Holiday Cards by Sincerely Ink: Christmas, New Year & Hanukkah cards too! (Free) by Sincerely Inc. is how I’m doing my holiday cards this year. If you’re not into sending holiday cards every December, you may think this whole article is nuts, but for me, it’s a necessary chore that technology has managed to make a little easier each year. Growing up, my mom used to hand-write 100 or more holiday cards, including a photo and a few paragraphs about what we were all up to. I can’t even imagine doing that. By the time I started sending out my own, these paragraphs had at least evolved into a type-written and xeroxed “newsletter”. Still, the process of finding/buying/signing cards, taking and enclosing a family photo, typing/printing/folding/stuffing the newsletter, writing out the addresses on the envelopes, sealing, and stamping was not exactly a breeze. The advent of printable mailing labels and photo cards helped, but it’s still been quite a bit of work every year. I truly love to get them, but you’ve got to send them to receive them! Of course I know I could easily just send my greetings online, but that just doesn’t feel right to me.
But apps are making our lives easier, and this year, I’m using this app to create all of my holiday cards. Sincerely Ink lets you streamline the entire process without having to even handle the cards. I suppose I’ll never even see one until I visit a recipient who has it on display. There are plenty of apps that let you send postcards, however, two things set Sincerely Ink apart. First off, the postcards it sends are 5×7, which is a nice big size for a holiday card. Secondly, and more importantly, you can go to Sincerely Ink’s website and import your address book! If you’re sending a lot of holiday cards, this is an enormous help. Apple’s own Cards app lets you create beautiful cards (in envelopes, so it’s a bit pricier as well) but does not allow you to import addresses en masse.
This app certainly has its drawbacks. It is a postcard, not a card inside an envelope. There are 30 choices of card designs, both with and without photos, religious and not, but still, not enough choices for my taste. Truly, I’d prefer a simple blank template so I could upload something I’ve created in another app. The developer did tell me that option is coming, along with total template customizability, but didn’t give me a timeline. And finally, the app does not give the option to upload only certain groups from your address book. You just view your entire address book and checkmark the ones you want to upload. The process was a little buggy, but I got it done in a reasonable amount of time; much faster than printing and sticking labels to envelopes.
But overall, with its reasonable prices (including postage: $1.99 within the US; $2.99 outside), nice 5×7 size, space to include a couple of paragraphs, and large-scale address book upload, this is the app for me. So, if you’re looking for an easier way to do your holiday cards this year, check out Sincerely Ink as an option.