The season of changing leaves, shopping, watching football, and eating way too much stuffing is upon us again. Nearly 400 years ago, the Pilgrims broke bread with the Wampanoag tribe in Plymouth, Massachusetts for the first Thanksgiving feast. We all know that’s not the whole story, but we’ve evolved this story into a holiday to celebrate family, feasting, and giving thanks to it all.
Whether your family is big or small, or if you only celebrate Friendsgiving, there is always a lot of planning required to pull together a full-course Thanksgiving dinner. Have you decided to take the turkey by the gizzard and host your own Thanksgiving celebration? Hats off to you!
You’ve probably already dug through Pinterest to find drool-worthy recipes and scrolled through Instagram for some tablescape inspo. But if you are quickly realizing that there is a lot more involved to a successful Thanksgiving than roasting a turkey and baking a couple of pies, have no fear.
Your friends here at Trello are ready to make it the most organized event ever, because holidays should be a breeze. Goodbye infinite email chains! See you later spreadsheets! Bring on that board!
Setting up a Trello board to host an event like Turkey Day is a cinch and it is really easy to get family and friends on board (pun most definitely intended) who will be helping you plan the day. Whether they are browser based folks or the kind of people that live out of their mobile devices, Trello syncs across browsers and devices instantly and even desktop so everyone can collaborate on the medium of their choice.
Before inviting all your friends or relatives to the party, however, it is best to get that board set up and ready to go. (Or you can just copy this sample board if that’s your thing.) For my event and party boards I always like to start with a “General Info” list that provides some insight on how to use the board as well as some basic Trello tips, because even though Trello is simple to use, some friends still haven’t tried it yet. (Crazy I know, but then again some people still have landlines, so what can I say?)
The next list I set up is my RSVP list with cards that my guests can add themselves. This is a great way to keep track of who is coming, who is bringing their partner, and who is taking advantage of the short week for a 10-day vacation and missing out on the fun. I always add a due date to the “Yes” cards so that my guests get a reminder 24-hours before the party, as if they weren’t already counting down the seconds until the festivities.
Have big families or people with +1’s on your list? Use a checklist on their card to list out each potential party guest. The RSVP-er can check off who on the list is coming (or add more attendees - the more the merrier!) so you can get an exact headcount without bothering them by text or email for firm numbers.
Planning Your Potluck With Pizzazz
Thanksgiving is all about sharing with those you love and is best when it is done potluck style, because then your guests get to outdo each other’s tasty dishes, and you basically just reap all the benefits. Sure, things can get a little off the hook (is homemade swan pâté even legal? In some states, yes!) but you’re a budding gourmand and there’s nothing you want less than some boxed mashed potatoes.
I set up two lists, one for the food and one for the drinks, because in my mind good food and good drinks are both equal parts in the equation for an excellent night. Other lists include “Other Things I’m Bringing” because, you know, Twister. Also I made a list for suggestions, since I am not the type to let people down.
Of course, you make the lists that work best for you. After all, you’re the host! Guests can add cards to the appropriate list for whatever they plan on bringing and add their avatar to the card. They can even drag and drop a recipe URL or upload a snap from their phone to add an enticing card cover. This way everyone can easily see what everyone else is bringing and you’re not hunting through 27 email replies to see if someone’s making stuffing.
And if someone does send an email with their dish details, the Trello Add-On for Gmail creates the email into a card so you don’t miss a beat in your Thanksgiving planning.
Finally, as someone who likes to keep things organized I also set up labels for my board - Apps, Mains, Sides, Desserts, Boozy, Non-Boozy. When guests add cards for what they are bringing they can label their cards accordingly. This way I can easily filter the cards by label to keep track of dishes and get all like “There’s not enough pie! I shall make 5 more!”
And since allergies are pretty common these days, you can take advantage of custom fields to add in a special requests field to avoid any unwanted nut or dairy mishaps.
To Now that your board is ready, it is time to invite some friends, because it wouldn’t be Friendsgiving without them. Inviting someone to your board is easy: in the Members section just click “Add Members...” and enter their email address. If they have a Trello account already then they will be notified that they were added to your board. If not, they will receive an email that they were invited to your board and once they sign up they will be able to participate in all of the fun. Simple, as all great holidays should be!
Hosting a Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving feast of your own or planning on attending one? We want to know your food and drink must-haves. Tell us in the comments, and have a great holiday!
Next: Cards, Community, and Cleaning: Trello Holiday Hacks