Are you starting gift shopping? From apps to easy reminders, here are tips to keep you at the front of the line, with the right thing in hand.

Black Friday, one of the biggest shopping days of the entire year, is on its way and it can be intimidating. You might feel like getting your hands on every discount you can, but the lists can be long.  And at times, the lines are even longer.

Doing your research can pay off. It can allow you to get to the store at the right time, and get to the correct retailer, for that matter.

Where can you look for tools to help? Here are 4 tips to help you do the best shopping you can on Friday November 24th, and throughout the holiday season:

1) Check Out Your Favourite Stores Online First

Before stepping out the door and joining the chaos, check out your regular top stores online. Places like Best Buy, Walmart and The Source all give you the chance to sign up for email alerts, leading up to next Friday.

Related: Black Friday Sneak Peek: Deals on Phones, Gaming and Virtual Reality

Yes, they can be annoying and flood your inbox, but use them in a way that serves you. Remember, you can always unsubscribe after your shopping’s done, and the discounts die down.

Alerts can let you in on deals you might otherwise miss by simply popping into the store in person, when you get the chance.

2) Get a Black Friday App

There’s an app for everything, and that includes shopping. In fact, there’s much more than one to serve you. Nerd has a list of 6 shopping apps, including ShopSavvy, Shopular, Flipp, Price Cruncher, the Coupons App and Santa’s Bag to help you get the best discount for your money.

Some apps may not work in Canada but all are great for seeking out deals in the U.S. Cross-border shopping is sure to be at a height next weekend, so it is best approach the American stores armed and ready, digitally-speaking. Competition could be stiff.

Related: Black Friday Sneak Peek: Computers and Tablets

And there are always those store-specific apps, like those from Walmart, J.C Penney and Target. Again, cross-border shoppers, get ready.

3)Know When the Mall Opens

This seems like a simple step to take but it could be an important one. Some locations are opening their doors early to take advantage of the possible throng of shoppers, and if so, you want to be there in time to grab that juicer. Or hat, or tablet.

Related: Black Friday TV Deals at Walmart

Red Flag Deals has a list of stores across the country. Check it out and search your local mall and others online.

4) Remember There’s Always Cyber Monday

If you couldn’t get what you wanted in person on Black Friday, don’t forget there’s always Cyber Monday waiting to save you. Don’t despair at an empty shopping bag-online shopping deals on Cyber Monday, November 27 th 2017 can fill it up quickly.

Photo credits: Rohappy/