How to Draw Names Randomly Online: A Guide

Knowing how to draw names randomly online will make your gift exchange much easier.

“Random” is one of those words that carries an air of, well, chaos. If you do something randomly, it seems like you’re doing it without rhyme or reason. Even its old definition, which meant “rushing headlong” and “going too fast,” implied a certain level of helter-skelter. So while random might be fun, it doesn’t always seem… practical. 

That can be a challenge when you’re doing things randomly, like drawing names for a gift exchange. There’s just a lot that can go wrong. People can forget, names can be lost, you can pick someone you’re not supposed to. Randomness implies too much chance. 

But here’s the thing: it doesn’t have to. 

If you know how to draw names randomly online the right way, you don’t have to worry about things going off track. In fact, the randomness can make everything more focused. 

The Benefit of Drawing Names Online

In the old days, when you were drawing names for a gift exchange or anything else (carpool, chore list, expedition), you had to be there in person. Everyone threw their name in a hat, mixed it up, then selected a name. 

Right away, there are some problems. 1) It’s easy to get things messed up. 2) You might send the wrong person on the expedition, and then who’s going to find the Golden Paw? But most importantly, 3) everyone had to be there at the same time

We know that’s not always going to be the case. There are times when some people—or all people—have to be remote. So when you want to include people who aren’t close physically, drawing names online is the way to go. It’s fast, easy, usually free, and incredibly inclusive. Drawing names out of a hat online means people can play from anywhere.

How to Draw Names Online

When you’re planning an event where you have to draw names randomly online, it’s important to follow these steps. These apply most directly to a Secret Santa-stye gift exchange but can work for anything. 

  1. Find a free random name-drawing generator and sign up for it. 
  2. Invite people to your event. If they want, have them download the app (this can come in handy if you’re using the platform to buy and exchange gifts). 
  3. Establish rules and exclusions. After all, you might not want someone to draw a partner, or a boss. If we’re looking at the expedition example, you don’t want to send both your doctors to Hidden Temple; leave one with the rest of the group! 
  4. Have the system draw randomly. People can be “present” at the draw or not paying any attention; either way, they’ll be alerted as to their match. 
  5. People can create wish lists and start shopping

Why do you want to draw names from a virtual hat? Well, to make everything easier. You don’t have to worry about people drawing exclusions, or forgetting to draw a name, or some name getting lost in the brim of a hat (which has happened to me!). 

In short, random drawing online makes the entire experience stress-free.

Random Drawing, Focused Fun

We know there are a few seeming contradictions here. Random drawing, if done right, takes away the problems with randomness. Setting things up in advance allows you to be more spontaneous. 

How? Because everything is taken care of. You don’t have to focus on making things go smoothly. By signing up with an online Secret Santa generator, everything is already going right

A random name drawing platform is more than a website. It’s the key to a great party, whether in-person or remotely. 

If you want the best ways to draw names randomly online, use a Secret Santa generator. Thanks to Elfster, you can easily pair people up, shop for gifts, and start a Wish List. Even better, you can access it all from an iPhone app or Android app

About Brian B 94 Articles
Brian thinks that giving someone a gift is just about the most fun you can have, so long as you don't stress out about finding the right one. He likes helping people not stress out during the holidays. Hit him up for ways to make your Christmas more fun.