Do you throw a lot of parties? Are some of those parties really big hits while every once in a while you throw a real dud? Maybe what you need to start is a party journal. What’s a party journal? It’s a diary or log or compendium of all the important information that goes into creating a party. And the value of a party journal can extend beyond merely ensuring fewer duds to actually saving money.
Logging information into a highly detailed party journal can be an incredibly effective means of making sure that each successive party you throw builds upon the success of the one before while winnowing out the failures that kept it from becoming everything you pictured. A party journal can help you to understand why one party succeeded where another failed even when the two parties share more similarities than differences. Anyone who is a compulsive planner of parties or events should consider starting a journal.
It’s what the professional event planners do. Those who make a living from planning parties are almost never seen without their party journal notebook in hand. Although, of course, in today’s high tech world of event planning, professional party throwers are much more likely to hold an iPad or other tablet computer in their hand. You can achieve much the same effect with an app like Party Diary and Journal.
Not that you need to go to such high-tech lengths to create an effective party journal. The first step in creating a party journal is focusing on the most essential elements to achieving what you deem to have been a successful event. Start by logging your entire guest list including who was invited, who showed up and who didn’t as well as which guests contributed most to the party’s success or lack thereof. It can be easy to forget who contributed to making the party enjoyable and who made the other guests uncomfortable if you don’t immediately record this information. Some parties rise or fall on the character of the guests.
You also want to add which food and beverages were served. Make notes of which foods and drinks were consumed entirely, which sat untouched and which resulted in leftovers. A great party journal will include photographs and you should definitely take before and after pictures of food and beverages as a way of exhibiting what worked and what did not. The addition of images to our party journal is also a terrific way to keep track of the decorations. Be sure to make room next to your images for noting any quotable quotes about the subject of the photographs made your guests.
Write down names and descriptions of any games that were played and how popular or unpopular they were. Keep a detailed record of the age groups that seemed to like one game versus the age group that dislike the game. This is absolutely an essential ingredient for creating an effective party log for those whose parties are mainly thrown for children.
Your party journal can benefit quite substantially from the addition of multimedia beyond those photos described above. The inclusion of multimedia might make you want to consider more carefully the download of a free or even paid app to your smartphone or tablet. Take photos or record video of the elements of the party that were either successful and popular or not. Consider investing in apps or software that let you add audio recording to your photographs. You want to keep a record of what worked and what failed at each party. Don’t be duped into thinking that just because something failed at one party that it will fail at all parties. The party journal is an extremely good tool for allowing you to look beyond the obvious for the real reasons why a party succeeded or flopped.
Keep track of how much food you made or ordered, how many guests you invited and how much food was left over or how many people had to go unsatisfied because you didn’t provide enough food. This is a particularly important thing to keep track of in your party journal as it can ultimately guide you toward knowing exactly how much food to order for how many people. This will save money and cleanup time.
An effective element of the party journal is the separation of how you planned for the party and how the party actually came off. Draw up a list of what you did to prepare for the party and then draw up another list of how those preparations were put into practice. This part of your party journal will provide valuable assistance in alerting you to how well your planning coincides with success or failure of a party. You may learn that you need to put more time into the planning or you may realize that you are wasting way too much time in the planning stage. This twofold examination of what was planned and what was actually pulled off can also give insight into how you need to revise those parts of your plans that failed to come off.
If you are really OCD and want a complete record of your party for the log, add in your checklists, timetables, schedules and a list of party element providers whom you can count on to deliver in a professional matter. Keeping track of your checklists will inform you as to what you need to add and what can be left out next time. A timetable will reveal whether you need to plan for some aspects sooner than you did at the last party. The daily schedule should begin a few weeks before the party so that you can record exactly everything you did in preparation for the party.
The party journal is an essential tool for anyone who plans lots of parties. It can provide valuable information that you can use to make the next party go off without a hitch and leave everyone wanting more from you. More parties, that is.