Well, hello there! Welcome to the Wishing Whale, a universal Gift Registry.

This is the place to find the perfect gifts for your friends and family, avoid giving the dreaded duplicate gift, and make sure you don’t forget anyone important on your list.

Here’s how you can get the most out of the Whale…

Signing Up

Wishing Whale is only available by invitation. At least for now.

When an existing Wishing Whale member invites you to join, you’ll get an email with a secret code. Follow the link in the email, enter your email address (the one where you received the invitation), and you’re in!

Screen shot of the sign up screen

Next, you’ll be asked to create a login. Letters and numbers, dot, dash or underscore only, please.

You’ll also be asked for your birthday. Month and day only. We don’t ask for the year… your age is none of our business, really, and we respect your privacy. But we do want to set things up so it’s easy for you to get gifts as well as give.

From there, it gets a little less predictable. If you’re invited by someone who wants to share their list with you, you’ll go directly to a page to shop for them. An invitation from someone who wants to shop for you will give you a chance to “follow” whoever invited you (meaning you can shop for them too), then land you on a page to create your own wishlist.

Back to the top

Your Home Screen

Once you’re an established member, you’ll be taken to your own “Wishery” when you log in.

Here, you’ll see a list of your own wishlists, the wishlists of friends and family you still need to shop for, and the wishlists you’re finished with.

Screen shot of your home screen

When you need to prioritize wishlists, simply drag and drop to reorder them. Once you’re done shopping, drag a list to the “Done” area so you don’t confuse it with your active lists.

Your older wishlists will have an “archive” link. When you click it, your list is archived, which helps keep your Home screen tidy. If you ever need to refer back to an archived wishlist, select “View archive” from the menu gear in the upper right.

To get back to your Home screen from anywhere in the application, click the “Wishing Whale” logo in the top left of the screen, or choose “Home” from the menu gear in the top right.

Back to the top

Follow Friends and Family

Follow your friends and family to be notified automatically when they publish a new wishlist (provided they give you permission to see it). New lists will automatically appear in the “Still shopping” area of your Home screen.

When you select “Follow friends and family” from the menu gear in the upper right, you’ll be taken to your “Gifting pod” screen. Here you can see who you are already following, who you’ve invited to join Wishing Whale (so you can follow them), and who’s following you.

Screen shot of your gifting pod

To follow someone else, enter their email address and click “Follow”. If the person is already a member of Wishing Whale, you’ll need to know the exact email address they used to sign up. (This is for privacy.)

Once you enter an email address, one of two things will happen.

If the person is already a member, you’re done. Any existing wishlists they have will be added to your “Still shopping” list.

If the email address you entered isn’t in the system, you’ll be given a choice. Since most people have more than one email address, you can check to see if they’ve joined with one of their other addresses by clicking “Check another email”.

If you’re sure they aren’t already a member of Wishing Whale, you can click “Invite to join!” They’ll be sent a message saying you’d like to get them a gift. The message will include a secret code allowing them to sign up.

Back to the top

Shop for Friends and Family

Time to shop? Choose someone’s wishlist from your Home screen to see the gifts they’re hoping for.

Screen shot of shopping for gifts

Their gift ideas will be split into three groups: gifts still available for purchase, gifts purchased by others, and gifts you’ve marked as purchased yourself.

If a particular gift is available for online purchase, you may be able to click on the item’s description to buy it directly from an online vendor.

Once you’ve chosen the perfect gift, click on the check mark to the right of the gift description to mark it purchased. Keep in mind, this doesn’t actually purchase the gift. But it does stop others from choosing the same thing while you’re busy buying it. If you change your mind, you can always click “edit” next to your purchase to “Unpurchase” it, or to change the quantity you purchased.

FYI, anyone who publishes a wishlist will never be able to see what’s been purchased by others. That would ruin the surprise.

Back to the top

Create Your Own Wishlist

Sure, giving is better than getting. But creating your own Wishlist is a lot of fun. And, of course, your friends and family want know what to get you, too.

