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Organizing Christmas Lists

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  • Organizing Christmas Lists

    Just looking for some ideas to organize christmas lists. Currently I have a memo pad category called gifts and each memo has the person's name as the title. The memo is separated by a dashed line and the items purchased are above the line and the items/ideas not purchased are below it. At one point in time I used handyshopper for this, but I found I needed to copy/paste my lists into emails so often that memo pad made more sense. I am wondering if I should just make a project out of this and make multiple next actions in the @errand category of the todo list. The problem is that I want to keep the ideas for a later time, so I don't want to check off the person's name when I have purchased one or two things for them for Christmas. Another issue I have with the memo pad is the context of the store. If I am in a sporting goods store, I have to open about 20 memos to see which people have asked for items I might find in that type of store. This is where I think it could be better organized.

    On a side note - does anyone have any cool tips for creating shopping lists within the built-in apps? I use handyshopper now, but I am constantly fiddling with preferences and messing with it (perfectionism is so futile). I want something simple.

    Anyone want to share?

  • #2
    Drummer Girl

    First of all - I love the screen name, being a former drummer myself

    Secondly - I think you've got a VERY Good handle on this.

    Here is what I have set up on my Palm. Take what you like, and leave the rest...

    I have a Memo Category called "Activity Logs." In that category, I have separate Memo's for Books; Magazines; Movies, Videos; Restaurants, etc.... as well as things like "John Black's Wish List." Throughout the year, as I have conversations with "John Black" or if I am with him and I notice him eyeing something in a store window, I will add it to this list.

    Under my To-Do List, I have "@Errands."

    Here's an example of how I extend that a bit.

    I have several bills that have to be mailed, at different times during the month. They are all listed in the "@Errands" category - but the TITLE of each "to-do" starts with "@Post" (i.e. - @Post: Comcast Cable) This creates a "category within the category" so that you can multi-task and "chunk" things a bit better.

    That's what I suggest you do with your shopping. If Pam is asking for a book and a candle - set up two different "to-do's" in "@Errands." One would be "@Borders: Ready for Anything Book" the other would be "@Yankee Candle: Stargazer Lily for Pam." Her entire "wish list" would reside as a Memo on your Palm


    • #3
      Being a former band director, I also like your nickname. Here is how I would handle the Christmas list organization. I would have a project called something like "Christmas gifts have been purchased." (I like to word my projects as statements which are either true of false and that have nouns up front. If the statment is reue, I can check it off as "done." If it's false, I need a next action. Having the noun up front helps me find what I'm looking for quicker since Outlook sorts the lists alphabetically.)

      I would attach a note that would look something like this:
      Adam-CD of Elvis

      Whenever an idea for a gift came up, it would go in this attached note. During the weekly review, I would look for which gifts I thought I wold purchase that week. I would copy each of those lines into a separate task in my errands list. As each is purchased, it gets checked off on the errands list. During the next weekly review, as I am deciding which gifts I might purchsea this week, I would also put something (maybe the word "done") beside the gifts I had purchased.

      When Christmas is over, if this list is of "lasting value," I would change the title to "12/26/03 Christmas Gifts Purchased" and drag it over to the "Notes" icon on Outlook. Then the project gets a check mark. (One of the ways I use the notes section of Outlook is the hold the kind of stuff I used to use the right-hand page of my Day-Timer for, but that's another subject altogether.

      Hope this helps.



      • #4
        For a really organized Christmas check out It's a great site affiliated with They have all kinds of printable checklists, calendars and forms to make a whole Holiday Planner or Notebook.

        For GTD Christmas, I use SplashShopper quite a bit. It's similar to HandyShopper but is not freeware. Adapted from the OH website, I have a Holiday Grand Plan database in SS which is a 16-week plan to clean and organize your home for Christmas.

        During the year I use notes in Outlook titled with a person's first name for notes on gifts for Christmas. Once my lists are mostly complete and I'm ready to start shopping I put the lists in SS. One thing I love about SS (and maybe HS does the same thing) is that for each item on my list, I can put multiple stores under it. So for instance if I'm looking for gloves for my mom, I'm in Target so I sort by Target and remember to look there. If I don't find what I'm looking for and go to Strawbridges next I sort by Strawbridges and the gloves show up again. Hope that makes sense.


        • #5
          I keep my Christmas gift list on my Palm also, so I always have it with me. If I have a gift idea, I enter it. When I buy the gift I put a b after it. When I wrap the gift, I put a w after it also. When I have bought and wrapped all of the gifts for the individual, I put a tilde in front of their name on the list. This helps me keep track of where I am in the process. An entry would look like this:

          Kaitlyn - Picture Frame bw, CD b

          indicating I have bought and wrapped the picture frame and bought but not yet wrapped the CD.


          ETA...I've actually added a third letter, a g, to indicate that the gift was actually given. So the above entry now looks like this:

          ~Kaitlyn - Picture Frame bw, CD bw

          This shows that this gift hasn't actually been given out yet but that my shopping for this person is done and the presents have been both bought and wrapped.

          For me, gift shopping is a 4 step process. Think of something to buy, actually buy it, wrap it & then give it.