Throwing a great party requires smart planning. Vendors, guest lists, food and playlists; there’s a lot to juggle, and it’s all under a looming deadline. Keep everything under control with these party planning tips to save you time.
These tips are for events of all sizes. Just adapt each one accordingly, whether you’re planning an elaborate dinner, a holiday party, fundraiser, a volunteer event, a work event or even a wedding and reception. Big or small, these tips will help you along your way.
Create a Checklist – Don’t Leave Anything Out!
Divide your checklist into different areas: venue, vendors, guests, food and anything else. Adapt the number of areas according to the size of the event; a small family barbecue may only need a shopping and supply list, but a full-blown fundraiser will need many more.
Write everything down, even the small tasks. You can keep things simple with paper and pens, highlighting tasks to be completed next.
If you’re looking for something digital to track your tasks, applications like Trello will allow you to see your project planning visually, while a task manager like OmniFocus is loaded with features for serious party planners.
Need ideas? Look over a pre-made party checklist to check you haven’t missed anything.
Bonus tip: Save any checklists for future party planning! Then your go-to task-list, recipes and vendors will always be on hand.
Decide on Your Guest List and Get Invitations Out Early
Decide on your guest list early to give guests plenty of time to make arrangements, or to let you know they can’t attend. Getting RSVPs early means you can invite some people further down the guest list.
Use TextExpander to Save Time Emailing Vendors and Guests
Party planning means typing out a lot of the same text over and over. Emails to vendors, messages to guests and answers to common questions can take hours to write. TextExpander will save you oodles of time by letting you call upon longer pieces of text by hitting just a few keys.
The first batch of emails is likely to be price inquiries to vendors. Set up a snippet that summarizes the date of your party and how many guests you’re expecting. You can personalize the part where you ask them about their services. Then just hit your snippet abbreviation and email away!
Once your guest list is finalized, set up snippets for messaging guests, such as responding to their RSVPs. If you’re organizing a child’s party, you might want to message your guests individually to ask whether they’re happy for their child to be photographed. Don’t forget to set up a snippet for directions to the venue so you can email guests with accurate directions, straight from your phone! Plus, with the ability to create snippets for commonly-asked questions, TextExpander will be like your personal party planning assistant.
For even faster responses, set up snippet keys to reply to emails on you work commute with one tap. Just enable the TextExpander keyboard on your phone and you’ll be able to access a board of all your best responses. One tap, and your email is ready to go! By firing back emails during quiet moments in your day, you’ll move everything along faster – and your guests will appreciate having such a lightning-quick organizer!
Enlist Help – Play to Everyone’s Strengths!
Planning a party can feel overwhelming, so call upon your friends and family to help. Pass tasks to keen helpers and play to everyone’s strengths. Your niece might rejoice at spending the afternoon searching for decorations on Etsy, while your neighbor may have been looking for an excuse to whip up a batch of cupcakes. Don’t be afraid to ask!
Seek Out Creativity on Pinterest
Stuck for ideas? Whether you’re dreaming up party bags, house decorations or easy snacks, Pinterest is brimming with ideas for every budget. Don’t forget to pin everything to your Party board, which you can keep it private if you wish. It’s a great way to track ideas for food, favors, themes and more.
Happy party planning, and don’t forget to enjoy it! For more tips and tricks, join our group on Facebook.