Brought To You By Emily Parks
Productivity Consultant at Organize For Success, LLC...
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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Tech Tools for Your Next Tailgate Party

Recently, I was invited by Geralin Thomas to "guest post" on the Metropolitan Organizing blog. Since tomorrow is the official kickoff for the NFL's regular season and high school / NCAA football continues this weekend, I wanted to share these helpful tips with you, the loyal readers of my Tips To Organize For Success blog... Enjoy!

As we inch towards fall, sportscasters everywhere fill reports with football updates… Who's the starting quarterback? Who's hurt from last night's game or practice? What's the coach's take on this year's schedule and how will the team perform? Meanwhile, there's an entirely different conversation happening in households across the country, and it all circles around pre-game festivities. It's the ultimate excuse to gather with friends for cornhole, crack open a couple cold beverages and fire up the grill. Whether you're an ACC fan waiting to see the Demon Deacons, Tar Heels, Wolfpack and Blue Devils take the field or you're an SEC fan excited about the prospects for this year's Gators, Bulldogs, Tigers and Crimson Tide, chances are good that there's tailgating in your future. If so, there are some tech tools that you might want to consider in making the process of planning your next tailgate party a little easier.

OurTailgate.com offers a free tool for ensuring the right amount of food, eliminating folks bringing duplicates and simplifying communications to all invitees. After creating an account, you choose whether your upcoming tailgate is a one-time or series event, assign a type (high school, college, professional, etc) as well as the associated sport and enter the event name, date, time and location. Then, you can manually enter your guest list or upload guests from a spreadsheet as an xls or csv file, sending an invitation to each email address added to the guest list. Create a sign-up sheet for who's responsible for which aspects of the event with the "Sign Up To Bring Items" link; finally, as the event nears, if there are necessary items for which no one has claimed responsibility, email a reminder to all invited guests… It's brilliant! Since the most important thing for a successful tailgate is getting everyone involved that is planning to attend, OurTailgate.com provides an ideal tool.

Making sure that all the vital elements are included is really essential to a successful tailgate. With that in mind, within its Family Matters section of checklists, ListPlanIt.com has quite a thorough list of what to bring.

Likewise, if you are an Android or iPhone user, consider downloading the Tailgate Fan app, which allows you to pull from a wide array of tasty recipes, share funny photos with friends and participate in contests to win awesome prizes. Android users can also shop Google Play for the Tailgating Planner app while iPhone users can find the Tailgating app in the Apple App Store, both of which lay out everything you may possible need so you don't forget any tailgating essentials.

On game day, step one is getting to your destination. iPhone's Stadium Finder app or Android's Football Stadiums app will let you type in the team you are going to see, and your smartphone will tell you where to go. Plus, each app offers seating charts to see exactly what kind of view you'll have once inside the stadium.

At the grill is where a tailgate party can be made or broken, but you don't have to be an expert to be successful. Whether using Android, iPhone or iPad, find new recipes and ideas with the Grill-It! app.

Upbeat tunes played in the background keep the party lively and energized. While you can always stick with the music downloaded to your smartphone, creating a "Tailgate Fun" playlist specifically for your tailgate parties, app options include TuneIn Radio Pro, Pandora and Spotify.

While you might be at your favorite team's game, you and those attending your shindig don't want to miss all the action across the league or your team's conference. Keep tabs on all the games happening at once with apps like ESPN ScoreCenter, NFL '13, Yahoo Sports and FOX Sports… You'll be the belle of the ball if you have such valuable details to share, all in the palm of your hand.

Above all else, though, I highly recommend that you "remember everything" by putting all your information in one place with Evernote. Since Evernote allows you to create a database of notes comprised of text, photos, audio blurbs, web clippings, checklists and tasks to be done, it's an excellent destination for things that pop into your head during the planning process, recipes you come across that you find tasty, decorations you see while out and about or tidbits you find in your online reading. Whatever you find useful for your next pre-game festivities can be compiled here, making the information accessible across all your devices whenever you need to act upon it.

With these tech tools and the involvement of everyone attending, your next tailgate party is guaranteed to be a huge success… Don't forget the ice, utensils, paper products and condiments, be sure to show your team spirit and have fun; hopefully, your favorite team will hold up their end of the bargain by winning and you'll have stellar weather. Regardless, here's to a great party!
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