Oh crap — it's less than a week until Christmas. Seriously, when did that happen? I barely registered it was getting so late in December until the holiday cards started showing up in my mailbox. I love getting cards (especially photo cards), but the thought of sitting down and doing a mass mailing so the cards arrive before December 25 stresses me right out.
If you haven't sent any cards yet this year either, follow my two-step plan. Step 1: Don't panic. Step 2: Send on-demand "Happy New Year" postcards from your iPhone or iPad. Tons of apps can do this, and I've tried a few, but my personal favorite is Ink Cards, by Sincerely.
Why New Year's cards?
I promise I am not fighting a War on Christmas. In fact, one advantage of doing on-demand cards via an app is that you could make a few different versions, say both Christmas and Hanukkah, and send them to the friends who celebrate those holidays.
But the thing is, those holidays happen on specific dates, you know? And while New Year's Day obviously falls on January 1, "New Year" as a concept is a little more flexible. Getting a Christmas card on January 10 is late. Getting a New Year's card on January 10 is fine! Deadlines are for work — not for holiday cards.
How to use Ink Cards
Free app Ink Cards (also on Android) lets you send large, quite sturdy, beautifully customized postcards. Yes, that means they don't come in envelopes. But they're printed on a thick, glossy card stock and all of mine (I've sent dozens and dozens) have always shown up looking great. Each card measures 4 by 6 inches, and the photos are printed at 300 dots per inch with great color reproduction. I've been very happy with the results, and if something goes wrong, Sincerely says they'll send a new card or refund your money.
The cards are a snap to design, and you can send them to anyone in the United States for $2 a pop. That can add up when you're sending a lot, but it's a reasonable price when you consider the convenience. You can buy bulk credits to push the per-card fee down a little bit, but not a lot, and the app has sales from time to time.
To get started, launch the app, and peruse the designs until one speaks to you. Tap it, then you can add your own photo, either one that's already on your device, or from an online account including Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox, Flickr, Google Drive, and Gmail. You could also shoot a new picture right inside the app, but it makes more sense to shoot a bunch with the regular Camera app since that gives you better controls and faster performance.
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