Why spend hundreds of dollars on an event planner when you can use Google for free?
Seriously. You’re going to be doing most of the legwork anyway if you’re planning a party. Why send out precious invitations printed on smooth matte cardstock paper when you can just give friends a heads-up through email? It’s less expensive, and much cooler to anyone with a laptop or iPhone.
So let’s see how Google can save you a lot of money on your next event.
Whether choosing to hire or fire an event planner, certain research still needs to be done in order to prepare party invitations.
How many of your friends’ addresses do you keep stored in your memory? Probably not many. However, calling friends up on a cellphone is as easy as pressing a few buttons. Why not find their addresses just as easily? Just type their phone numbers into the Google search box (only numbers, without hyphens), and receive their addresses as search results. Then, start mailing out your party invitations.
Once you locate an address through a Google search, you can save it just as easily by bringing Google Notebook into play. This app can be accessed through your Google account, and the cool thing is that you can download a mini-notebook that can be drawn up at will from the bottom corner of your screen. Just open it up (without leaving your search page), highlight the address you’ll be saving, press “clip” in Google Notebook, and ta-da! The info is saved.
Plus, you can even search your notebooks just as you would Google itself, to find any clips that you might misplace.
Google Street View
Just type in your own address on Google Maps, and press the “street view” option included in the bubble containing your address.
What you’ll find is a photo-realistic, interactive map that will give your friends a perfect idea of how to get to your house. If you choose to send a snailmail invitation, you can use the Street View pic of your residence as a reference; however, if you send your invites out via the internet, you can give your friends a Street View pic that they can manipulate with their mouse.
While in the process of party-planning, you’ll probably get distracted quite often. As soon as you begin to discover interesting sites on the internet, you’ve got to go to work or to run an errand.
Don’t worry. Google’s Bookmark tool will allow you to save whole sites for future reference. In order to keep your thoughts organized, you can comment on the sites & even add tags to them.
Of course, your bookmarks are searchable.
Every event planner needs a calendar, and Google’s got you covered. Google Calendar is easy to manipulate: you can plan far into the future, to the very hour of the day in question.
You can even share your calendar with others, and when your friends agree to be at your event they’ll receive confirmation email reminders in Gmail.
Once you’ve planned your party and you’re ready to send the invites, you can do it via Gmail by including a link in your letter to a customized Google Site.
This recent app lets you build your own free web pages. Save your friends the trouble of having to open up attachments in their mail, and simply upload all of your photos, info, & links to your Google site. Then, send out a carbon copy email to everyone on your invite list, giving them a direct link to the webpage.
Is Google The Best There Is?
All of the services described above can be accessed by logging into Google & entering “My Account”. Let us know if you’re a fan of Google’s services. If not, are there other services that you recommend over Google’s?
A lot of companies seem to be using Google’s apps as a model, and some are creating software that is even more functional than what Google has to offer.
Feel free to comment about any other apps that are worth looking into.