone number, and even website link. Other things you can do with the spot is give it a rating out of five stars, add tags for organizational purposes, add notes, edit the business information if needed, and add photos to better recognize a spot. There are also buttons so you can get directions in Apple Maps, directly call a business, or visit their website.
When you deal with tags, you can add as many tags as you want, and assign a color to each one. Placeboard is pretty smart about this, as it will automatically hide colors that you’ve already used, though you can tap a toggle to show used colors. Tags will show up on the main view, with the icons shown in the selected color, and you can see how many locations have been added with a particular tag. Once you have accumulated several spots in the app, you can tap on the “Cities” section to view all of the different cities that you have spots added in, and tapping them lets you see what you have. Unfortunately, there is no number badge on the Cities section, so you can’t see how many items are under each location — perhaps the developer can consider changing this in a future update. You can also view “All” if you prefer to see everything you have in the app with one glance, rather than going into separate sections.
By default, Placeboard will show you collections in just a plain list view. However, you can view everything on a map with a tap of a button, and it will display all of your points of interest on the map with pins. This is more of what I’m used to since that is the default view of Rego, so I appreciate being able to see all of my spots on a map at once. You can use multitouch gestures to zoom in and out and pan the map around if need be.
The last option in Placeboard is to create a Share List. This lets you create a new list by giving it a name and color, and you can choose between a Tag List or Share List. A Tag List is similar to just creating a new tag and grouping several places under it, but a Share List lets you invite other users and then collaborate on the selected list, so you are basically crowdsourcing points of interests with your friends and family. Just tap on the “People” section to invite, and then tap on the “plus” button in the list to add places.
Placeboard also keeps a history of all actions that occurred in the app, which is pretty nice. You can view your history by tapping on the clock icon in the bottom tab bar, and you can switch between List or App History. The List History only displays changes that were made to lists, such as adding or removing items, and App History has a full list of what you’ve done in the app, such as editing information, giving ratings, adding items, and more. You can tap on the “Edit” button in the main view to do things like delete lists and tags, or even edit the name and color. The settings in Placeboard have options for changing your distance unit, history size (from 500 to 10,000 actions, though the slider is very inaccurate once you lift your finger from the screen), and how often Shared Lists should be synced. You can also import or export data to and from iCloud Drive, Dropbox, or even Google Drive.
So far, I’m finding Placeboard to be a handy little app to have to keep track of places I love and ones I want to hit up someday. The app itself is minimalistic, pretty easy to use, and has a lot of flexible features to make it work for you. However, I don’t think it will be replacing Rego for me, personally, but it’s a good and cheaper alternative to consider, since it’s a $4.99 price tag versus the $14.99 of Rego. I hope the developer makes some improvements, though, such as adding a number count for spots under each city and an easier and more accurate slider option for app action history. It would also be nice to see other options for directions in the app, such as Google Maps and Waze, instead of just Apple Maps.
I recommend checking out Placeboard if you want a simple app for keeping track of your favorite spots and ones you want to visit one day. Plus, the ability to collaborate with others make this a great app for trip planning.
Placeboard is available on the iPhone App Store for just $4.99. There are no in-app purchases.