Friday, 11 December 2009

Speed up your Christmas shopping

With the festive season approaching fast, some of us may have completed all of our gift shopping. For those of us who aren’t quite so organised, MindGenius can offer you a quick way to cut your planning time down and simplify those last minute shopping trips.

Start a new map and add branches for each person you need to buy presents for. You can then go on to work out a budget for each person (and export to Excel when you are finished if necessary). Once you have sorted out your budget, you can start to add presents to each name.

If you need to research where you are going to buy your presents from, you can add attachment links to sites that you need to visit, or have visited or any other relevant documents you would like to add such as a spreadsheet budget.

Once you know which gifts you wish to get for people, you can then start to simplify your buying experience. First of all, “Edit Categories” to add in the stores or websites you are planning to purchase your gifts from.

Next, apply the categories to each gift, if you are unsure of where the gift is coming from, don’t add a category to it.

Once you are satisfied your map is complete, click “Create Category Map.” This will create a separate map for you, broken down by each category. This allows you to see at a glance what you need to get from each store so you don’t need to make repeated journeys to the same place.

You can print your map and take it with you to the shops. Take a look at this month’s Hints and Tips article on printing large maps if you have a lot of presents to buy.

It might also be helpful to follow a similar process for your food and drinks plans for the holiday period and you could break it down by day eg Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day.

And if you create maps for this year, you can make them a starting point for next year, saving you more time and ensuring you don’t purchase the same present for people again.

Holiday shopping in half the time!

Have you used MindGenius in this way? How did you find it?

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