If you forget your phone at home or can’t remember where you put the car keys, chances are you’re the only one inconvenienced by your forgetfulness. Now imagine you promised to pay someone back some money you borrowed; not only does it make for an awkward situation when you are reminded of the pending debt, but it might also leave a bad impression of you on the other person. I Owe You is a web service with apps available for Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, and Windows Phone that lets you keep track of money or items that you’ve borrowed from someone, along with things or money that others have borrowed from you. The debts you enter can be one-time or recurring. A debt can easily be divided between several people (like a restaurant tab paid for all by one). I Owe You will send you notifications for overdue debts as well as for debts that are soon due. You can easily choose the type of notifications you receive.
To get started, sign up for a free I Owe You account. A free account simply lets you record debts – monetary and otherwise – that you owe or that are owed to you. The service offers premium accounts as well that removes ads from the web app, while allowing you to export data and generate reports in XLS and CVS format.
Once you’ve signed up for an account, you can start entering debts. The service’s interface is divided into two columns – the left side shows all debts that are owed to you, while the right side shows all debts that you owe to others.
There’s a green + button at the top of each column; simply click it to make an entry in the respective section. A popup will open, asking you for the details of the debt. The popup is divided into two tabs: money and things. Select a tab to match the nature of the debt in question. You can choose currency a monetary debt is recorded in, and add a comment to help you remember any details pertaining to the debt. Next, enter a creation and due date for the debt. For recurring debts, you can choose its repeat interval. Under ‘Contact’, enter the name of the other party (the person or entity you owe the debt to, or who owe you the debt). Sadly, I Owe You does not import contacts from any service – not Facebook, not your Google Account, and certainly not your Contacts in iCloud.
Any time a debt gets cleared, click the title of the debt and mark it as repaid. For recurring debts, you can add to the debt again if you’ve missed a payment, or edit its details.
I Owe You’s settings allow you to manage your notifications. The interval of the notifications isn’t fully customizable, and you have to make do with the available set of values. You can, however, turn all the notifications off.
The mobile apps for I Owe You are pretty basic, but they do sync with your I Owe You installed on your other devices to keep all the information consistent across platforms and devices. To sync the app, go to the ‘More’ tab and select the sync option where you will be asked to sign in. The app can be used as a non-syncing standalone app (as opposed to a part of a web service) if you choose not to sign in.
We’ve covered a similar app like this in the past called IOU Mate that had a better interface and could balance debts owed and due to the same individual to give you a final settlement amount. I Owe You works great as a simple, cross-platform debt management solution but it can do better with some more features like more control over notifications, the ability to look up contacts from your social media or cloud accounts, and letting you balance multiple owed and due debts pertaining to the same contact.