A better party planner

March 12, 2007

Evite logoI’ve been dissatisfied for quite a while with Evite. Its look is cluttered by ads, and it seems that every other page is a big advertisement for other Evite services. Plus, how it interacts with the user is so 1990’s. There are no cool AJAX, JAVA, or Flash features (which many newer web services use nowadays, involving cool graphics, being able to make changes on the same page, auto-updating of new information, etc.). But I like the fact that party guests don’t have to sign up to use Evite — instead, they only need to click on the link given in party invitation emails to view and respond to the invitation. However, I wanted something better than Evite.

Punchbowl logoAnd then I discovered MyPunchBowl. It has a clean interface, signing up is easy (and actually not necessary for guests), and its pages look crisp and tidy. MyPunchBowl is full of cool AJAX gimmicks like being able to edit comments or details inside the page without having to view a new page each time. The webpage with invitation details can be somewhat customized by adding a photo or changing the background color. The user can also customize what is being said inside invitation emails before sending them to guests.

Other MyPunchBowl features include finding party stores near you, and the post-party pooling / sharing of photos. I especially like the photo-sharing feature — how often have we told each other, “Oh, I’ll send you this photo!” during the party — and never followed up? MyPunchBowl (via Plaxo) also allows you to import your address book from several possible sources, including Yahoo, AOL, Gmail, Hotmail, Plaxo, or your Outlook program. I’m not too crazy about allowing other web services access to your address book. However, if you have a LOT of people to invite, this could be useful. In addition, MyPunchBowl gives you the option of displaying your guest list or not to other people.

The only downside I can think of is that MyPunchBowl does not have as many features as Evite, like adding background images or asking for the number of people the guest plans to bring. (I especially like Evite’s “how many are you bringing” feature, and will sorely miss that one.) MyPunchBowl is still new, though — it was launched just several months ago — and so I expect more features to be added over time.

Renkoo logoThere’re a few more party-planning choices: Renkoo and Skobee. (Socializr is still in private testing, Skobee logoand I haven’t been able to test it out yet. If you know of more sites, leave a comment and I’ll check it out.) Both Renkoo and Skobee seem to be more targeted toward the “let’s hang out crowd,” and I didn’t find their event-planning features to be as easy or intuitive as MyPunchBowl.  [Update 3/21/07: someone in the comments referred to a GigaOM blog post saying that Skobee’s on its way out.  Let’s wait and see what happens with this one.]

Planypus logo[Update 3/14/07: thanks to comments, I’ve also checked out Triphub and Planyp.us. TripHub is geared toward planning a trip together, and I like how it looks. I’m going to use it for an upcoming beach vacation! Planyp.us looks cool, and I like its features — especially the “how many additional guests” that people are / can bring. TripHubIts name is dang hard to spell, though — if you use it, better bookmark it! It’s geared toward planning parties together — which is good for “parties by committee” (i.e., bridal showers!). I’m honored that people high up in Triphub and Planyp.us read my blog and left these comments — thanks. Others — keep the suggestions coming!]


16 Responses to “A better party planner”

  1. John Pope Says:

    Hi Proudgeek. We’ve got a related site for you to check out. TripHub (www.triphub.com) is a group travel planning site. Like the other sites you mention, we’ve got invite and RSVP management but we’ve added blogs, an event schedule, collaborative hotel shopping, and other cool features that can help simplify the goat rodeos that we all know and love ;-) Bachelor parties, family reunions, getaways, milestone birthdays, weddings, etc. If your event involves going to a destination, TripHub is the best place to plan and coordinate. Watch for more cool features coming in the next few weeks.


    The TripHub team.

  2. Alex Says:

    if you want to check out a party planner with a twist, check out Planypus (http://planyp.us). We, unlike any other site out there, give the power to the group as most plans are not formed by one person setting the time and place and everyone else complying, rather plans are set democratically. We try to bring that planning process back. We focus on collaboration and conversation. And we do have a bit of ajaxy sweetness as well :)

  3. Beware of Renkoo !!! Renkoo doesn’t have anyway to delete friends/contacts in enter/ import off of your list (their system). I think it’s just a way for them to control contact information. Who builds a system that doesn’t allow you to delete YOUR contacts ?

  4. […] 16th, 2007 Punchbowl Software, the parent company of MyPunchbowl, recently put a blurb of my review of their party-planning web service onto its news page. I’m honored to be listed on the same […]

  5. Alex Says:

    Proud Geek,

    Thanks for adding Planypus. I know the spelling is weird, but does the cuddly charecter make up for it :) ? Keep up the good blogging!

  6. Yan Says:

    By the way, fyi, skobee is now defunct..it was abandoned by its founders a while back. It’s semi-death was blogged about on gigaom about half a year ago. Also, a better logo for planypus is at http://planyp.us/images/logoblue.jpg. Cheers!

  7. […] 25th, 2007 A while ago, I recommended MyPunchBowl as an online party-planner, replacing Evite as my preferred […]

  8. […] 10th, 2007 As my faithful readers may know, I initially recommended MyPunchbowl as the party-planner of choice, and then changed my mind as I was planning my younger […]

  9. […] I’ve written several times in the past about MyPunchBowl, and recommended it as the best party-planning website. Not one to rest on its own laurels, the developers of MyPunchBowl has gone and updated it — giving it a new feel, adding a few new features, and making sure MyPunchbowl stays competitive on the crowded online party-planning landscape. […]

  10. […] 4, 2008 I’ve long touted MyPunchbowl as the premiere online party-planning destination.  Its interface is […]

  11. Mark Smith Says:

    Greetings –

    On Friday we are launching MikonMixers.com. – conversation topics that stick!

    As an event and party planner, we wanted to give you the first look at the site.

    MikonMixers are iconic stickers that event attendees and party-goers stick on their nametags that describe their personality traits and skills. They make great conversation ice-breakers. The website has a simple drag-and-drop application and thousands of images to choose from.

    Look for the press release on Friday.

    Kindest Regards –

    Mark Smith

  12. Andrea Says:

    hmmmm… you might also want to try… pingg and purpletrail.com… I have used purpletrail and its pretty neat… not sure though.. you might want to review it and tell us if its worth…

  13. Stacy Says:

    Excellent! Good post. Very useful. Thank you for sharing. All the best. You are awesome. I am a party planner (check my site) and I like to use different tools organize all the messy details.

  14. stacyfaye13 Says:


  15. Great review. I definitely agree that mypunchbowl has a great platform…very clean interface, very easy to use. It looks as if they are already doing really well. Thanks for sharing, Christopher

  16. Saurabh Says:

    nice post. would u like to review another site in the same space, that’s in its Beta, EventEve.com. Although the team is on their toes, to add more value for party hosts and party planners everyday, Your feedback will be really very helpful…cheers!

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