Welcome back, it's time to take another step toward getting our snail mailing organized and on point! Last week was a big-task week where you gathered all the events you want to remember and got them in one place. This week is similar, but it's going to be a bit easier, trust me. This week you're going to get your addresses organized in a way that makes it effortless to pop cards in the mail, batch send Christmas cards, and quickly update information when people move.
To start off, you'll want to decide if you're going to store your addresses digitally, as a hard copy, or both. As I mentioned in week two, I am a firm believer in saving your addresses in two places: one on a computer and one the old fashioned way with pencil and paper. I do this primarily for the ease both methods offer me. It's faster to pull out the address book from our junk drawer for day-to-day snail mail, but for Christmas cards and party invites working off a spreadsheet on my computer is more efficient. Not to mention, having two copies of up-to-date addresses saves you if one gets lost or damaged. A digital file is also convenient for exchanging with family; you can cut and paste the couple of addresses needed or share the entire document.
Similar to last week, to start you'll want to get all your addresses gathered together. Grab your phone, computer, address book, slips of paper, envelope pieces you ripped off with saved addresses, etc. all in one place. From here it is identical to last week's task of inputting information into your spreadsheet and address book. Make yourself comfortable, put on some tunes, and get organizing!
A few tricks of the trade:
- First go through all the people from last week's project and make sure you have their address. For missing addresses, spend the first couple of minutes reaching out through email, text, phone calls, or Facebook to get their details. I find that doing things in batches makes it more efficient and I stay focused later while copying down addresses (instead of "quickly" jumping on Facebook to message someone for their address and going down the rabbit hole that is my newsfeed)
- Use pencil when adding addresses to your address book that way when people move you don't have to artfully cross everything out, you can just erase and not deal with the mess. Yes this is my OCD talking.
- Keep each part of the address in it's own cell on your spreadsheets. This is how most sites like Minted and Shutterfly request your documents be sent to them when you pay to have envelopes addressed for you. Side note: the spreadsheet I've created for you has this already taken care of! You can also sort your spreadsheet by name, state, zip code, etc. if the need ever arises.
- Back. Up. Your. Computer.
- Have an international address? Look here and here for how to properly write these on your envelopes
- And for good measure here is how you address an envelope for national mail in the US.
This week is short, sweet and to the point, but definitely critical to your success getting cards out on time from month to month. Knowing you have all the addresses you need, knowing they're accessible, and knowing they're accurate means you're more likely to send out cards because it is painless and fun! No more feeling totally obvious asking someone on their birthday what their address is...
Next week we'll be busy with the largest job yet in this process, but I think it's super fun and it's one task that will make your entire year a breeze! Can't beat that can you? See you next week!