Thursday, 16 December 2010

Hints and Tips - Christmas Shopping

At this time of year everyone has too many things to do, and Christmas shopping can be another time consuming activity. Maybe you are organized and have everything done by now, but if you’re getting stressed about how you will fit everything in, using MindGenius can speed up and simplify the process for your holiday shopping. 

Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1

Brainstorm your ideas for presents; who do you need to buy for, is there anything you know you need to get such as sweets or drinks.

Step 2

You can now quickly re-order your map, you can add structure by breaking your map down by person to buy for or stores you need to go to. The way I’ve done this is to drag and drop present ideas underneath the people I am buying for. This way I can then focus in on each individual using Map Explorer and brainstorm specific present ideas.

Fig. 1 Christmas Shopping List
Please click on image for full screen view
Step 3

Next, consider your budget and whittle down your initial ideas into those you want to go ahead and purchase.

Step 4

Now, edit your categories and rename as the common stores you need to visit for different presents (depending on where you are) eg M&S, Target, Gap, iTunes, different department stores you need to visit, book stores, online stores etc

Fig. 2 Rename Categories
Please click on image for full screen view
Step 5

Apply the categories to your presents, presents can also have multiple categories if you're not sure which stores you will get the gift in.

Fig. 3 Categorized Map
Please click on image for full screen view

Step 6

Create a category map of your gifts - this will show which gifts you need to get in each store and speed up your Christmas shopping, make the process easier and help you not to forget anything vital.

Fig. 4 Category Centric View
Please click on image for full screen view

Additional tip - I know from personal experience when you order multiple items online, it can be difficult to remember what you've ordered and whether or not you've received it. You could create and add separate categories for "ordered" and "received" to keep track of your items.

Step 7

Your map could be expanded out to cover your holiday food and drink shopping, or when you have guests visiting and the tasks you need to complete before they arrive so you end up a map with an entire holiday plan.

Step 8

You can then print your map out, if it’s small enough, as one page, or by breaking it down into readable sections using print preview, and take it to the shops with you

That's it - holiday shopping completed.

If you would like some inspiration on what to buy people, download my Christmas shopping map.

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