Create a memorable year’s end full of memories, traditions, and fun. If you’re planning a New Year’s party this year, you’re probably wondering how to begin. Let party planning expert Melissa Jones of Glisten and Grace Design show you how to use Evernote to put together a stress-free gathering you’ll remember fondly for years.
Every great party begins with ideas. Look online for images that generate inspiration. Check out Etsy and Pinterest boards for pictures that move or excite you. These pictures are the launching point for the direction of the party, Melissa says. Save images using Evernote Web Clipper or email photos right to your Evernote account using your personalized Evernote email address. Walk through specialty stores and department stores and snap pictures of items and store displays you like. Be sure to label your photos by category, such as “table ideas," “recipes," “festive cocktails," etc. This way, you can search them more easily later.
Manage shopping and costs
Your desire to wow your guests can quickly overwhelm your time and wallet. Keep spending in check by getting a clear understanding of how much you can afford. Keep a running tally of your party’s cost per person. “Start by creating a shopping list in Evernote, and a guest list in another note," Melissa advises. “If you have a budget in mind, you’ll stay within your spending limits if you always have an eye on both of these lists. If your shopping list starts to exceed your budget, you have to make some cuts. It’s a tough decision." Will you cut back on food and decoration, or will you cut back on the guests?
Tricks to stretch your budget
Naturally, you don’t want to invite fewer guests, if you don’t have to. It’s time to get clever. “Head back to the photos you saved to Evernote," Melissa advises. “Find the recipes from Pinterest that looked easy and inexpensive to make. A simple word search will bring you back to the ad you clipped that will snag you 50 percent off at a craft store to save on decor." You can even set a reminder with a coupon, so you won’t let it expire." Instead of buying decorations, Melissa suggests repurposing items in your home to decorate a table. “Maybe you have a plaid scarf that could double as a table runner," she says. “Not only that, but many holiday berries and greenery found in floral arrangements can be found outside. Skip the florist and go foraging instead."
Pour drinks from a pitcher instead of a bottle. Sangria is both festive and affordable. Clip this Pinterest recipe into a note containing all your party recipes, and you’ll have a ready-made book for this and future events.
Make it a potluck. Most guests know that it’s polite to bring something to contribute to a party anyway, so why not organize it? After you’ve exhausted your shopping budget, look at the leftover items on your list and ask some friends what they can bring. “Share your note with party guests, and let them put their names next to missing items. Your table will be full before you know it." Melissa says.
Every good party comes down to preparation
Use Evernote to break down the preparation into simpler tasks. Use Evernote’s checklist feature to make a to-do list. Assign days, times, and people to each task. Enlist the help of friends and family. You can’t do it all. Your list might look like this:
Think through the final touches
Melissa tells party hosts to add finishing touches to make the party even more memorable. “Find a holiday playlist, light candles, and put on a favorite outfit. Spend a few moments mentally preparing for the evening. Give yourself a break between party prep and the party, so you’re refreshed and relaxed before the guests arrive." By organizing your party in Evernote, you know you haven’t left out any details, and you have a template for your next party. Reuse your list next time by duplicating the note you created, and adding updated information. Simplify Days has a great collection of free templates for holiday Christmas parties (which work just as well for New Year’s Eve) to help get you started.
Happy holidays, whatever you celebrate, whenever you celebrate it!