Where I'm coming from
Full disclosure, I'm coming at this review from a specific perspective.
- My wife and I bought a new home 2 years ago and we still feel like we're moving in
- I'm a dad to an almost three-year-old. He doesn't stop growing and for some reason is starting to ask for things. A lot of things
- My wife and I work from home full-time, so if we're not working for money for our employers, we're working for free for our kiddo. We are always tired.
You might ask what any of that has to do with this app review. It has everything to do with it. Here's why.
There's a lot to do everywhere all the time
Our son's birthday is coming up so my wife and are sharing a bunch of gifts and birthday party ideas.
We've been so busy with work and parenting that our house still feels like we're moving in. So as we're scrolling our phones, we come across nice furniture, artwork, inspiration for the kiddo's bedroom, our bedroom, the office, etc.
Working from home means we're home all the time. We'd like to get out more, so as we're scrolling Instagram or Google search results for "best activities to do with a toddler in Houston", we share them.
So what's the problem? When we share links, they all get lost in the depths of iMessage or Instagram DMs, leading to the dreaded question: "Did you see the link I sent you?"
No. What link? Where did you send it? What was it about? Can you send it again? Often time these questions result in bickering about "you never see anything I send you" instead of productive chats about what the links were about and how you can do, buy, or talk more about the contents of the actual link.
Why does any of this matter?
When reviewing an app, it's easy to download and start using it because it's new, shiny, and offers something you didn't have before. But to use it long-term, the app must solve a specific problem for you. Otherwise, you may find yourself wasting a lot of time and energy.
For me, this app helps me solve the problem of organizing the things my wife and I share in a way that makes it easy for us to do something with them.
Okay, let's start with the review :)
Aboard is an app that helps you organize things that are important to you. It's part web clipper, part mood board, part Pinterest and it does it all in a nice, clean user interface free of ads and clutter. It's yours!
Boards, Stacks, and Cards
Aboard does a great job at helping you get started quickly and at its core is how they organize their app.
Boards are the highest level of organization. As of now, I have two boards: a family board I share with my wife and a personal board for all my things.
Stacks are different areas you can create within your board. For our family board, we have stacks to gather ideas for our bedrooms and office and then additional boards to organize our upcoming trip and gift ideas. Having these stacks means that as we come across something we like online, we can share links to these stacks and come back to them later!
Cards are the individual items we share in Aboard. While most of our cards are links to things we came across online, they can also be pictures or files. One great example is during our recent trip to Ikea. Instead of taking pictures of things we liked and having them be lost in our camera roll forever, we shared them with our board and then wrote about what we liked and why we liked it. Each card captures the metadata of whatever you shared making it easy to see who shared it and when they shared it.
What I love about Aboard
One of the best features of this app is that it allows you to store each link, file, or image as a card, and within each card, you can have specific conversations about that item. This has been incredibly helpful for my wife and me, as it keeps our chats contextualized and eliminates the need to decipher the multiple concurrent conversations in our iMessage and Instagram DM threads.
Another thing I love about Aboard is that it's ad-free and specific to us. There's no clutter, just the stuff we intentionally added. It's like a personalized Pinterest for us, and it has made a world of difference in how we organize and share links.
Benefits of Aboard
I gave my hyper-specific use case on why Aboard has been helpful to me, but I can also see this app being incredibly useful for anyone with multiple projects or interests. It's a great way to collect ideas and inspiration in one place, making it easy to come back to them later. I've been using Aboard for about two months now, and I'm a big fan of it. It has given me a place to dump all the things I come across, and I know that eventually, these things will become their projects.
How does it compare to other link aggregators?
Aboard isn't the first or only app that helps you collect things you come across on the web. Apps like Raindrop.io offer something pretty similar and it's something I use myself as well. Apps like Notion, Matter, Pocket, Instapaper, Readwise and even Pinterest have been around longer and offer similar functionality. So why use Aboard?
It's simple and my wife is using it. 🤷♂️
The other apps had loads of functionality, but often way more than what I needed for this specific issue. I just need an app to share my links so that my wife and I can come back to them later, and Aboard does that wonderfully and for free.
Plus, I've tried to get her to use Notion, Matter and Pinterest. It didn't work out.
For my PKM nerds, Aboard acts as a great capture device
Skip this if you aren't a personal knowledge management junkie but for those of you that are, Aboard is a great way to capture things that are important to you. My board includes stacks of personal projects and things I would like to buy or share with others.
Worth a try for you?
If you're tired of losing track of all the links and articles you come across or need a nice, clean way to organize something with someone else, I highly recommend giving Abord a try. It has made a world of difference for me (so far), and I'm sure it will do the same for you. Happy organizing!