Monday, March 1, 2010

Simplifying Life ~ Event Binder

I organize myself with binders. My repertoire consists of binders for Christmas, coupons, gifts and events. I also have one that I use to organize a week of meals that I prepare for a mission team of 30 each year. Over time I will show you all of my binders.

My event binder has two purposes, personal and business. My husband's job gives me the opportunity to plan two large events each year. I also use it to track personal parties, dinner with friends, and holiday meals.

The binder is divided into 5 sections:
~Business Events
~Dinner Parties
~Event Recipes
~Dinner Menus
~Potluck Recipes

Business Events-Each event or dinner has a page with the name of the event, the date, and a list of decisions made for that event. If it is an event using invitations, I attach a copy of the invitation to the back of the page. I make notes about where items are purchased (invitations, centerpieces, etc.), colors used, background music, guest speakers, and favors. I also note the cost of these items, to keep my budget comparable from year to year. I personally prepare the food for one of these events. So, I keep a copy of the menu and recipes. Then, the day after the event, I note how much was eaten or leftover. One year I fixed 15 pounds of potatoes and had a lot of leftovers, so I made a note to reduce it to 10 pounds the next year. I also make notes of the number of people who attended and comments at the event, "This cake is amazing", or "I'm not a real fan of curry."

Dinner Parties-This is my personal event planner. Again, each event has it's own page listing the event, date, people in attendance and menu. I also list any food sensitivities, likes or dislikes that I learn from my guests. I know that one friend is very sensitive to chocolate late at night. I made a note of this so that I'm sure to fix a non-chocolate dessert when his family comes over.

Event Recipes-These are my go-to recipes that are easy to prepare in bulk. They are also tried and true, always well received. One example is my Southern Style Green Beans. (Although, I don't really need the recipe for this one.)

Dinner Menus-I have several specialty menus that I like to use when we have guests for dinner. Pulling together a dinner party is much quicker when I can check my list to see what I've served a family in the past, and then choose a new menu from this section. This includes my Broiled Parmesan Tomatoes and Buttermilk Biscuits.

Potluck Recipes-These are recipes that are easy to transport! They also serve as an idea bank when I want to take a meal to a friend who is ill, etc. This includes my Black Bean Chicken Chili.

This binder serves to supplement a memory that fails me often. It also provides a framework for planning events that happen annually. All I have to do is fill in the blanks, saving time and energy. After all, why reinvent the wheel?

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