organized holiday shopping …

I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a horrible memory. It’s seriously lacking, and it’s totally not cool. If I relied on my memory to do my holiday shopping, I’d have $500 worth of gifts for my sister and nothing for my husband. Okay, perhaps that’s an exaggeration, but I know I’d end up with too much for some people and not enough for others.

A few years ago, I started carrying a tiny notebook around with me. I’ve adapted the concept over the years and have finally come up with a solution that works perfectly for me.

So yes, I just set up my holiday notebook for the 2011 Christmas season. This 60-page, 3″x5″ spiral-bound notebook will be my best friend over the next 12 months.

The key for me is to not only record what I’ve purchased for my special someones, but to also write down ideas for those on my list. I have two pages for each person – a page for ideas, and a page for purchased gifts. On the purchased page, I’ll include the total paid for each item so I know I’m not over/under-spending. The ideas page is great when crunch time comes along … and believe me, there’s always a crunch time each year!

Another great idea – a colleague takes a picture of each gift she buys throughout the year, immediately wraps the item, and keeps all of her information in a spreadsheet. Huge advantages – (1) her gifts are wrapped early, (2) she’s got an easy-to-reference photo of the gift, and (3) she’s got a spreadsheet with all of her ‘need to know’ information. Awesome!

What tricks do you use to plan your way through the holidays? Please share!

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