5 Holiday Tips Plus 31 Days of Giveaways – Day 1

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Today is Day 1 of Magic of Miles 31 Days of Giveaways!

The month of December often goes by way too fast for me. Visions of spending quality time with family & friends, baking, relaxing by the fire and gazing out over the stillness of a lake or walking in the snow compete for space with work deadlines, traffic, lines and stress. Travel seems to ratchet up the stress level too.

I try to get as much as I can done ahead of time so that once the end of November rolls around I’m able to enjoy more and do less, but I also use the following 5 tricks to stay organized. This helps me s-l-o-w d-o-w-n and appreciate the season as much as possible.

Tripit.com is what I use to keep track of all my flights and hotel reservations. The free version allows me to simply forward all my email confirmations (as well as those for family & friends) and then I have all the confirmation numbers, flight numbers and details easily accessible on my phone. There’s a paid ad-free version too ($50 a year) with flight alerts among other things, but the free one works just great for my needs.

Christmas.organizedhome.com is the tool I use to kick myself in gear for the holidays. It starts with a six-week bootcamp calendar in October, and there are printable checklists, helpful decorating hints and organizing tips. Having a busy travel schedule, I can zero in on the days that I’m home to get things in order.

Buzzfeed.com has videos of snacks and easy-to-make meals sped up that inspire me to try new recipes that might otherwise come across as being time-consuming.

Easy cheesy eggs & toast? They’ve got it covered in less than a minute.

The Texture App allows me to get my fill of magazines from Time to Rolling Stone at any time on my iPad. For $10 a month here’s no need to shuffle around magazines anymore and I can read on a plane or train easily. New issues download automatically so I can stay up to date from anywhere in the world.

Shutterfly.com is an easy way to send heartfelt greeting cards without having to go into a store to pick one out or stand in line at the post office to get a stamp and mail. You can do the whole thing electronically during a 15 minute break between meetings, and Shutterfly even mails the cards for you. Christmas cards, birthday cards, and so on. It isn’t as quick as their now-defunct sister company Treat, but I still find Shutterfly especially helpful when I’m out of the country and want to send someone a card.

To enter today’s contest for a box full of goodies, leave a comment on this post with one of your favorite ways to stay organized or efficient during the holidays. I’d love to hear how readers keep organized during the holidays. A winner will be randomly drawn via random.org and the prize pack will be sent out via USPS.

Remember, there is a contest each day this December on Magic of Miles, and you can enter once per day. There is no one-per-household limit so be sure to share with friends & family too. Each daily contest ends at 9pm PST, and you can find more contest details here.

Good luck to all readers!

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  1. Dan
    Reply

    I don’t. 🙁 Too much to do.

  2. Jamie
    Reply

    iPhone Reminders

  3. pmlago
    Reply

    I too am a user of Tripit to keep travel organized.

  4. Jennifer
    Reply

    For holiday travel I spreadsheet it. No way I can keep hotels and flights straight so I am a huge user of excel this time of year. Same plan for gift tracking so I do not over-buy or miss anyone when buying.

  5. Chris
    Reply

    Combination of smartphone calendar and old-school written lists. Caught between two worlds.

  6. Andy O.
    Reply

    I make lists for everything. If it’s not on my list it doesn’t get done as I invariably forget it.

  7. John
    Reply

    I keep a detailed spreadsheet.

  8. Nathan
    Reply

    Spreadsheets and lists all the way.

  9. Bret
    Reply

    I use Excel spreadsheets for staying organized.

  10. CT
    Reply

    I put a number on the label of each present and write the number in a notebook with what item it is. This way it is easy for me to keep track of which wrapped present is what.

  11. Stacy
    Reply

    Tripit and setting double alerts to remind me of appointments in my calendar

  12. Denise L
    Reply

    I make a list for everything!

  13. Ryan
    Reply

    For travel, I always use TripIt & Yelp. For my own organization, I like to use my NOTES app on my iPhone & cross things off as I go.

  14. Sandra
    Reply

    I use my cell phone to set reminders. Take off few days after holidays to shop, decorate the house and get other holiday related items done.

  15. Philippe
    Reply

    My iPhone is the best organizer I can find, especially with siri, I tell him what he needs to remind me of and he does it…

  16. J.
    Reply

    iPhone notes app.

