It’s Grace here after a long week of midterms to share with y’all my latest obsession: sending eCards for every possible occasion.
A few weeks ago, I tried out Paperless Post, an online service for that purpose. They were kind enough to collaborate with me, and so I got to work with a lot of their different designs and options.
eCards are never something I’ve paid much thought to before, mostly because I forget that they exist.
I always find myself poking around on graphic design services and making cards for people, although I rarely ever send them. I’ve always been more of a letter writer — it’s a habit I got into while at camp growing up, and one I’ve carried with me throughout the school years. In fact, I’ve even had a pen pal since high school.
At first, I struggled with how to use the online cards, because I don’t host any events really. I had to take a step back and analyze what all I invite people to do with me: study? Get coffee? Lie on my floor and complain about schoolwork?
Last year during reading days (which I’m currently in the middle of), Lily and I binge-watched the Halloweentown movies at her house in Richmond. We ate chocolate ice cream and drank pumpkin spice lattes and jumped on crunchy orange leaves — how autumnal. This year, I’m at UNC for my twin sister’s Parents’ Weekend, and she’s in New York. So no Halloweentown for us. Instead, I used an eCard to invite her to watch movies with me next week instead, once we’re over the midterms hurdle.
In that sense, it worked perfectly. I got a laugh from her when she opened her email, and I could make it a distinct event rather than a “oh I forgot I have to do —- today — can we reschedule?”
Another thing that I loved using the eCards for was to send a little encouragement to friends who needed it.
It’s a stressful time of year, and I haven’t been able to see many of my friends lately. What I do is rather time-consuming in nature, and they’re all busy as well in ways that utterly and totally conflict with our mutual schedules. It took me about three minutes to whip up eCards for that last little pinch of nerves before exams, and I know it’s so much easier to go into something knowing that people are rooting for you.
I loved that I could customize the card itself, the message inside the card, and then the envelope and experience of “opening” it online. I had way too much fun sorting through not only the expansive collection of cards, but also the liner patterns and typefaces. I’m so weak for pretty graphics, especially when they have that dynamic personal touch.
Paperless Post has the eCard equivalent of read receipts, so I could see when the recipients had opened their letters, and customize reply envelopes and cards. By scheduling a date and time, recipients could check mark whether or not they could attend.
Even now, I’m still sorting through eCards and filing ones away for future events. For example, I’m so in love with metallics and was thrilled to see that some cards capture that despite being digital. Although it’s strange for me not to have a paper product to flat lay, it’s been an experience that lets me procrastinate way too much. “Hold on, let me send an eCard.”
One goal of mine in using Paperless Post is to find more ways to incorporate my photography into the cards themselves. There are layout options for that, but I haven’t gotten to yet because I can’t think of events that would use the types of pictures that I take. Maybe I could use eCards for blog features, for friends’ birthdays, or other more personal events when they roll around?