I was talking to a friend of mine on Sunday and she realized that Thanksgiving is next week. And that she had done nothing yet. Normally her family goes to visit family in New Jersey, but that’s not happening this year due to the virus.
I’ve had this happen too, where I’m going about my normal life and WHAM! the holidays are right there. There was one year where I missed something on every aspect of the holidays because I was working too much and just forgot about the deadlines.
Holiday Planners Don’t Work For Me
I’ve tried using holiday planners over the years. There are a lot of them out there. I’ve tried the ones that have dozens of forms and the ones that have a few. None of them worked.
There are two reasons for this.
First, my holidays are not the same as the typical person at this time of the year. Yes, we celebrate the standards of Thanksgiving and Christmas, but we also celebrate St. Nicholas Day, Yule, and the Winter Solstice. In addition, our friends celebrate Hanukkah and Kwaanza, and we like to note those as well, even though we may not participate from year to year.
It’s really hard to use a standard planner when your holidays just aren’t there. Even ones that you can print yourself are generally themed to specific holidays.
Second, I don’t need to be told how to do the holidays. I know what needs to be done. I just need to be reminded when to do it.
The Down/Up Side to Being A Programmer
I routinely put my programming skills to use at home to make things easier for myself. I’ve programmed a chore grid, to make it easier to manage cleaning. I’ve programmed calendar extracts to make it easier to do my weekly planning in one place. I’ve even written a database to help me put out a year’s worth of quotes for another blog.
My friends are just learning about this hidden side of me, and the reaction has been universally, “I NEED that!”
So over the next few months, I will be releasing these items for you
This month I’m launching the Holiday Task Helper.
The Holiday Task Helper
The Holiday Task Helper is a simple tool for you to list all of your major events: meals, gifts, cards, parties, holiday celebrations…whatever is your need. You tell the tool when these events occur, whether they are on an absolute date (like the 6th of December) or a varied one (like the 4th Thursday in November).
Next, you list out all your tasks to make these things happen, and tell how much time you need before the event.
And then the tool gives you a task list with dates calculated to the event.
As an example, I have Thanksgiving (4th Thursday of November) as one of my events. And one of the tasks is “remove turkey from freezer”, with a lead time of 5 days. The ends up being a task that is due on 11/21/2020.
Once the list is made, I can import it into whatever task manager I use.
And I’ll never be trying to thaw a frozen bird with hot water the morning of Thanksgiving every again.
If you’re interested in using this Holiday Task Helper to help you this year, head on over to the product page.