Holiday ePlanner Review

The holidays are right around the corner, and you and your clients can probably use all the help you can get to organize the shopping, parties, special meals and other activities that will be taking place over the next couple of months.

Holiday ePlanner

© jonnysek / PhotoXpress

I received my Holiday ePlanner from Jennifer Tankersley at ListPlanIt last week, and was pretty impressed with all the great tools she’s packed into it. With over 50 pages of content, I really can’t tell you about everything, but if there’s something that needs to be considered, Jen’s probably covered it. For example, the meal planners aren’t just about menus, but include such items as centerpieces, table linens, and glassware, so you don’t forget to think about these things until the last minute, when it’s usually too late to do anything about them. And the card planner isn’t just a list of who-to-send-cards-to (though that’s in there too), but includes choosing a design, scheduling a photo shoot, and every other detail imaginable.

The ePlanner is a downloadable PDF that’s been designed to allow you to type in your information. You can then store it on your computer for future reference, or print it out and insert the pages in a binder. There’s even a section on creating your own holiday planning binder.

Also included are printable labels for Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Hannukah, and even some Christmas-themed recipe cards. Wouldn’t that be a great way to pass those traditional favorites on to the next generation?

For your chance to win a free Holiday ePlanner, please share your best holiday organizing tip in the Comments section below. On Monday, November 12, I’ll do a random draw and announce the three lucky winners.

Don’t want to wait for the giveaway? Go ahead and order a Holiday ePlanner – it’s only $5.00!

The Holiday ePlanner is only one of the hundreds of great tools available from ListPlanIt, and there are two ways you can use them to help your clients:

  1. Become a professional member, and use the lists for yourself, with clients, and in workshops. Your professional membership also includes a listing in ListPlanIt’s Professional Directory.
  2. Become an affiliate, and receive a 25% commission on sales and new memberships generated through your website.

Don’t forget to post your best holiday organizing tip below for your chance to win. Good luck!

A former professional organizer, I’m now a web designer and DIY marketing facilitator. I love helping others succeed by sharing the knowledge and insight I’ve gained through marketing my own business for over 15 years! When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

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  1. My best holiday organizing tip is to plan as far ahead as possible. I particularly do this for gifts. I buy things throughout the year when I see great deals and then around this time of year I look at what I have and compare with what I need and see what else I still need to buy (if anything!). Great for spreading the cost throughout the year and for not having to deal with long lines and craziness at the malls near Christmas! This book looks great. Thanks for having this giveaway!

    • That’s a great tip, Hilda! When I travelled more, I used to take advantage of the opportunity to buy some really unique gifts for people from the places I visited. Now I don’t travel that much, but I don’t shop for as many people either, so I guess it evens out. 🙂

  2. Use your calendar not only to log in events but also holiday tasks such as baking/special cooking, shopping, mailing gifts and cards, or party preparation. Make certain everyone in the family knows when they are expected to participate in these tasks.

    • So important! I know from experience that it’s way to easy to lose track of how much there is to do so you end up rushing or not sending out the cards that you’d wanted to. And making sure other family members help out is brilliant.

  3. We always choose names to limit the amount of people we have to buy for. As soon as we pick names i write them on December’s page in the notes section. This year i will also put a list on Evernote.

  4. A big part of our family Christmas involves baking and candy making in substantial quantities. I’ve found that making my decisions early and having my supply list allows me to pick up a couple of ingredients on each grocery trip, spreading it out over a couple of months instead of one very expensive pre-baking shopping trip. I also add a Christmas bin to my pantry that keeps all those ingredients together so I know I have everything I need before I start my baking

  5. My best holiday organizing tip is thinking about giving the gift of experiences rather than stuff. As organizers we know how much clutter can come in during the holiday season. My husband and I will frequently give certificates for restaurants or the gift receiver’s other favorite shops/activities instead of things. I don’t want to be the one responsible for any more useless junk around my friend or relative’s home!

  6. Two holiday tips for you, Janet…

    1. Make specific computerized holiday lists and reuse them from year to year. The next holiday coming up is Thanksgiving. In planning this year, I will look at last year’s list, edit and be ready to go. I like not having to rethink all the “to dos” every time we host an event.

    2. Like Tracy, I’m a huge fan of giving clutter-less gifts. This began when our youngest daughter was quite young and she asked if we could give her “experiences instead of things” for her birthday. Benefits of clutter-less gifts include reducing physical clutter, creating more family or friends time, and filling hearts with wonderful memories.

    • Computers have definitely made it easier to develop organized systems around the holidays. We traditionally host a Christmas Eve trivia night, and we made up a score sheet on the computer so we just have to print one off every year. Saves time for other, more interesting activities!

  7. My tip is to keep the envelopes your holiday cards arrive in. Then when the activity slows down in January, check the return addresses. If any have changed, update your card addresses then for next year.

    This may sound a bit dated, however I find that there are many people who prefer paper cards rather than e-cards, especially older folks and those who aren’t computerized.

    And a bonus tip: in your address book or online list, keep track of children’s, pets’, in-laws’ names too so you can ask about them next year. And if you’re lucky, they may have included their e-mail address to communicate throughout the year. 🙂

  8. I have two favorite tips:
    1. I like to give the gift of Christmas Spirit, which helps limit clutter for the person you are giving it to. I have great fun coming up with a variety of creative forms in which to give this gift, but it is essentially a set of 24 instructions, one to be read and performed by the recipient each day of Advent, designed to get them into the spirit of the season. Examples are “Take a drive just to enjoy the beautiful lights” or “Make a stranger’s day by giving them a compliment”. On December 25, instead of an instruction, they get a beautiful poem about the Christmas, spirit along with my note telling them what charity I have donated to in their name “in keeping with the Christmas spirit”.

    2. Since I want to enjoy my guests on Christmas, I carefully plan a special meal that can be done almost entirely in advance. Before church on Christmas Eve, I make sure I have all my serving dishes out and cleaned and a paper identifying what’s to go in it set in it to help me remember. I make sure the house is clean and tidy, there are logs in the fire, the morning coffee is all set up, and as much food prep as possible is done so that I can relax and enjoy the holiday along with everyone else.

  9. My favorite organizing tip for the holiday is to have an app on your phone and computer…I use Evernote. Whenever I think of a gift idea or task I don’t want to forget I add it to my Evernote. Since it syncs to both devices when I am out shopping I can look up what I wanted to get for so-and-so or when I have time at home I can search “Holiday To-Do” and get my random tasks in order to schedule them on my calendar!

    • I haven’t tried Evernote, but I LOVE apps that allow me to add or view information from either my computer or my phone. Saves me from trying to keep track of everything in my head!

  10. I am preparing a presentation to a group of women about seasonal organizing tips. I really had to think this one through. One thing that I love about being an organizer is the opportunity to reuse or recycle something. One thing I love about the Holiday season is the decorations. I seem to have an addiction to Christmas Ornaments. Every year my tree has a new colour theme! Therefore my favourite organizing tip is for DIY ornament storage. My kids and I just enjoyed this one.
    Take an empty wine box from the liquor store and Modge Podge scraps of wrapping paper on it. Let set for two days and it is ready for use. We used the ends of last years paper that wouldn’t get me that far this year. Reuse tissue paper to place your ornaments in and place inside box. A practical craft that any age group can enjoy.

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