Even though many of us are on email all day, there is absolutely no substitute for coming home to an actual letter or postcard you can hold in your hand. We recently tried out Postcardly, a service that melds our online lives with the magic of good old-fashioned mail. You upload a photo or graphic, add a message, supply the address, and Postcardly prints and delivers your postcards. We sent ourselves one of our graphic signs, and a photo from Ellen Silverman’s wonderful Cuban Kitchen archive. They took a week to arrive, but we were pleased enough with the quality, especially with photos. You can send an image directly from your phone, turning a snapshot into an instant postcard.
This is a great way to drop a line to someone who doesn’t use email, but it’s also a neat way to keep the printed photograph alive. Since getting a digital camera, we rarely print photos. But it used to be fun to give a friend a photograph they could tape on the wall and have on hand to look back to.
This seems to be one of those unique instances when the often impersonal internet allows us to reconnect with folks in a personal and tangible way.
Postcardly has monthly plans (starting at $4.99 for 5 postcards), but gives you three free trial postcards. Other sites like ShootIt! and HazelMail charge per postcard, ($1.29 and $1.50 respectively). We went with Postcardly because ShootIt!’s postcards looked a little cheesier, and HazelMail is slightly more expensive since they’re international.