Organizing Your Swaps
Ok — you started to swap and then you find yourself addicted. First read the Article “Resolving Overcommitments” (could this be you?) and then pace yourself. No matter what you want to do, you may not actually have time to do it but here are some tips to help you out and get organized. Remember, there are many hostesses out there and themes are repeated from time to time, miss out on this one, but another comes along. A good idea is to create the work and wait (helping you organize yourself for the next time) or use them as RAKs.
1. Print out the swap details when you see them. Add the hostesses name and email to your details. When you get a confirmation, put down her address on the same sheet. You may want to go to USPS and get the zip+4 code. Add any email contact dates of importance to your page. Put the date you mailed out on this as well as the postage expense. When you receive the return, jot that down too.
Email yourself the details. Keep your swap info email in a folder in your email account or on your puter’s word program. You need a hardcopy in case your puter crashes.
2. Put these hard copy sheets . . . your choice here
A. into a 3 ring binder and organize your pages into interest, doing, what has been sent.
B. A 2 pocket folder.
In the two pocket folder you can have oneside for swaps to do, the other for swaps completed. Put them in order of dates due, the soonest due first. Keep in a special place.
C. Use a clipboard system. One clipboard for swaps to do, and one for swaps completed. These can be hung up in a conspicuous place.
Add this information into an appointment calendar you look at often so you can see this and keep your commitment. Jot down a reminder a couple of weeks in advance and highlight it in a special highlight color. keep consistant with your highlighting to remind you a swap is due. Your swap should be mailed out at least a week in advance of the due date to make sure it gets there on time. Check it off in your book when that is done so you don’t forget to remember what you may forget if you did not remind yourself. Get it? (or get Ginkoba for improved memory)
If you decide to drop out, let the hostess know as soon as possible. Write cancelled on your swap detail sheet. You can save it for reference or toss it in the recycle bin.
Some people use just a chart with brief information: theme, hostess/email, how many, due date, these are the pros of swapping, they have it all together and are organized. (Must be first borns, LOL.)
Some people use post it notes all over their puter to remind them of everything including swaps. Best if you use a certain post it note color for swap due dates only.
If all these fail to get you organized, you will just have to create a large note with information on it, and hang it on the fridge eye level with a warning of “no ice cream, snacks or chocolates until you complete your swaps”. This may do it for you if you are a snackoholic.
Note to hostesses about puter crashes: You too should have a hardcopy of your swappers at hand in case you lose participants emails. This is where a free email account comes in handy. You can store this and or operate your swap from this one box. Hotmail (not promoting) has the easiest copy and paste in the box for group email systems. Other systems require you have every one in your address book before you add them to a group email. If your puter does crash, and you do have access to another puter, you can access this information which would only be lost with an accidental unintentional delete.
I also use this hardcopy of email address (as a list) with names next to them as a tool. I put down when it was mailed, and received.
If you have a GMail account, use the Google Document feature to store your swap information.