Holiday Potluck Organizer Template by Grist

All around the world, there is a common thread that unites us all – food. That’s why we create our Potluck Organizer Template. Whether we gather with friends or family, new friends or old, sharing a meal is a beloved tradition. Our Potluck Planning Template is perfect for upcoming Thanksgiving menu planning or anytime you want to host a potluck! Designed for collaboration, this template takes the stress out of organizing. So you can focus on your loved ones instead of worrying about who is bringing what and whether you have enough vegan dishes for cousin Cheryl.

To me, food is the ultimate bridge. When we sit around the table, sharing good food and good drink, we are at our most human, our best selves.


Having hosted many potlucks over the years – this planning template is a game changer for me. While I generally have some solid ideas for my food-based gatherings, potlucks can be a pain to organize and manage. I don’t want to spend my time chasing after my guests to remind them who has a food allergy and what they agreed to bring. And keeping track of the many different emails, texts, and in-person commitments makes my head spin. But trying to manage this information in a regular spreadsheet gave me a headache.

We designed our Potluck Organizer Template for any of you who want to spend more time getting your home ready and preparing your contribution to the gathering and less time on micro-managing the menu AND the guests. This template is flexible and customizable – use it to organize your holiday potluck planning, manage the office potluck, neighborhood Festivus potluck, or anytime you are hosting an event with friends, family, or colleagues. The template’s collaborative nature results in a better experience for you! Having your guests manage their contributions and dietary restrictions, you can relax and enjoy the occasion!

Companion (n.)

from Late Latin companionem (nominative companio), literally “bread fellow, messmate,” from Latin com “with, together” (see com-) + panis “bread,” from PIE root *pa- “to feed.”

Why You’ll Love our Potluck Organizer Template

This planning template lets you focus on what matters, being a great host. Stop managing messy google sheets and excel docs that add more work and confusion to your event planning.


  • Dietary Concerns – keep track of your guests’ dietary needs including food allergies and sensitivities
  • Dashboards – get different views of your potluck menu and the contributions
  • The Essentials – mark certain dishes as essential and highlight those that don’t have volunteers yet
  • Collaborative – everyone can see and add dietary restrictions, see which essentials need volunteers, and add their own dishes to the potluck list

How to Use Grist’s Potluck Organizer Template

We built our meal planning template to be flexible, letting you choose your starting point and view. Whatever your preferred planning style. The document can be used on your own or you can share the Potluck Organizer template with your guests, letting them manage their own contributions and dietary concerns. Our Potluck Organizer Template is designed with a helpful built-in tutorial. Tour of this Document is located at the lower left of your workspace, access it at any time with just a click! 

Image shows a screen grab of Grist's built-in tutorial and tour of the Potluck Organizer Template
Use the built-in tutorial to get a tour of the template

Getting Started

If starting in Potluck List, you can begin by simply adding the names of your guests. If you’d love for them to bring their famous olive oil cake or those cookies from that bakery around the corner from their office, let them know by adding a comment in the Notes column, making it easy for them to decide what to contribute.

Image displays an example of using the Potluck Organizer Template's Potluck List view to enter the names of your guests and any notes you have for them.
Enter your guests in Potluck List and add any notes you’d like to share with them

In Dietary Restrictions, you or your guests can note any dietary concerns, food allergies, or food sensitives they may have. This information helps other guests to better plan their contributions by knowing if there is a guest with nut allergies or whether they should list ingredients to support those with food sensitivities.

Image shows how the Potluck Organizer Template allows guests to call out any food issues they may have. Use the Dietary Restrictions view to add any food sensitivities, allergies, or dietary preferences, such as vegan
Dietary Restrictions view allows document users to note any dietary restrictions or food allergies

Guests can enter their dishes directly into the Potluck List view. If they decide to bring a number of items, it is simple for them to add new rows for each contribution. If their dishes satisfy any requested dietary restrictions, they can note it in the Allergy/Dietary Considerations column.

Image that shows how guests can use the Potluck Organizer Template's Potluck List view to enter what items they plan to bring and note any dietary restrictions their match their contributions.
Guests can use the Potluck List to add items they are bringing and whether they satisfy requested dietary restrictions

With the ability to mark which contributions are essential for the gathering, The Spread view is excellent for the event host to get an immediate sense of anything that might be missing. If the template is shared, everyone can see any items not yet chosen and, if marked essential, which need a volunteer to bring. This toggle feature helps to ensure everything goes smoothly and there are no disappointing surprises come mealtime!

