I am a big fan of things that remove clutter from my life. Or just anything that makes my life simpler. One of the things that I always had a difficult time managing was correspondence of any kind. I like having stationary and cards to send people, but it’s a hassle to make sure I have the right kind, and also have an appropriate stamp (amazingly, Christmas ornament stamps aren’t appropriate all year long!), and someone’s mailing address. Too many people I know have moved a lot, and it’s hard to keep track. So a few years back, I made a discovery that changed my life. A friend was hosting a housewarming party, and the invitation was sent digitally. But it wasn’t an evite – not to denigrate evites, but they just never seemed super attractive to me. More of a necessary evil. But this card looked really elegant. When you clicked on the email card, it took you to a page sort of like the evite one, but more simplified, and with fewer ads. A few months later, I got another invitation (this time to a baby shower) from someone using the same service, and this time, it had this cool animated envelope around the card. And again the design was super cute and classy. I was sold.
So when a few months later I started putting things together for my 30th birthday party, I needed an invitation. Beautiful paper invitations were going to cost an arm and a leg, which was not in my budget. I didn’t want to use evite, or anything tacky looking, so eventually I remembered about this new invite service I’d seen twice now. It was called Paperless Post, and I think we can truly say that my birthday that year was when I fell down the rabbit hole.
Even though I only discovered them in 2013, Paperless Post was founded by a brother-sister pair in 2009 to fill a niche for well designed online correspondence. Since 2013, they’ve also had a collection of matching paper cards and invitations for various events. Late in 2013, I helped my sister design her printed wedding invitations with Paperless Post, and they came out beautifully. We used them for various wedding related events in different ways. Printed paper invitations for the wedding, rehearsal dinner, and bridal shower. Digital invites for the bachelorette party. It all turned out beautifully, and for the digital invitations, it was easy to see who had already replied yes and no, and to send updates, or write back and forth with attendees on the event message board.
Since the wedding was happening so close to Christmas that year and I was busy and stressed out from maid-of-honor duties, I decided to switch from my purchased Christmas cards to a digital one using a Paperless Post design, and was able to send a photo of Winston in Santa hat that just killed. People loved it. I spent way less money on cards that year, and donated the money I would have spent to charity (something I’m still doing). It was a big hit, and people had the chance to respond immediately when they saw it. My aunt also told me that she was able to print the card out and put it on her mantle with the others she received, and so it was a big win all around.
I kept doing the digital cards for the next few years, highlighting either a ridiculous photo of my cat, or something cool that I’d done. See above for two examples. But this year, the boy and I did a lot of big things. We traveled internationally with his daughters. We bought a house. These are BFDs. And remembering how much I’d loved sending print cards, I bit the bullet.
And not just that – I decided that I would go with a company I’ve used before and that I trusted. There are so many card-printing services out there. It can be hard to decide. But Paperless Post has been consistently easy to use, and not only that, but I had an issue when ordering my cards this year. 4 minutes after placing my online order, I realized I hadn’t used the right promo code. I was currently getting 20% off, instead of 35% off and free shipping. I figured there was no harm in asking, so I sent a polite and solicitous email asking if they’d be willing to update my order with the other promo code and give me a refund since I had realized within moments of my order. It took a couple days to get a response, but they gave me the discount, which is AMAZING, and just continued to verify in my eyes that I had chosen the right company. I ordered the cards on Cyber Monday, and they arrived yesterday, which is great turnaround.
I could go on and on about Paperless Post. Every year or two I make a BIG order of their coins (which are the online tokens that can be exchanged for “pay” cards) using a promo code for a discount. I’ll end up paying less than 5 cents per coin, and in addition to their plethora of free cards (SO MANY FREE CARDS – and they make it easy to find those free cards too!), I’ll have the option to use those coins to send even cooler and prettier online cards and invitations. Even if those cards cost 5 coins per card, I’m spending what – 25 cents? That’s less than postage! And I get to express myself while expressing my joy or sympathy for friends and family at various life events.
They also have the cleanest, easiest online invitation system I’ve ever seen. Not having ads printed down the sides of an RSVP block is important to me, and I don’t even have to pay for that privilege. They integrate maps and event information in a beautiful and thoughtful way that just makes sense. They have a streamlined, easy to use website. Their apps let you create, schedule and send cards from your phone. It’s so easy, it’s hard to believe.
So if you’re in the market for holiday cards – either of the digital or print variety, cards or invitations (again digital or print) for any other occasion, or are looking for a way to streamline your life with less paper clutter (but still want to look good when sending correspondence), I can’t recommend Paperless Post enough. I honestly had this post on my schedule well before they came through on customer service, but it just makes me feel even better about recommending them. I feel like there’s more I could say, but if you have used them or are interested in using them, or have questions…let’s discuss Paperless Post in the comments below.
Details: PaperlessPost, free or pay, use the code WINTERISCOMING for 20% off printed holiday cards (through 12/10), or ENTERTAIN for 15% off your first purchase (including coins for digital cards!)