Postcards Made Easy

I love to get a postcard in the mail from someplace exotic at the end of a busy day.  It brings a smile to my face.

Needless to say, in this age of instant sharing via Facebook and Instagram, I’m still old school.  I write postcards.

It’s something tangible that your friend or loved one can tuck away as a little gift or use as a bookmark in the latest thriller that they’re reading.  Plus, it says that they’re special enough to you that you took time out of your vacation to write them.  (Of course, they don’t need to know that you began writing shortly after dumping your dirty unmentionables into a washing machine on a rainy day.  (See previous post.))

But, being the geek that I am, I don’t completely forsake technological assistance, especially when it comes to addressing the postcards.  Two words: address labels.

Well before leaving on my trip, I select up to 30 of my closest friends and family members and print their names and addresses on a single sheet of self-adhesive address labels.  This serves several purposes:

  1. I don’t have to transcribe addresses from the contact list on my cell phone (or, if you’re really old school, you don’t have to carry your address book with you).
  2. I don’t have to remember if I sent Aunt Susie a postcard or not.  If her label is missing from the sheet, that means she’s got a card on the way.
  3. Having typewritten addresses makes it easier for the card to reach its intended recipient, especially if you’re traveling abroad.  (Remember to include the destination country (e.g., “USA” or “Germany”) as part of the address if you’re sending the card from one country to another.)

Using address labels speeds up the process and allows you to focus on the content.  I’ll have to admit, however, that one year I took my geeky-ness to a new level by creating a separate, larger self-adhesive label that fit into the narrative side of the postcard:

Postcard Check Box

It certainly got a big laugh and made sending postcards a breeze–just check a few boxes and slap on the address label–but it lacked the personalization of a handwritten card.  Sometimes we can take technology too far.

Make someone’s day.  Send a postcard.

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