  17. jasond
    Reply

    I’m just now diving pretty hard into all the credit cards, and linking up all my travel. One of my favorite tools is the ability to keep notes on a bookmark in Firefox. On the bookmark for AAdvantage, for example, I have my AA number, as well as my wife and my daughter’s. I make a note on each loyalty program bookmark with the account number for easy reference. I wish Chrome could do this.

  18. Jim
    Reply

    Post it notes

  19. inge
    Reply

    I make a list of everything I need to do and cross it out once it’s completed.

  20. Susan R
    Reply

    I put everything on the calendar. Not the one on my phone, but the old fashioned one hanging in my kitchen. That way, everyone in the family can see what’s on the schedule and mark their calendars accordingly (electronic or not). I also make lots of lists in the spiral notebook that is my “memory.” I’m not comfortable having everything on the phone or the computer. I like having it on paper!

  21. Robin Witte
    Reply

    I use Google Calendar to keep all of my comings and goings straight.

  22. Nicholas murray
    Reply

    Evernote is a great way!

  23. Nathan
    Reply

    I use Tripit and I do 90% of my shopping through Amazon. Using their wish lists keeps me sane.

  24. Amy C
    Reply

    I stay organized with a big family calendar and hiring extra help including a sitter even for time when I’m at home.

  25. Ed
    Reply

    A big to do list on an excel spreadsheet.

  26. Michael H.(oldfox)
    Reply

    I use my MacBookPro computer calendar to see what I have planned and have to do. The calendar also helps me with trips abroad since I book award tickets almost a year out. The calendar is simple to use but so helpful.

  27. snowtigr
    Reply

    I use a different wrapping paper for gifts that are staying in the house and gifts that need be delivered.

  28. TJ
    Reply

    Trapper Keeper

  29. cnmAZ
    Reply

    I’m a post it note person. Bad things happen if one of those gets lost though.

  30. Winecoasters
    Reply

    An old fashioned notebook….backed up with google calendars and an extensive email travel folder by year – with sub-folders for each destination, containing reservations, tickets for events, things to do.

  31. Deb Binder
    Reply

    I use Google calendar for everything. I pend items and make a calendar note a week ahead that it’s coming due.

  32. Archon1995
    Reply

    Brainpower alone. I know, I’m weird.

  33. Samuel
    Reply

    Evernote is my go-to tool!

  34. Abhishek Duggal
    Reply

    iPhone Calendar + Alerts

  35. Kay
    Reply

    Evernote and tripit

  36. Brett Briley
    Reply

    I use an old school paper list. Separated between work to-dos and personal to-dos. I use a thicker grade paper stock. Scratching out something on my list makes me feel like I’m getting something done, even if I’m falling behind.

  37. Christine
    Reply

    Google calendar for everything.

  38. Karen
    Reply

    I use google sheets to keep organized so everything is on the cloud and I can access it from any device and from anywhere with internet.

  39. Dee
    Reply

    I shop year round while I travel and start wrapping in October!

  40. mark
    Reply

    Sticky notes! all sizes and colors.

  41. Luke US
    Reply

    I use WorldMate Gold for my flights! 🙂

  42. Tyneisha
    Reply

    I use Evernote to create to-do lists and set reminders!

  43. Rich
    Reply

    I phone reminders
    Post it notes

  44. Donn
    Reply

    I forget everything, so outlook calender keeps me sorta together . I forget to use trip it etc and all the other great apps.

  45. David L
    Reply

    I use post-it notes and iPhone calendar.

  46. Marcia
    Reply

    I use a Levanger, it’s the best notebook EVER

  47. Michele
    Reply

    Lists in a christmas notebook
    Really need to try TripIt though….

  48. cori
    Reply

    This might sound weird–I take notes in outlook email and save as drafts. 😛

  49. Bernadette
    Reply

    OneNote is on all devices and work computer so I can capture ideas, keep lists or delete completed items in real time. Life saver!

  50. JRG
    Reply

    Spreadsheets.

  51. Nancy
    Reply

    I have started doing something I swore I would never do……I use my iPhone for tracking just about everything. Alarms, lists, notes, you name it and my phone reminds me:)

  52. Diane
    Reply

    I use my phone calendar to keep track of all important dates, flights and reservations. I make lists, lists, lists for Xmas gifts and meals.

  53. Rich
    Reply

    Many to do list ‘s
    Most of which Don’t get done !!

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