With Christmas almost upon us it’s more important than ever to be on top of things. December presents a number of organisational challenges. There keeping tracking of who you need to buy presents for, dinners to plan, family to visit and so on. A calendar can only do so much. It’s inevitable that the number 25 with that bit red circle around it will come around and when it does, will you be ready. Yes, you will and here’s how to save your sanity and your money when giving gifts.
Organising The Gifts
When I started thinking about the people who I wanted to get a gift for this Christmas I had no idea just how many people there were. It wasn’t until I started writing them down that it really dawned on me. “That’s a lot of gifts to think of.” “How much is this going to cost?” “When am I going to get time to do all this?” These are all questions that started swimming through my mind. I had to figure this out. Here’s the plan:
- Start a new note in Evernote and create a bulleted list.
- Before you enter anything else, add a checkbox/tickbox
- Then, enter the name of the first person you’ll be buying a gift for.
- Hit enter – this will give you a new bullet and a new checkbox (neat, hey!)
- Now enter the name of the next person.
- Repeat until you’ve listed everyone.
You should now have a list with checkboxes and people’s names. As you’ve bought each person’s gift you can tick them from your list. This will act as a good visual prompt for how you’re progressing on the lead up to
Present Christmas Day.
I think it’s also important to keep track of what you’ve actually bought for each person. Especially if you’re buying lots of things at once. It will make sorting them out later, when you wrap them, that much easier. So, if you have ideas for what to get someone, or you’ve just bought them something, find their name in your list and click to put your cursor at the end of the line. Now hit “enter” to give you have new bullet and checkbox. Only this time you don’t need the checkbox and the bullet is in the wrong place. Delete the checkbox with the backspace/delete key then hit the “tab” key to indent the bullet. No you can make a sub list. You can now list the gifts for each person. Taking this a step further, you can keep the checkbox there and create idea lists and tick them off as you buy them.
It’s very easy to go overboard with gifts and use a lot of credit, which is money you don’t have. Credit is a very dangerous thing, so if you don’t have the money, don’t buy it. Whatever it is. I like to set a budget on a per person basis. Of course, my own children will have a bigger budget then my second cousin’s niece that I might see once every three years. In any case, here’s how I manage the per-person budget and keep it top of mind while shopping.
- Go back to your gift list
- At the end of each line with a person’s name enter the amount budgeted.
As you buy items and list them underneath each person you can enter their actual cost and compare that to what was budgeted. If you end up buying multiple items for some people you can amend the initial budget to include the amount already spent. For example, for “Noah” I might have this:
- Noah ($29/$250)
- Darth Tater $29
This is telling me that I’ve spent $29 of my budgeted $250 on Noah and of my three ideas to get him I’ve bought Darth Tater. Quick aside: Darth Tater is a hilarious thing. I’m, I mean Noah is going to love it!
Top of Mind
Finally, this list needs to be very easily accessible until Christmas. The quickest and easiest way to do this is to make it a shortcut in Evernote. Simply drag the note into the shortcuts list. Alternatively, you might want to keep this in your Reminders list.
Using Evernote on your smart phone, you’re now armed with a mobile list of ideas and budgets. As you head out to the shops, or shop online, keep the list updated. As soon as you find or buy a gift, update your list. If you’ve bought everything you need to for someone it’s time to tick them from your list.
Christmas is fast approaching. What’s the best gift you’ve found of a loved one? Obviously Darth Tater ranks highly, right? Why not find out how you get even more out of Evernote with Evernote Every Day, or give it as a gift!