How to Make Birthday Greetings Special Again, Without the Clutter

Remember when sending birthday cards or thank you cards or get well cards were something we did as a regular part of life? Are you still that person? Do you know a lot of people who are?

I’ve come to realize I’m just not that person anymore, and I wasn’t feeling 100% great about it. A few different factors go into why I’m not that person anymore:

  1. I’m not as good about sending birthday cards as I used to be. I used to love to, but sometimes it just gets past me, or I’ve scaled back on to whom I’m sending cards.
  2. I think the price of the cards I love has gotten more expensive, and it’s harder and harder to justify spending money on a fancy card.
  3. As a professional organizer, I’m often working with people to focus on decluttering, and greeting cards come up as a regular and sensitive topic! It’s hard for me to willingly contribute to someone’s clutter!

The alternative, however, is something I don’t feel so great about. The answer, of course, has become so much more laid back. Facebook comments on a person’s wall, maybe a private FB messages, texts… and I don’t even get around to wishing ALL my Facebook friends a Happy Birthday, why? Is that soooo much work? And, I mean, really, when’s the last time I even sent a whole email out to someone to wish them a Happy Birthday? 

So, I’m getting lost between “I’m not doing what I used to do”, and “doing what is so commonplace is not at all special”, and it was on my mind. I’d just sent my best friend in the whole world a Facebook private message (long and personal and sappy, but still), and felt like I blew it by not sending her a real card. And then, as if the universe heard my lamenting, I received an email with an offer: Paperless Post would love for me to check them out and give them a shot.

You’ve may have seen the beautiful electronic invitations they send out, with the envelope coming across your screen, opening, and the invitation lifting out to present itself to you. Very pretty designs and graphics, it always seems like a nice upgrade from some of the other electronic invitation apps. But, really, I don’t remember the last time I would have used an electronic invite, let alone the next time, so I just skimmed past it. But then I thought, “Let me just check it out to be sure,” and I was pleasantly surprised that this company is much more than invitations! 

Birthday cards, holiday cards, thank you cards, sympathy and get well cards, anniversary and wedding cards, graduation cards, even apology cards (hope I don’t have to send one of those anytime soon) were just some of the options. They also offer personalized stationery, for adults and kids. Over 3,000 options, not including the kinds where I can upload my own pictures or my own designs. And of the 3,000, over 500 of them are *completely free* to send. 

The rest cost “coins”, which you can buy on a sliding scale related to volume (as of the time of publishing this post in February 2018, the coin prices ranged from $6.00 for 20, or 30 cents a coin, up through $325 for 5,000, or 7 cents per coin). You can put together a card in a formula like this: 

  • base price for the card (which could be free, or could cost 1 coin or 2 coins
  • background screen for the email that gets delivered (1 coin)
  • liner graphic pattern for the “inside” of the “envelope” that is displayed (1 coin)
  • envelope (1 coin)
  • fancy “postmark” image (1 coin)

If you’re selecting a free card, and opt out of all those other options, you can get it delivered for free.

Paperless Post wanted me to check it out, so they offered me some free coins to try. So far, I’m enjoying being able to create some cards for people, schedule them when I want to arrive, receive a notification when it’s been sent and track if it’s been opened. And when I send a card to someone, they’re in my address list, so it’s easy to send a new card in the future if I choose. 

I made a Valentine’s Day Card for Handy Boy, who was traveling that day. I picked out a fun card and some background graphic (jelly beans!) and instantly started customizing text right on the card. You can see the controls on the left help with setting the font size and spacing and height. 


Once I was done setting up what I thought I’d write, it gave me a preview:


And off it went!

I have to say, the process to select, customize, and send the card was easy, and will happily do it again! The Free Card option is great, too, with hundreds to choose from, and still, way better than just a Facebook shout out!

If you’ve been reading my posts for a long time, you know I don’t normally do a post where I’ve received compensation (I received an offer of some free coins, in this case.) But I also don’t normally run into something that is attractive, convenient, solves a problem, affordable, and doesn’t contribute to clutter! So, I hope you’ll consider this my recommendation: 

  • If you’re feeling like you’ve stopped sending cards to people and don’t feel great about it, or
  • want to stop sending cards to save the expense, the clutter, and the time invested in shopping for cards, or
  • feel like just writing “Happy Birthday!” on a Facebook wall isn’t as special as you want to be…

…then think about sending electronic cards, especially ones you can select from a broad assortment, and schedule in advance for effective time management. You could create and schedule all your birthday cards for the whole year in one afternoon! 

And if you’re open to sending electronic cards, check out Paperless Post. There are others out there, too, and you should check out which ones have the styles and graphics that YOU most gravitate towards. Finally, obviously, if you’re planning an event and would love to have beautiful electronic save-the-dates or invitations, check out their amazing selection since that’s what they’re known for! I started to want to plan a party just so I could send them out! (I stopped myself, because that’s just crazy talk. But for a moment… 🙂 )





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