Spottly helps turn smartphones into travel journals


This app lets you create your own Instagram-like travel journal.

Name: Spottly

Available for: iPhone and iPad

What it does: Uses your smartphone and desktop photos and your own notes to make personal travel bucket lists. Lazy? You can use photos from the Internet or re-post other people’s notes.


Cost: Free

What’s hot: I loved browsing the “Featured” section and found restaurant after restaurant that I wanted to try in foreign destinations whose names I couldn’t pronounce, much less read (Asian characters are in play here). But I added them to my lists anyway. Spottly starts you with lists such as “To go before I die,” “Overrated spots,” “Spots I’d recommend” and “Favorite restaurants.” It will be most useful in keeping track of your own favorites and is quick to download.

What’s not: I didn’t like that the only way to enter the app (tested on iOS7, iPhone 4S) was by logging in using Facebook or Weibo. If I wanted to share my posts, I could only share with Facebook, Sina Weibo and WeChat Friends. Is sharing by email, let alone Twitter, already outdated? Hold tight. It aims to expands options in the next version (1.2) as well as add a search bar for getting to destinations faster than using the map.

Worth it? I’ll be using it for my own travel to-do lists, but give it some time to gain users if you’re looking for full global inspiration.