Potluck planning is just like arranging any event with multiple attendees. It can be painless, or it can feel like herding cats. The key is organization and staying on top of details. Planning a potluck party requires a bit more coordinating than a simple get-together, but if you approach it with a plan in mind, can result in a fabulous get-together!
Step 1: The Basics
Who, what, when, where, why? Those are the basic questions that start the planning for any potluck (or event in general, for that matter). Once you've answered those, it's just a matter of organizing, planning, delegating, staying organized, and getting on with the show.
Step 2: Getting Organized
Make a list. Write it by hand, put it on the computer, make a spreadsheet, put it on your smartphone, a whiteboard, whatever. But write it down and keep it in a place where
it won't get lost and you'll be able to refer back to it regularly. And keep in mind that it's going to be constantly changing, especially in the early stages.
WHAT is it? Potluck dinner? Lunch? Breakfast? Tailgate party? Picnic? Wedding? Whatever it is, put that at the top of the list.
WHEN is it? Do you have a specific date or will it change based on the availability of the attendees? Once you set a date, write it at the top of the list, along with the start (and end, if applicable) time.
WHERE will it be? Your house? Someone else's? Another place? Get the location firmed up, then add it at the top of the list.
WHY are you having it? Don't write this down, but keep it in mind when you're thinking of the next step.
Planning Apps Help You Stay Organized:
Step 3: Details, Details, Details
Now it's tme to think about the details. Which is to say, the food and who's bringing what. Start another list (or sheet in a spreadsheet) - this will become your "working list". Do not use the original sheet, which is going to become your "things taken care of so far" list. You'll need to refer to both at once sometimes as you plan!
Step 4: Staying Organized
Keep on top of the food list and any changes. The trick is to never panic at changes, just adapt the plan so that things still fit.
Step 5: Enjoying the event
If you stay on top of the details, things should fall into place fairly easily as the event approaches. If you get into the habit of not
letting changing details fluster you, you should be able to enjoy your company and the food when the time comes.