Image of The Potluck Organizer Template showing how it offers a birds-eye view of everything needed for the event in The Spread view. Here all attendees and the host can see who is bringing what, and whether there are any essential items still in need of a volunteer.
The Spread gives users a birds-eye view over the event and offers an alert if any essential items still need a volunteer to claim them


The template pulls guest information from Potluck List, auto-populating it into the “Who?” column in The Spread view. Do not edit the “Who?” column, as it contains a handy formula pulling names from The Potluck List!

With the Potluck Organizer template, you’ll never again find yourself asking, “Wait, who was supposed to bring the main course?!”

Everyone at Grist wishes you a happy holiday and hopes you love this new tasty addition to our template gallery. If you have any feedback on improvements or additions, please reach out!

In gratitude for your bread and salt,
I must preserve you from all danger.


Did You Know?

Bread and Salt are vital elements of various greeting ceremonies in nearly two dozen countries. They are a deeply revered show of respect and hospitality in several Middle Eastern cultures. In the Persian culture, it is said that if you share a meal and break bread together – enemies are made friends, strangers are made family, and you are forever bonded.

Other dinner party and event planning templates that our users love:

Task Management – keep track of event logistics and task management of multiple individuals
Grocery List & Meal Planner – create menus and make a grocery list
Covey Time Management Tracker – great to define specific tasks and filter them by priority

A Powerful Novel Planning Template by Grist

Every writer has their own unique process – but for most, that process involves some level of planning. In response to Grist user requests, we are excited to release our new Novel Planning Template, just in time for this year’s NaNoWriMo. 50,000 words in 30 days never seemed more achievable!

The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.

Agatha Christie

Planning looks different for everyone. Some writers might not consider their method to be planning because it is “only” a series of high-level bullet points or short notes on post-its. Whether your method utilizes post-its, mind maps, or spreadsheets, they are all a form of planning.

We designed our Novel Planning Template for writers who want to go broad and deep in their planning. You may be participating in a writing challenge such as NaNoWriMo or the 3-Day Novel or writing independently. Regardless of why you are writing, our Novel Planning Template will help provide you with the clarity you need, enabling you to envision your story before you start writing that first draft.

Why Writers Love our Novel Planning Template

We designed it with features to help you stay focused on your end goal without getting sidetracked by messy, hard-to-understand spreadsheets!


  • Word Count – keep track of your total progress or drill down to the chapter and scene!
  • Dashboards – get different views of your novel structure
  • Status – stay focused on the areas that need your attention by defining what stage of completion the scene is in, from draft to final.
  • Customizable – you can make changes to the template to better match your needs.

How to Use Grist’s Novel Planning Template

We built our writing template to be flexible, letting you choose your starting point – characters, scenes, or chapters. Whatever works for your writing workflow. And if you are confused, our Novel Planning Template is designed with a helpful built-in tutorial. Located at the lower left of your workspace, access it at any time with just a click!

Getting Started

Each section works in unison with the others. If starting in Scenes, you can begin with as little as some thoughts in the notes area and a character. When you type in the character name, it auto-populates to the Character section, where you can flesh out that character, its archetype, story arc, and more. Any new characters you add to the Character section will auto-populate into a drop-down that you can use when adding characters to the Scenes section.

Use the novel planning template to track characters in scenes.
Keep track of which characters are in which scenes.

The Chapters page automatically calculates word counts at the chapter and novel level. Assign a number to your chapters, and a title if you wish. Clicking on a chapter brings up its scenes on the right.

Keep track of your chapter word counts at a glance.
The novel planning template automatically sums word counts for the chapter and novel based on scene word counts.

Once you start defining your scenes and the order in which these scenes take place within your chapters, the Outline View section comes to life and becomes your best friend. The Outline page of our Novel Planning Template gives you the power to step back and get a bird’s eye view. Here you can visualize any flow and pacing issues and uncover any plot holes before they become a problem. Using the Outline as a guide, you can resolve these issues by returning to your Scenes or Chapters to re-sort or add more detail. And our Research and Notes section lets you add details you want to remember later. The Novel Planning Template simplifies the planning process so you can focus more of your time where it is needed – writing the book!

Outline view gives you the full picture of your novel.
Outline view lists scenes in the right order.

We hope you love this new addition to our template gallery. If you have any feedback on improvements or additions, please reach out!

You can fail only if you stop writing

Ray Bradbury

Other writing templates that our users love