Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Party Planning Success is in the Details - A Running To-Do List will help you Focus

Organization is the key to success when planning a party. In an effort to maintain organization and success with each party that I plan, I now keep a Party Journal. The party journal is a great way to keep track of your overall party plans, your To-Do list, menu, recipes and any pictures or decorations. A party journal is a collection of notes, pictures, drawing and recipes that you want to have for future reference or for evaluation before, during and after your event. I keep one large journal that holds all my important notes from each party.  Each party also has a "Running To-Do" List. A key component to my party planning success.

A Running To-Do list is a working list of things that need to be done over the course of time while I am planning a party. I never completely cross out any item on my list. In fact, I only draw a simple line through each item. As I plan the party, I add new items that need to be done or have my attention, this list grows as the party date gets closer; however, as the party gets closer, more items get marked off the list. The key to using only a single line to tick off the items, as I complete them, is to provide a road map to future party planning lists. I use each list as a reference guide to help me plan the next parties.

My "Running To-Do" list is often broken down into a variety of different subgroups. By breaking down the overall party planning into different subgroups, I am able to focus my planning and preparations. I generally use the following basic party planning subgroups on my list:

guest list
paper products

As any well organized party planner will tell you, experience planning parties also builds experience improving the planning of those parties. Building To-Do lists from experience planning other parties will help improve organization and reduce the overall stress you experience as you continue to plan more and more parties in the future. At the end of each party, after all the clean-up is done and all equipment and service-ware is put away, I review my Running To-Do lists to evaluate where I could have saved money, used my time more wisely or shorted up a few steps to make the overall planning easier. This time spent in review is very beneficial when I begin to plan the next party.

Often times, I will begin my next party "To-Do" list by "borrowing" entries from previous lists. This is a great way to make sure that I don't miss an important item and maximize my planning and preparation time. 

Tomorrow I will share with you my special party planning envelope that I use to hold all of my physical items that I refer to when planning a party.

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