7 Ways to Automate Thanksgiving Dinner

It’s not just the tryptophan-laden turkey that makes Thanksgiving an exhausting holiday. Tons of effort goes into shopping, cooking, cleaning and maintaining family traditions. Since I know how much Laserfiche users love making tasks faster and easier, I came up with seven ways to automate Thanksgiving using Laserfiche Forms, Laserfiche Quick Fields, Laserfiche Workflow and Laserfiche Mobile.

1. Use Laserfiche Forms to Organize a Potluck

If you’re planning on distributing cooking tasks amongst family members, you’re already on the right track. But a potluck Thanksgiving still needs a leader or you’ll end up with four slightly different green bean casseroles and no cranberry sauce.

Sending out a form to your Thanksgiving invite list will keep things organized from the get-go. You can establish the number of guests, dietary restrictions and potential seating conflicts with a simple form designed in Laserfiche Forms:

2. Keep Recipes in a Repository

Last year, your vegetarian niece couldn’t stop raving about your meatless gravy. Problem is, you wrote the recipe down on a notepad and haven’t seen it since.

Use Laserfiche Quick Fields to import your many recipes into Laserfiche. This can be handy for solo cooks, but is especially wondrous in the potluck scenario when you need to assign dishes. Just make a “cook” field in the metadata, select a cook for each recipe and Laserfiche Workflow will automatically email everyone a link to the appropriate recipe.

3. Use Laserfiche Workflow to Assign Tasks to Guests

Again, assigning recipes via Laserfiche Workflow is particularly ingenious. But maybe you don’t trust your relatives to deliver tasty, or even edible, Thanksgiving dishes. You can still use Laserfiche Workflow to assign other responsibilities like shopping or cleaning. Associate a deadline with each task, especially the shopping tasks, to make sure dinner goes off without a hitch. And while you’re at it . . .

4. Assign Different Security Levels to Guests

“I put your treats in the salad and called them ‘croutons’—fools!”

I have a relative who loves to sneak weird preserves into every dish. I’m talking “mint lemongrass cabbage jelly” weird. Make it clear that the dishes you assign cannot and should not be altered by restricting family members’ access rights in Laserfiche.

Give guests read-only access to documents and limit metadata viewing and editing privileges. And, of course, make sure you are set up to receive email notifications in case any edits are made in Laserfiche.

5. Use Laserfiche Mobile to Access Recipes while Shopping

Since you have all your recipes neatly filed in Laserfiche, you might as well access them from the grocery store. Then again, you don’t want to waste time scrolling through every recipe, separating the ingredients you need to buy from the ones you already have.

To best prepare for your shopping trip, your repository should have two folders, one for recipes and another for your shopping list. As you shop, you can check off the ingredients in the shopping list folder’s metadata.

6. GeoTag Stores for Future Thanksgivings

How could you forget the time you tasted tasteless cake?

Maybe there’s only one store within 50 miles that sells gluten-free stuffing mix and—whoops—you forgot which store it is.

Foolproof future Thanksgiving shopping trips by GeoTagging your grocery stores. At the same time that you import a receipt via Laserfiche Mobile, you can automatically apply a GeoTag corresponding to the store location. Now you’ll always remember where you found low sodium, organic, free range duck stock.

7. Scan Shopping Receipts into Laserfiche

Feeding a 10-course meal to your extended family isn’t easy or cheap. If you want to track your expenses and plan a Thanksgiving budget, you can use your iPhone or iPad to take quick photos of your receipts with Laserfiche Mobile and have them imported into the repository before you even leave the store. Laserfiche Quick Fields can then extract the prices from the receipts so Laserfiche Workflow can tally all your Thanksgiving expenses for the year.

Enjoy the holidays, and happy automating!