How to not get bogged down in volunteer limbo this year

School Meetings Can Be Easy, Breezy When Managed With The Right Tools
Doesn't look like the third circle of hell, does it? School meetings can be easy, breezy when managed with the right tools

Do your part, let volunteer jobs run themselves and still Rock the Class Coffee

Shut my mouth.

No really, shut my mouth. Now. Before I volunteer for things at Back to School Night that I don’t have the time or energy for. 

Because already, my calendar is filled: cheerleading practice, fall softball, play rehearsal, the twice-daily round trip drive to school, movie dates with new friends, mall dates with old friends, football games, and that’s just the stuff that’s already on the calendar. And oh, yeah, there’s work, too. 

The Mobile Office

The mobile office: my car, my laptop, my hotspot and my latte and I’m ready to get it all done

Before I volunteer for anything (fund raising, class coffee, parent cocktail parties, homecoming, after school concessions and the biggie, the annual parent party), I need a strategy and I need good tools.

So after some thinking about it, I’ve come up with two tools that will make my time more efficient: my “mobile office,” a laptop and a wifi hotspot so I can sit in my car and work while kids are at their practices, and an account on Volunteer Spot (disclosure: I have been asked to write this post on behalf of Volunteer Spot, but I didn’t need to be prompted to sign up and take advantage of this great site). Volunteer Spot lets me round up volunteers, assign jobs and get things done, all while making me look like I’m working way harder than I am 

Kids On A Field Trip

This magic doesn’t happen all by itself, after all: volunteers are often key to creating great experiences for our kids

So when I hit the class coffees next week and listen to what the various committees want to accomplish, and fall in love and want to do everything, I can pick a job or two, plan it out and be done. The system lets me delegate jobs and then picks up a lot of the slack for me, including sending out reminder emails. How about that: The end of the endless reply-all chain email.

I can also make sign up sheets that everyone can access without a log-in or password, plan the project, show up and let everyone else do the hard work (hehehe…), and I can put it all on my iPad and pass it around at the meeting. YAY. 

And, then when I’m done and basking in the glory of a job done oh-so-well, I’ll be off to girls night out at the local wine bar while my kids are home with a sitter, thanks to the certificate I’ll win when I enter Volunteer Spot’s ‘Back to Cool’ Sweepstakes, and, drats, if I win the After School Celebration or the Kiwi Crate party pack, well, I’ll just have to enjoy the glory a little bit longer and plan my own little celebration, perhaps a fun night out in New York City or a weekend in Miami Beach. Think I can get any volunteers to join me me?

Helping Our Kids (And Neighbors And Friends And Communities) By Helping Ourselves To This Free And Fabulous Organizational Tool

Helping our kids (and neighbors and friends and communities) by helping ourselves to this free and fabulous organizational tool. And to make it all just a bit sweeter, enter to win prizes that will make the start of school all the easier

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss