We are going to start thinking about this year Christmas Cards and the first step is organizing our addresses.
This weekend our goal is to get our Addresses in order and schedule an appointment (if necessary) to get your family portrait taken.
I tend to wait until the last minute to gather my addresses for Christmas cards and I end up having to hunt people down to get any new/changed addresses. This year I took time last month to get organized.
There are a few great ways to keep all of your addresses organized. Everyone is different and some prefer to have their addresses in an actual address book and others like to have their addresses in a spreadsheet or address book on their computer.
One important thing to do each year is to print off this list and check off people who send you cards, if you get a card from someone who is not on your list and you would like to send them a card you can add them to the list and pop a card in the mail.
Here are a few good resources regardless of how you like to organize your addresses:
Pen and Paper lovers:
Easy-to-Update Address Book, by Real Simple
This is my favorite paper based address book! Hands Down
This is made by Real Simple and sold at Target, that’s where I bought mine years ago, they still sell them. What I love is that there are stickers in the back of the book to use when someone moves or their information changes. Simply place the sticker over that contact’s information and re-write their new information. It keeps your addresses looking so neat and easier to read.
I have a love for Moleskine notebooks, I’m not sure how it started but once I started using their soft cover notebooks I was hooked. Moleskin has come out with a line of planners and address books. I’ve started carrying many of the moleskin products in my new Online Store, Hidden Treasures (more on this later!!)
If you’ve never used a Moleskin notebook you should check them out. I love the notebooks and really love writing in these notebooks, the paper is great quality and very smooth to write on (only us geeks really care about this!). I love the simplicity of this address book.
Digital Address Book Solutions
Google provides the best online tools for e-mail, contacts, calendar, documents and Blog Reading. The list of Google applications is nearly endless. I don’t know why it took me so long to transfer all of my contacts into my Gmail account but I’m so glad that I did! Everything is in one place.
Gmail Contacts can sync with my cellphone, Apple Address Book, Plaxo and so many other programs. I would very highly suggest that everyone has a gmail account. It is a great program and the contact application is excellent. I was able to export all of my contacts from my blackberry and Apple Address Book up to the “Gmail Cloud” instantly! Now all my addresses are saved if my MacBook dies. I can also access all of this information from anywhere with an internet connection. Can you tell I love Gmail… I do!
Although I really do think Gmail is the best option out there I’ve also used and really liked Plaxo. I had to use it for a client and I thought that it was super easy to use and had a nice simple look. Plaxo will sync with most online addresses and calendars as well as Microsoft Outlook and Apple Mail.
Most computers come with a database program that you can use to track your addresses. What I love about this idea is that programs like Microsoft Excel and Apple Numbers can sort the addresses alphabetically, by city, state or zip code (which comes in handy if you’re doing bulk mailings). I’ve recently switched to a Mac (never happier by the way!) but I will give both Excel and Numbers the big Thumbs up because they in essence accomplish the same thing. Don’t have Excel or Numbers, no problem!
Google Docs is a great, free, internet-based solution. Google offers online document programs for documents, spreadsheets, presentations and much more. What’s great is that you can open your documents from any computer with internet access.
How’s your Christmas Planning going? Next week we’ll showcase various types of Christmas cards. What kind of Christmas Cards do you usually send?