Xfinity Discovery Hub

December 20, 2018

The Best Ways to Plan and Stay Organized this Holiday Season Using Your Phone

woman with presents and phone

Unfortunately, all too often the holidays mean stress, when they should be a time to celebrate and enjoy the company of family and friends. With a little help from your smartphone, you can take the stress out of planning the perfect holiday. These holiday tips will show you how to stay on top of your gift list, order and arrange meals, and make sure everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday — all from your phone.

It’s all about organization

Most people struggle with stress during the holidays; not because there’s too much to do, but because they feel like they must do it all at once. All it takes is a bit of organization to help manage that feeling of being overwhelmed by holiday tasks. These apps can help:

  • Wunderlist (available for both iPhones and Android phones) allows you to create to-do lists so you can keep everything in one place. Create task lists to share with your family so you can easily delegate tasks and see what’s already been done, or use it as a Christmas list organizer for everyone you need to shop for. You can even create individual lists of gift ideas to share with different groups – for instance, a gift list for Dad shared with everyone besides him.
  • Trello is another collaborative task app. While it might require a bit more setup, it also has a web-based platform, so you can access it from your computer as well as your phone.

Gift lists

Before you can go holiday shopping, you need to know what everyone on your list wants. The Amazon app includes a wish list feature, so anyone can create a list of items they’d like to receive, then share it with others via a link. Items on the list can then be purchased with a simple click and addressed to the recipient automatically. Amazon even lets you add ideas, such as “cute wool socks,” for the giver who wants to buy a personalized gift but still needs inspiration.

There are many other gift-specific apps that can help you organize and share your wishes with the family (and theirs with you). Apps like Giftster let users create their own shopping lists or buy gifts for other users from the lists they’ve made.

Meal planning

Popular recipe websites like Epicurious and AllRecipes have apps that let you select and save recipes and automatically generate shopping lists. Keep track of all the dishes you plan to make all in one place and generate a shopping and recipe list for each one, so you can get everything you need with just one trip to the grocery store.

Meal ordering

Not everyone has the time or inclination to cook, and food delivery apps can free you up to do other tasks before the big day. Apps like BiteSquad make it easy to quickly order a meal, so you can keep wrapping and decorating until your food arrives.

Pre-made meal options are available to order Christmas dinner online, too. For example, Whole Foods has everything from party platters to complete holiday meals for a variety of celebrations that can be ordered online and picked up at the store — many other large grocery stores offer this service, too.

Finally, Send a Meal offers a variety of meals for delivery. Search by ingredients or select meals prepared for special diets. Each dish arrives with instructions for defrosting, heating, and cooking. All you need to do is turn on the oven or microwave.

While these apps are great for the holidays, they’re useful all year round. Whatever app you choose, getting organized and sharing the work is the key to a happy, healthy, low-stress holiday!