Our First Customer

When my youngest sister, Cat, applied to college, she defied any stereotype that teenagers are disorganized. Each college she was considering was awarded its own binder. Each admissions topic (academics, athletics, extracurriculars) was coded with a particular color. Each criteria was measured on the rubric she developed. Finally, a list of pros and cons was attached to the front of the binder along with a checklist of the items necessary for application. By the time she received her acceptance letters, we already knew she would be joining the student athletes at Kenyon College in Ohio.

My sister was the first person to sign up for shoeboxed.com.

The day after the site launched, Cat asked me if she could put her linens and dorm accessories in Shoeboxed (the answer is yes, of course!). She and her roommate, an academic all-American lacrosse player, decided who would bring which electronics. She chose a laptop online that will also be in her Shoeboxed account. At the end of her back-to-school shopping spree, she will have all her expenses in one place. My parents are happy.

She also managed to keep her school e-mail free from anything that is not school related.

Now, I wish I was as organized as Cat. When I applied to college, I ended up turning my applications in the day they were due. When I arrived at Duke, I found my roommate had already brought a TV so mine had to be stored in my minuscule closet. My linens were too small for my bed. My financial information was… not organized.

I have also signed up for Shoeboxed. If I didn’t, my boss would be upset. But more importantly, I would really not have a chance at online organization. My inbox sans Shoeboxed looks like a “Where is Waldo?” book.

So Cat signed up because Shoeboxed keeps her organized. I signed up because it’s automatic so I don’t have to be organized.

What’s your reason?

On a Budget? Get on Shoeboxed

When I first registered for my Shoeboxed account, I wanted to fill up my account with all my purchasing information. But alas, I am a poor college student, and couldn’t afford to go on a shopping spree right then and there just to watch the receipts go in (though I did make one or two impulse buys anyway…). So I went through my personal inbox, and dug out all my old receipts. It was a pain, but I realized that it was the last time I would ever have to sift through thousands of e-mails to find the few important receipts.

I forwarded all these e-mail receipts to my @shoeboxed.com account, and they show up just as they would have if the store had sent it directly there. Shoeboxed doesn’t care that I forwarded it, the plane ticket I bought six months ago still says it’s from Travelocity. Sweet!

Once I had all my old receipts in there, I was shocked at how much I had spent online in the past two years. Old purchases I had completely forgotten about really reminded me of how much I consistently overlook my budget. I don’t consider myself an avid online shopper, but the expenses were really racking up!

There’s just no better way to get an comprehensive snapshot of your spending than to see everything you’ve bought, all listed in one place. It’s so simple, and it’s the core functionality of Shoeboxed. If you haven’t tried it yet, you’re missing out!

Shoeboxed on Mashable!

A few months ago, a couple of us were joking around about how cool it would be to be featured on Mashable.com, a popular blog about online social networks and Web 2.0 news. It’s extraordinarily well read (it has, by several reports, several hundred thousand subscribers, and many more viewers per day), and we are happy to report that we’re not joking about Mashable anymore.

Duke startup, shoeboxed.com, featured on Mashable!

We’re on it. Kristen Nicole, a lead writer of the blog, wrote an entry about us today, and we’re super excited.

Along with this morning’s coverage on Rocketboom and Genbeta, we’ve received a lot of good coverage from the blog community, which is very encouraging.

Not everyone is getting on ShoeTrain just yet though. One commenter on the Mashable article, and one one the Rocketboom article from earlier today each wrote comments with concerns about Shoeboxed’s privacy policy, and I think they are worth addressing here. These commenters understand the value of their purchase histories, and they want to make sure that Shoeboxed is not going to distribute their data in any way. They pointed out that the way our privacy policy was phrased was a little vague. We don’t disagree!

We are currently working on changing the privacy policy wording to indicate what we actually want to convey: that we will never distribute your personal information and never use that information to send you unsolicited e-mail!! We’re dedicated to protecting privacy and preserving the personal nature of e-mail; that’s the whole point, and we’re stickin’ to it ’till the end.

And for those of you that are on the ShoeTrain, buckle up, because we’re moving rather fast!