It’s happened again folks. I’ve found yet another way Trello makes my life easier.

It’s Christmas shopping! We do it every year (some of us sooner than others), and sometimes it’s enjoyable. But sometimes it’s a stressful mess.

As a general rule, I try to have all my Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving, which is often when most people just get started. The pressure of having just 3 weeks to pick out perfect gifts for all my people makes me feel rushed, and I’d rather put thought into my gifts instead of just picking up something that’s on sale at Black Friday. (Don’t get me wrong – i love that, too.)

I used to manage most of my Christmas shopping in a spreadsheet and that’s worked fine, but this time I decided to try Trello in the hope that it would be easier to keep track of links and ideas. And sure enough… it has been INCREDIBLY HELPFUL. Game changing. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to spreadsheet Christmas shopping again.

Here’s why I use Trello for my Christmas Shopping list:

1) Same place I keep everything else… the rest of my life is in Trello so why not keep this here, too?

2) Easy way to at a glance see who I have and haven’t bought for, and also an easy way to track how much I’m spending.

3) Easy to use and update – I can just update straight from my phone while I’m out shopping, or on my computer if I’m shopping online.

Here’s HOW I use Trello for my Christmas Shopping list:

Here’s a link to a live example of the board. Feel free to copy and make your own!

Here’s my flow… very Scrum-like. The lists are "To Buy", "Partially Bought", and "Bought". Often times I get people multiple small things instead of just one big thing… and when that’s the case, this helps me keep track of people I’ve started shopping for but haven’t finished, and also people that I’ve completed all of my shopping for. With just a glance I can easily see who I’ve bought for and who I still need to buy for.

Advanced: I am thinking about adding in a work stage for "delivery", aka figuring out when I would give that person their gift and moving over to a new stage once that gift has actually been delivered. In fact,
I might even be incorporating the Trello package tracker power up!

Here’s an example of a card i would use. Each person I am shopping for gets a card. Card name = their name. In the description I add any present ideas or links. Once I’ve bought something, I include the link in there and move them to "Partially Bought" or "Bought".

Advanced: I’m also using Trello to keep track of how much I spend on holiday shopping. With the plugin "Scum for Trello", I can add up any numbers in the card title that are in [] or (). So when I purchase something, I just put the price of the gift in the bracket. (And if I purchase something else, I just update the number in the bracket to include the total I’ve spent.)

christmas shopping with Trello

You can use labels for a variety of things… currently I’m using it for reminders about if I’ve bought something and need to buy more (although I admit, it’s a bit redundant because that’s the point of the "Partially Bought" list). At the moment, there’s nothing else I’ve needed labels for, but I could see people using them to indicate various aspects like maybe a place or time you’re planning to purchase (on Black Friday shopping trip, or maybe you’ve got other shopping trips planned, etc.)

manage your Christmas shopping with Trello

I added another list to my board where I just add random things I come across that might be good gifts for someone, but I don’t know who. It’s helpful when I don’t know what to get someone, I can just scan that "Random" list and see if anything might be a good fit.

how to christmas shop with trello

My last list is my own personal wishlist. Even as a 25 year old, I still have people who ask me what I want for Christmas, and I’m always like "I have no idea!" So I started this board about a month ago and have been adding things to that list as I think about "oh man I need one of those!" or "that would be cool to have!". This way if/when people do ask what I want, I’m prepared.

So how about you?

I can’t be the only one using Trello to manage my Christmas shopping, because there’s a post on the Trello blog all about Holiday Shopping with Trello. How do you manage your Christmas shopping, and do you think Trello could help you out? Let us know in the comments!

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Brittany Joiner

Founder of Project 1440! Just a 25 year old who wants to do the right things and do them well. When I'm not studying productivity, you'll probably find me watching Shark Tank with my husband, doing my CrossFit workout, traveling the world, or reading a non-fiction book.

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