That comment got my wheels turning and I've compiled a few tips for you on how to make the prep work of sending cards a bit easier:
- Invest in a system to organize cards. I have a box similar to this one that separates cards two ways: by category (birthday, thank you, sympathy/get well, etc.) and by month. The monthly dividers are a spot where you can record the date of birthdays, anniversaries, etc. coming up that month. However, you could accomplish the same objectives with a set of inexpensive manila file folders.
- Buy in bulk when possible. I frequently buy birthday and thank you cards in value packs or boxes, and then put them in my organizing system.
- If you can, snap up clearance cards post-holiday for next year (Mother's Day, Father's Day, Christmas), bearing in mind that selection will be much more limited.
- Review upcoming events before each shopping trip and make a list of the cards you'll need. I often summarize into "four male birthdays, six female birthdays" since I only buy carefully personalized cards for immediate family.
- Keep a pen and stamps in with your cards so that everything you need is together. Add return address labels if you have them (or invest in a self-inking stamper like I did).
- It's okay to work ahead on writing out your cards. You can do this weeks ahead of time--just mark the date of the event on the envelope where the stamp will go--and then review the pile every so often as you go to the mailbox.
- Rather than trying to keep a manual list of upcoming dates, I have added birthdays and anniversaries to my Google calendar, which I check much more frequently than my card organizer.
- E-cards are always a green and appropriate alternative to paper greeting cards for friends who don't mind digital correspondence. Better to send something than no sentiment at all.