So I, much like many of you I'm sure, am frantically trying to complete my holiday shopping for friends and family. As much as I try to finish this daunting task in the early Fall, every year there are a few people on my list who cause me much angst to find that perfect gift and stretch my creative process.
As I began tackling this year's holiday gifts, I found myself thinking about overhauling my "gift process" to better leverage assisting technologies. Crazy, perhaps…or perhaps you think I just need to get on the band wagon? My husband thinks I'm obsessive with my whole approach to holiday gift sourcing and tracking and perhaps he's right. But with 30+ people to shop for, if I'm not careful, December 24th will be here before I know it, and rather than finding that perfect gift I'm excited to give, I fear I'll end up getting close family a holiday sweater, or worse yet, a re-gift…
So, what's my process now? It's what I'll call an organized mass of spreadsheets:
- I've got my spreadsheet that tracks the family and friends to shop for, their interests, and potential gift ideas,
- Our overall budget and expense breakdown by person and gift,
- And the status of each gift in the process - drop down menus to eliminate confusion if the gift is on order, shipped, arrived, or wrapped.
With the onslaught of highly beneficial technology available, I need to consider moving my offline flow to a more efficient, productive technology for managing my efforts. A quick search online, and I am easily shown that my painful spreadsheet tracking can be laid to rest with some automated tools designed to enhance my productivity and reduce my manual efforts. An obvious recruiting correlation here that you might think I’m stretching for, but work with me… it's here!
- Sourcing: Finding that perfect gift, like finding that perfect candidate, can easily be facilitated with sourcing technology. Check out this site where I can define profiles and personality traits for my gift recipients. A pre-defined list can be generated: http://www.gifts.com/profiler.
- Tracking: Like losing a resume in a paper pile, I am at risk of one-off-post-it notes with gift ideas that don't make their way to my spreadsheet. Centrally stored data for tracking gift lists and wish lists would reduce my manual tracking. Some great options here: http://lifehacker.com/5700124/five-best-gift+tracking-tool.
- Organizing: Like the tracker, staying organized and well informed with all of my gift/recipient – or key candidate – data in one accessible location is ideal. Amazon's Gift Organizer is just the ticket: https://www.amazon.com/gp/gift-central/organizer?ie=UTF8&%2AVersion%2A=1&%2Aentries%2A=0
- Reporting: Whether you're an HR Professional looking to pull recruiting metrics or a gift-obsessed holiday shopper like myself looking to stay on budget, reporting technologies are key to success.
So it's clearly time to replace my old, faithful spreadsheet and embrace technologies that can improve my efforts. I will let you know which one rings in as the favorite. So stay tuned faithful shoppers and good luck in all your holiday efforts!