We plan a lot of events in our life. Most events we plan are repeat events. Some events we may plan annually or every few years. Don’t you want to make these events easier each time you plan and do them? There is a way! The answer is taking notes after events or activities are over. There are many benefits of taking notes.
Events, More Events, and Then Some
When you think about all the events or activities you plan and do throughout the year you may be surprised. Some annual events may include the following:
- Birthday parties
- Starts to the school year
- Teacher appreciation gifts
- Christmas parties
- Holiday cards
- Christmas gifts
- Birthday treats
- Halloween trick or treating
- Easter egg hunts
- Friends picnic at the park
- Church bake sale
- School fundraiser
Each time we plan an event it should get easier and less stressful since we have done it before right? Unfortunately that is usually not the case. The problem is there is usually a bunch of time in between each event. We forget what we did the last time or the time before that.
For example, last year I hosted the family Christmas party and this year I am again. It is difficult to recall some of the details. How many people came over? What main dish did I serve and how much did I make? Were there leftovers? When did the party start? What did I serve to drink? Planning the Christmas party this year would be easier if I could just remember all the details from the previous year. By taking notes, I am easily able to recall past event details.
How to Take Notes After Events
Taking notes after events becomes a life saver. After an event is over, take 5 minutes to write down notes from the event or activity. I write notes right on my planning sheets. I do not rewrite everything on a new sheet. Write with the mindset of what you want to know next time when you read the notes. Take notes on things that will make planning the event easier next time. This could include noting the following items:
- What time the event started/ended
- How many people came and who was invited
- List materials/things/food you used and needed
- What materials did you have leftover
- Write out materials you wish you would have had and get for next time
- List what went well
- What did not go well
- Write out what would you change for next time
Here is a sample of notes I took after my son’s birthday party menu:
5 Benefits of Taking Notes
Taking notes on an event after it is over will save you loads of time the next time you do the event. In fact, there is no need to rethink or reinvent the wheel as they say since you have done it before. Each time you do the event and look at past notes you will get a feel for what to do next time to make things easier. Less thinking and planning will need to go into the event because you will perfect it more each time you do it. Spend 5 minutes writing down notes after an event to save hours planning the event next time.
One example of where taking notes saves me time is for teacher appreciation gifts. Each year I write down who we gave gifts to and what we gave them. I have a variety of 5 teacher appreciation gifts I make, so by taking notes I know to who and which year we gave what. That way if they have the same teacher again, I won’t give the same gift. Furthermore, most years my kids have different teachers so I can make gifts in bulk and give them out as my kids have those teachers.
Another benefit of taking notes on an event is saving money. The next time you do the event you will only buy what is necessary and will eliminate waste. In addition, you can save money if you use some of the same things from the last event. This is why it is important when taking notes to write down any left over items. So you know what you have left from the last event to start the next event.
My note taking saves me money each year when packing for vacation. After we go on a vacation, I take notes on my packing lists what we wore and what we didn’t wear. I write down how much we went through of food, drinks, toiletries, other miscellaneous items we had packed. This way, the next time we go to a similar destination for a similar amount of time I know what to pack and how much of certain items. This eliminates waste and overpacking.
Other benefits of taking notes is decreasing your stress and anxiety before an event. Since you have done the event before and taken notes to recall the details, you will know what to expect. Furthermore, you will be able to plan more in advance because you know what to do therefore, less decisions have to be made. In addition, planning events similar to past events decreases stress and anxiety for your kids and others involved. People know what to expect from you and your event.
Referring back to my son’s birthday party menu notes, these notes I take each year, drastically decrease my stress and anxiety before his party. Generally, I know what people will eat and drink. Therefore, I know what to buy and how much. I can gauge how long preparations will take, what I can do in advance and what needs to be done the day of the party. My guests also know what to expect of me and how the event goes now at my son’s birthday parties. Honestly, I enjoy myself much more than I did the first year or two now that I have my notes to assist in my party planning.
Help Out That Mom Memory
Our brains are pretty amazing, but it is hard to remember every detail, especially as a busy mom always juggling. So it makes sense that our brains can’t recall event details from a year ago. Often we are trying to recall things that happened in the past. Taking notes will provide the opportunity to look back and help plan future events. Our memory fades, but taking good notes will not.
I keep a notebook of Christmas gifts I give each year. First, I write down each person’s name I am buying a gift. Next to their name I write the budget I want to stay within. Then I write ideas down in pencil under their name and the cost of each item. This way I make sure to stay within the budget. If I have a gift I got that I won’t use this year, I make note of that too. Then next year I know I have a head start.
Fun to look back
Besides helping us recall details to a past event, it is fun to look back at the notes and reminisce about the fun memories. Kids grow up, people come and go, so it is fun to look back when certain things occurred or that was the time “this” happened.
Repeat the Good & Discard the Bad
Another benefit of taking notes is you can note the things that went well and those that didn’t. This way you can always continue to do what is working and not do something again that went poorly. In fact, you can look at your notes to avoid repeating a bad decision.
When you try something new make sure to take notes on that specific thing. If it worked do it the same way. If it did not work, change what you need to do next time and make note of the change. This way the next time you plan this event you do not have to recall the bad thing that happened and think about how to fix it. Of course times change, people come and go, kids grow up, but you can adjust events accordingly and make note of those changes as they come.
Final Thoughts on Benefits of Taking Notes
Taking notes on events and activities has been a life changer for me. With small children I feel each year there are more and more events and activities, which means more to plan and prepare. There are so many benefits of taking notes. Having my notes from previous times has helped me successfully pull off events and activities without stressing me out or breaking my bank. Give taking notes a try and I guarantee it will help you in some way!