Planning & Budget

Stress less with this Friendsgiving to-do checklist

Apple pie being served.

You’ll want to spend time with your besties at a Friendsgiving dinner, not hunkering down in the kitchen. Follow this countdown checklist so you’re free to join what’s sure to be a fun and heartfelt celebration.

Three weeks ahead

Invite friends. Decide on a date: If you’re holding yours on Thanksgiving, the date’s obvious, but if it’s a prequel to the familial version, the weekend before Thanksgiving may be a good bet. A potluck makes it more manageable at a busy time of year; just remember to let guests know to bring a dish. If your friends have kids, be sure also to indicate on your Evite invitation whether children are invited.

Plan the menu. Guests like to put their best culinary foot forward for potlucks, so if you’re going that route, make it easier for them to find the perfect contribution by including a "What to Bring" list right on your Evite invitation. Finally, ask that food be table-ready or nearly, as guests may bring items that need kitchen space or gadgets to prepare—both likely to be in short supply!

Order your bird. If you’re making turkey and have a particular type in mind—kosher, heritage, local or organic—reserve yours in advance. And don’t forget you’ll need a big-enough roasting pan if it’s your first time cooking turkey!

Two weeks ahead

Plan decor. If you’re using a tablecloth and cloth napkins, make sure they’re clean and/or ironed. Figure out your table decor, such as mini pumpkins or flowers. Buy any nonperishable decorations now.

Ensure you have the serveware you need. Decide what dishes will go in what bowls, platters, etc. If you want cake stands to display pies, a cheese plate, and/or a large platter for the turkey, buy or make arrangements to borrow them now.

Consider seating. Will you need extra tables and chairs? Or will you be using trays? Rent, buy or borrow what you will need as necessary.

Set out glassware, plates and cutlery. Unless you have enough tableware for a crowd, consider borrowing, buying or even using disposables, depending on how formal your gathering is. You’ll get eco points for using one of the many new options made from recycled bamboo or fallen palm leaves. Think about special drinks you may be serving as well, like hard cider and hot toddies, and whether you have enough glasses or mugs.

If you’re assigning seating, make place cards and plan your seating chart. Traditionally, couples are split up and the seating is boy/girl/boy/girl. Beyond those guidelines, consider which friends would enjoy each other’s company and plan accordingly. Finally, witty place cards make the mood more festive.

Prepare party activities. If you’re watching a holiday TV show or movie, have a copy on hand or know how to get it on demand in a hurry.

Look for recipes. Never made a turkey—or whatever else you’re serving—before? Browse recipes and finalize your selections.

One week ahead

Compose the score. Compile, or ask a musically astute friend to compile, a fun food-and-friends themed playlist for pre- and after-dinner fun. During the meal, aim for quieter background tunes—jazz is the gold standard.

Purchase most food and drinks. A list is essential here: You’ll likely need specialty items for the day, like spices for a turkey rub or other extras for drinks and appetizer garnishes. Pick up basics like eggs and flour too. This is the time to buy drinks as well, including wine, beer and cider. Don’t forget nonalcoholic beverages for those who abstain, and think about what you’ll be serving with dessert too—coffee, tea, liqueur?

Gather serving utensils. This much food calls for an assortment of serving spoons, forks and tongs. You might remind friends to bring these along with their potluck contribution, but do wash and return them to their rightful owner before the end of the evening.

Call non-RSVP guests. Your best friend from high school may have overlooked her Evite invitation.

Test your electronics. Make sure your camera and video items are working and have plenty of storage.

Make dishes you can freeze. If you’re doing more than (or something other than) turkey, make casseroles and/or desserts ahead and freeze them.

Clean out the fridge. Start using up whatever you’ve got in your refrigerator to make room for food storage for the big meal.

The day before

Purchase perishable food. Now’s the time to pick up any fresh vegetables, fruits, meats and/or seafood you’ll be making.

Check bathrooms. Make sure you’re well stocked with soap, towels and toilet paper too.

Order, pick up or cut flowers. You’ll want these to be as fresh as possible.

Day of

Start your turkey. If you’re using the slow-cook method, put your bird in the oven first thing in the morning, especially if you’ve scheduled the feast for earlier in the day. Don’t forget the stuffing, especially if you’re cooking it in the turkey.

Pre-prep food. Make as many offerings as you can in advance, ready to be re-heated or taken out of the fridge a few minutes before mealtime.

Stick food and drinks in the fridge. Defrost frozen eats and chill drinks.

Set your table. Set aside a couple of extra settings and seats for friends who unexpectedly bring plus-ones.

Consider keeping the pets in another area. Do you have a pet who can be less than the life of a party—or a friend who’s allergic to or scared of dogs? With so many people and so much food on hand, you may want to put your pooch in a separate room or outside for the duration of the event.

Set up drink stations. To encourage guests to mingle pre-dinner, set drink stations at strategic locations—one for wine, cider and beer, with appropriate glasses at hand; and one for nonalcoholic beverages, with an ice bucket and tongs.

Afterward, give thanks for a great gathering with some of your favorite people!

No items found.

No items found.

No items found.

No items found.

No items found.

No items found.

No items found.

All of the products we feature are hand-selected by our editors! You see only what we love and what we think you'll love too. If you buy something through links on our site, Evite may earn a commission. Prices are subject to change.

No items found.

No items found.

What makes Evite Signup Sheets different from Signup Genius?

