Sending a birthday card is such a lovely way of connecting and keeping in touch, but it can be tricky to stay on top of all the birthday admin, right? (Especially if you are The Designated Birthday Co-ordinator in your home…)
As an illustrator who designs greetings cards, I have a pretty comprehensive stash of options, but it’s still a big challenge to get cards out to the people I love. Here’s a few practical tips if you relate:
Keep your recipient list intentional
Sending birthday cards takes more effort and organisation than a quick text, and the task time can quickly add up if you’re sending to a long list of people. If writing and posting cards feels joyful, by all means keep sending to everyone! But if you’re feeling overwhelmed, have a little review of your birthday card list. Could some of those be a DM or email instead? Are there any old obligations you can gently let go? Save your card-sending for your special and relevant connections.
Put birthdays into your favourite calendar or organiser
Whether it’s on the wall, your phone or your desk, add in the key dates wherever it’s most useful for you – and where you’ll definitely see it! Some people use dedicated notebooks (great if you remember to check it regularly) or you can sign up to birthday reminder services online that will email you when it’s time to send a card.
Set reminders before the big day
If you’re like me, you’ll open the calendar to realise their birthday is TODAY and you haven’t even picked a card yet. Set your reminders 4 or 5 days ahead, so you’ll have enough time for writing and posting. If your person lives in a different country, set the reminder even further ahead depending on the posting time.
Keep cards in a designated place
Pick up lovely cards when you see them, and keep them somewhere safe – an A4 box file or pretty shoebox works well. They’ll be ready and waiting for the right occasion: especially handy if you see a card that’s ideal for your best friend, parent, or sibling when their birthday is still months away. Future you will be so grateful you nabbed that perfect card.
Bonus points: keep a stock of stamps in the same place!
Batch write birthday cards and addresses
If you’ve got a few upcoming dates, designate a time to write and address a batch of cards. You could pick the first weekend of the month get organised for all the birthdays that same month, or the last weekend to do the month to come – whatever works for you.
Feel free to leave envelopes unsealed to add a last-minute PS or fun comment. Having the boring bits sorted means there’s one less obstacle to getting it into the postbox.
Cards are better late than never
Belated cards are OK! It’s always exciting to get something by post that isn’t an appointment from your dentist or a reminder about your tax return. Make a joke of being late, or add a little ‘Oops!’ on the envelope. If you’re wondering ‘Is it even worth sending it now?’, the answer will be YES! 99% of the time.
Fancy adding to that stash of lovely birthday cards? I’ve got you covered, friend – check out some options here.