You can create a new Wishlist at anytime by selecting “Create a new Wishlist” from the menu gear in the upper right. This will take you to the “Create a new wishlist” screen.

Screen shot of the create a new wishlist screen

Choose a pre-populated event type (the default is Birthday or Christmas, whichever is sooner), or create your own. Set the date and add an optional name or comment.

You can also mark a wishlist “Private,” in which case you’ll have to grant permission for someone to see it. That gives you options. For example, you can create multiple wishlists for the same event… one public for the whole family, and one private for that special someone who might want to get you a more extravagant gift.

Hit “Create Wishlist” and you’ll be taken to the wishlist page where you can add gift ideas, reorder your list, and manage the list properties (like who you invite, and who has permission to see it).

Back to the top

Add Gift Ideas to Your Wishlist

There are two ways to add gift ideas to your wishlist.

Screen shot of adding gifts to your wishlist


The most basic way is to enter information directly into the box near the top left of the screen. Simply type in a description of the gift. The “url” field is optional. That way, if you’re wishing for something that isn’t available online (like Mom’s secret recipe cookies), you can leave “url” blank.

If your gift is available online, you’ll make it easier for shoppers if you add in the URL. To do that, visit the item in a separate browser window or tab, copy the URL from that browser’s address bar, and then paste it into the “url” field. You can change the “quantity” (for example, if you want so many plates in a set), or you can check “unlimited” (Mom’s cookies are a good candidate for this).


The second way to add a gift idea to your wishlist is directly from that product’s page in an online store. You’ll see an “I WISH” button on your wishlist page. Click-drag that button to the bookmarks bar on your web browser. You can rename the bookmark to something specific, like “bday 2015”, so you’ll know which wishlist you’re adding to.

Then, when you’re on the webpage of an item you’d like to add, simply click this bookmark. It will open your wishlist in a new browser tab (you may be prompted to log in) and the gift entry box will be auto-filled with the product URL and the Whale’s best guess at the item’s description. Tweak the description if you like, adjust the quantity, hit “Save to Wishlist” and you’re done.

Whenever you add a new gift idea to your wishlist, it appears at the top of your list. Feel free to reorder the list by drag and drop. You may want to put like items together, or move the things you want most to the top.

Back to the top

Publish Your Wishlist

When you first create a wishlist, it’s “unpublished”, meaning no one but you can see it. This lets you add, remove, and reorder stuff until you’re happy. When you’re ready to share it with others, click the “Publish it now” button. Since this can’t be undone, you’ll need to click “OK” to confirm.

You’ll be taken to the “Invite friends and family to shop from this wishlist” page, which is described in the next section.

Back to the top

Invite/Allow to Your Wishlist

After publishing your wishlist, you’ll be taken to the “Invite friends and family to shop from this wishlist” page. You can return to this page at any time from your wishlist. If your list is public, click “Invite friends to view your list.” If it’s private, chose “Invite/allow friends to view your list.”

Screen shot of inviting friends to your wishlist

You’ll see up to four different categories of people:

The invite box works much like the Follow friends and family box. Enter the email address of someone you’d like to invite to your wishlist and click “Invite”.

If the email you entered belongs to a member of the Wishing Whale, they’ll get a message with the URL to view your wishlist directly.

If the email is not in the system, you’ll have a chance to invite them to join the Wishing Whale. Type in their name, so we can personalize the message, and they’ll be sent a secret code allowing them to join. Once they’ve signed up, they’ll be taken straight to your wishlist.

Back to the top

Other Features

The Wishing Whale has a ton of features that aren’t mentioned on this page. It’s a long list, and there’s plenty to discover as you go. Here’s a sampling of what else you can do:

We hope you enjoy the Wishing Whale!

Back to the top

Get Help

Anytime you’re using the Wishing Whale, you can get help by selecting “How it works” from the menu gear in the upper right. That will bring you to this document, and whenever possible, to the most appropriate spot on the page.

Back to the top


The Whale