Technology finally offers an affordable way to send digitally generated notes by mail that look and feel as though they're handwritten.
NOTE: I am not being paid to endorse this service, but I'm always on the lookout to find ways for you to enhance or simplify your #HeartspokenLife. Happily, I was able to snag you a 20% discount!
Not everyone will write handwritten notes
It pains me to admit that, but there's no point in deluding myself that the whole world is waiting for me to inspire them to write more handwritten notes. Oh, my passion for the handwritten note has not diminished in the least, but there are some very valid reasons why someone might not share my enthusiasm:
• Arthritis or other diseases affecting finger and hand mobility can actually make writing painful.
• Mobility issues might make it challenging to stay well-supplied with stationery, pens, and stamps or to get your notes mailed.
• For some, it's just easier to send an online message than a handwritten snail mail message.
• When time is an issue, it's slower to send a snail mail message than a digital one.
Technology is making progress
I have tried several online card services over the last few years, and technology is definitely catching up to the need. Not only is it possible to turn your own handwriting into a font, but some companies hire live writers to write the text of your note on real stationery and mail it for you. These services are usually pricey, but even these prices are going down too.
I recently discovered a service called Cardly (“You write, we post”) that offers a tantalizing combination of personal and digital solutions to create a very affordable alternative to the personal handwritten note. I recently used Cardly to send about ten different cards to various people — some were for birthdays, some were Valentine's Day. I wanted to test them for accuracy, timeliness, and the quality of the paper. In all cases, I was delighted, especially since the cards I sent to my family in London were actually mailed from London, so they didn't cost me any more than the U.S. cards. Their cards can be posted from New York, London, or Sydney.
Here's how Cardly works:
- Go to https://www.cardly.net/ and choose your design from hundreds of options by independent artists from all over the world (I love knowing that 20% of each sale goes to the artist!). There are Birthday cards, Love cards, Seasonal cards, Everyday cards, and even cards for business use. The card is printed on quality 120 lb (324gsm) cover card stock. The size is 5″ x 7.”
- Once you've selected your card, choose from among several font styles, size, and colors, and write your message. If you need help finding the right words, you can even drag and drop one of their many pre-written message ideas.
- The optional “doodle” feature is fun — you can drag any number of doodle characters (both general doodles and many appropriate to the theme of your card) anywhere to the inside of your card and resize as desired. This feature alone convinced my daughter I had done hers by hand.
- Enter the recipient's name and address, specify the desired delivery date, provide a billing credit card, and Cardly will do the rest. Your recipient will receive a lovely card that feels like it was done by hand.
- After you send a card, you can set up an optional recurring reminder to send other cards (annual birthdays, anniversaries, etc.).
Pros and cons
All my cards were delivered exactly on time or a day early, I recently sent a Get Well card to someone in the U.K., and it was delivered within a day and a half—much more quickly than if I'd mailed it in the U.S.
I think the pricing is very reasonable – between $4.50 and $6.50 for everything. Using the discount code below, I just sent a card to London for under $4.00 total! With the cost of stationery, postage, and the time it takes to purchase and mail them, this is a bargain.
I had a lovely email conversation with Patrick Gaskin from Cardly's customer support staff. While it is not currently possible to customize the return address on your envelope, Patrick assures me they are planning to add that option soon. Right now, the return address is the one from where it was mailed. Seeing an unfamiliar return address dilutes the personal touch a bit, but it's not a deal-breaker for me.
Here's the card I sent my husband for Valentine's Day:
20% Discount with Code: HEART
Patrick graciously offered me a special discount code for Heartspoken readers that will give you 20% off of your first order, no matter how large or small it might be. Just type in the code HEART before you check out. You can order several cards going to different addresses in a single order. You can also share that discount code with your friends!
No more excuses!
Letting a friend, business associate, or loved one know you're thinking of them is a valuable gift. If you can't manage to send personal handwritten notes, look for a friendly alternative like Cardly and connect with those who matter in your life.
Have you discovered any helpful digital solutions that still offer a personal touch? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below. Would you consider a digital alternative to handwritten notes, or does it feel too much like “cheating?” Let me know!
Join Our Heartspoken Community!
Each issue of our monthly Compass Points Newsletter is a quick 3-5 minute read with keys to the Heartspoken Life.
Receive surprises that lift your spirits or make your life more Heartspoken, delivered straight to your inbox.