Sending snail mail from your smartphone

TouchnoteWhen I first started doing Month of Letters I had a hard time figuring out what to write some of the people on my list. Did they want to hear a lot of random stuff about my life? Would they rather have a poem? All I wanted to do was ask about their lives! I finally hit on sending postcards at first. The condensed space meant I didn’t have to think about filling a whole page. Plus, postcards usually have interesting art on them, so they’re useful beyond being mail.

I’m doing the same this year, though with an extra twist. I’m sending some postcards via my smartphone using my own pictures. Even though the message on the back is short, I hope these postcards will feel as personal as a longer letter. I just sent my first one today! I took a picture of my altar and sent it to a dear friend who recently showed me hers.

This time I used the Touchnote app for Android based on the advice from this post rounding up the various options. The author also recommends Postify, which I’ll probably try in a few days. I’m also going to give Postable a go, but I really like being able to add my own images to the card.

The trouble with trying to decide on a service like this is that you can’t always rely on the reviews on app stores nor are they easy to sift through. I much prefer roundups like the one I found where the author compares services against each other. It took far too much Google-fu to find that (no idea why), so I hope it will be as useful for you as it was for me.

I plan to make this a regular thing, so I’m eager to hear back from the recipients on the quality of the card and how long it took to arrive. Once I get that data I’ll settle on one or the other app.

I’m curious if any of you have ever tried these services or something similar? Which ones do you like? Any you would never use again?

22 thoughts on “[Wayback Repost] Why do letters seem more daunting than email?”

  1. Having been a letter writer for several years now, I don’t particularly find this challenge all that difficult, other than remembering to do it every day instead of when the whim takes me to write. And since I may not have a penpal’s letter to answer, then I need to think outside my normal circle of penpals and write to others. I saw this as an opportunity to reconnect with a few old penpals that had lapsed, family members that live outside of the city, friends I haven’t seen in a while, and strangers or persons of stature. I think it’s a great challenge and maybe it will even boost the joy of those who process all this mail and deliver it to us. 🙂

  2. I love your post. And I totally agree.

    Email, tweets n twitters, FB comments all have their place and moment in time where they are the appropriate way to respond.

    However, sending a letter, postcard, or notecard is the only way to connect with someone on a more personal, even intimate, level.

    The act of sending a missive does take time, but more importantly it takes thought. What paper will I use? What will I add (stickers, washi, etc.)? What will I say? Combined these choices will be a bright spot in someone’s day. Added bonus? It was created specifically for them.

  3. Great article on postcard apps but you should also take a look at Postsnap’s easy to use postcard app.
    The app offers a number of unique features compared to the other apps reviewed including:
    – Guest checkout with Apple Pay
    – Extensive personalization options including collage layouts, stylish borders which can be adjusted in size with a slider and the option to add editable text in a variety of font types and colors and position it anywhere on the cards
    – iPhone and iPad support
    – Apple Pencil support
    – Facebook and Instagram integration
    – US postal address verification and UK postcode lookup
    Cards are printed and posted in our facilities in the UK, USA and Australia on the same or next working day and so cards typically arrive quickly. Enjoy!
    Stephen Homer

  4. I have been writing letters for several years now. My go to paper is Rhodia Premium or Rhodia Ice pads. I also Life pads too. I like them because they are not quite as slick as the Rhodia.

  5. I too love journals to pull apart for writing. For me the most important aspect of the paper is the pattern. I love to have some colour and some design on the paper. I’ve managed to find a number of nice colours and designs at one of my local “Home Sense” discount stores in the book section. Most of the small journals are a perfect size to fit in the envelopes I use. If not I just give one edge a bit of a trim (but sometimes I really like the ripped edge look too!) ;P

  6. Hi, Christmas cards & more recently a letter (a bill) from the UK to Australia have taken 3 weeks to arrive. The exterior of these envelopes were stamped with a mark such as this from the latest envelope:
    DLC 992-4
    The example quoted arrived at the Australian address on 28/07/2017, unfortunately it contained a bill dated 06/07/2017 which had to be paid within 14 days, by 20/07/2017.
    Why is the post so slow? What does the DLC 992-4 stamp signify? Would appreciate your feedback.

  7. My letter that I wrote was in September. The person who it was for still hasn’t gotten it and it’s now November….
    I don’t understand why it’s taking this long. I live in AZ and he lives in NY. I want answers.

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