After I've taken out the trash, wiped down the counters, and washed the dishes after one of my parties, I like to take a moment to sit back and reflect on everything. Was there enough food? Not enough food? Did the wine pair well with the meal? Did the guests enjoy what I prepared? Did my surprise activities go as planned? Would I consider the party a success? These are all questions I ask myself after hosting an event. If I found out a friend has an allergic reaction to shrimp at my seafood extravaganza dinner, I'll make a note in my hostess diary to remind me not to make shrimp the next time said guest returns to dine at my house. If I receive a bottle of wine as a gift and we throughly enjoyed it during the meal, I'll write down the vintage and make of the label for future use.
Also, if you took the time to create a party plan, save these notes in a manila folder or special diary. Trust me, if you threw an awesome Valentine's Day fiesta last year, referring back to your plan and after party notes will only make this year's party that much better. It's a good idea to discuss the flow of the party with your partner or friends a few days later because they can offer you important tips and interesting insights that you may have overlooked. So remember, following your upcoming soirée, make it a point to reflect on all that happened at your party, good and the bad.
Having a special little book that you specifically use for making after party notes is a great way to motivate yourself to reflect. You can get the above diary (which I have!) at Shop Intuition for $16.95. Aspinal calls their hostess diary, the dinner party book, and comes in an assortment of colors including my personal favorite pink. A simple red leather hostess book is available at Amazon UK and a who ate what when mini hostess book can be found at William and Son for £68 (about $130).