Developed hand-in-hand with community organizers, PTA presidents, parents, and teachers, Evite's sign-up sheets are designed to make organizing volunteers a breeze. Here are a few ways Signup Sheets are different than Signup Genius:

  • 100% Free: Signup sheets are free to use
  • Ad-Free: No popup ads ever! Our sign-up sheets remain clutter-free, keeping your volunteers focused on signing up.
  • No Extra Login Required: Seamlessly use your Evite account to create and manage sign-up sheets, keeping all your events in one convenient location.
  • Automatic Reminders and Notifications: Stay on top of your event with automated reminders and notifications for you and your participants. Perfect for busy parents, teachers, and anyone juggling multiple commitments.
  • Customization Options: Tailor sign-up sheets to your specific event, whether it's a school fundraiser, potluck, volunteer opportunity, or team activity. Add custom tasks, time slots, and requirements for smooth coordination.
  • User-Friendly Experience: Our intuitive interface makes creating and sharing sign-up sheets simple for everyone, regardless of tech experience.
  • Real-Time Updates: Get instant notifications whenever someone signs up or makes a change, so you always know where things stand.

Choose Evite Signup Sheets for the easiest, most streamlined way to get volunteers and signups for your next event!

What is a signup sheet?

Signup sheets are the perfect way to streamline scheduling, volunteer recruitment, class parties, snack duty, potluck organization, parent-teacher conferences and more! You can think of them as your digital assistant for coordinating events and tasks and ensuring that your event is a success.

Evite SignUp Sheets offers parents, teachers and event planners customizable online forms that organizers and volunteers can access and update effortlessly. Volunteers can choose their preferred time slots, sign up for tasks or indicate what they'll bring to the event. It only takes organizers a few minutes to create a signup sheet and send it out with a shareable link, so they can get the word out via text, email or social media—whichever way they prefer! 

Long story short, signup sheets save everyone involved tons of time, avoid scheduling headaches and ensure everything runs smoothly before and during the event.

How do I create a signup sheet?

Creating a signup sheet has never been easier than with Evite! Here’s how to create a sheet that’s sure to make your event an absolute success:

  1. Go to Evite SignUp Sheets and choose the template that best fits your needs. Evite offers multiple signup sheet templates perfect for every occasion, including:some text
    • Signup sheets for standalone events (without different time slots), perfect for when you’re organizing a class party, potluck or end-of-season party.
    • Signup sheets for recurring or multi-day events (without different time slots), perfect for when you’re organizing a meal train, post-game snack duty or during appreciation week.
    • Signup sheets for single or multiple day events (with time slots), perfect for when you’re organizing concession stand volunteers, fundraisers and parent-teacher conferences.
  1. After selecting your sheet template, create a title for your signup sheet and add the date, the location, the time (if applicable), who the organizer is, the organizer’s phone number or email and an optional note describing the event to your volunteers. You can also change your signup sheet background and title image if you wish!
  1. Next, create slots for your signup sheet. If you aren’t logged into your account, you will need to do so at this point, but luckily, you can use your existing Evite account (no need to create yet another login!). What you’ll include here will depend on what your event needs, but you can include a list of what’s needed (along with optional descriptions), how many volunteers are needed, and dates and times.
  1. After creating your slots, you can then add a wish list from any retailer or include supply suggestions from Evite’s retailer partners. These are to help your volunteers find and purchase supplies quickly and easily.
  1. Finally, review your sheet, copy your shareable link and send it out to everyone on your list! Every time a volunteer signs up for a slot on your signup sheet, Evite will email you. We will also send reminders to you and your volunteers before your event so no one will forget about it, and we’ll even let volunteers know if you remove their slot or cancel your event sheet so you don’t have to!

What information should be included on a signup sheet?

When it comes to signup sheet information, there are some essentials to include regardless of what you’re organizing:

  1. A title for your signup sheet. Tip: Aim to keep your signup sheet title concise but clear. You want volunteers to read it and have a general understanding of what your event is about, and also make it easy for them to look for later if they need to reference your sheet again. You have the option to include a more descriptive note in a different field about your event, so save the more in-depth details for that!
  1. When and where the event is taking place. 
  1. The organizer’s name and phone number.
  1. Slots for volunteers to choose from. Once you choose the SignUp Sheets template that fits the occasion, the slots you’ll need for your sheet will be right there and ready for you to add the relevant info, such as dates, times, items to bring and tasks to complete. 

When adding your slot information, clearly define what people are signing up for, especially for a what-to-bring list or role assignments. If you want someone to bring healthy snacks for kids to enjoy after a game, specify that. You want your volunteers to feel confident in what they’re bringing and to make it easy for them to know what’s expected of them. It will save them time and stress (and you, too!). That being said, if you make your ask too specific (for example, asking for a hard-to-source item or something expensive), you may not end up with a volunteer for it. So be clear about what you expect, but also be reasonable!

Aside from providing the basic signup information, you can also add optional descriptions to both your entire signup sheet and individual slots. While not required, they can help guide your volunteers further and provide more information. You can add information about allergies, preferences and general info about the event. You can also add a wish list to make it easier for your volunteers to bring exactly what you need!

What are the benefits of using a signup sheet template?

Signup sheet templates offer a ton of advantages for both organizers and volunteers and with Evite SignUp Sheets, you'll enjoy even more benefits than other digital and paper signup sheets! Some benefits our signup sheet templates offer include:

  • A 100% free experience (no subscriptions required!).
  • Shareable links for quick and easy sharing.
  • No need to create another login—you can use your existing Evite account.
  • The option to add a wish list to help your volunteers out.
  • Automatic reminders—we’ll remind everyone on your behalf.
  • An easy-to-use experience with eye-catching guided templates.
  • Clean, modern designs with no pop-up ads.

With Evite SignUp Sheets, you can enjoy organizing and coordinating all your events with ease. Signup sheets streamline the signup process for everyone involved, ensuring that everything will go to plan on the day of your event while saving you precious time in the process.

View More Articles

View All