I thought I’d share a little something different on my blog today: how I keep track of all the cards & letters I send. I love happy mail, and I send a LOT of it, especially since joining Chemo Angels. While some are one-time deals, I do have long-term buddies that I write to at least once a week. (I’m a Card Angel – working with Chemo Angels, they match me up to someone currently going through chemotherapy. I keep their snail-mailbox full throughout their treatment.)
After a few years of sending to so many different people, it just isn’t possible for me to remember exactly what I sent, and to whom. So I created a tracking system. I know It sounds a little practical for something that comes from the heart, but who wants to receive 50 cards with similar designs, and the same words written on the inside? Or 50 letters sharing the same two or three stories? I can’t be the only card-maker who suffers from CRS (can’t remember… stuff). And, if there are any other “OCD” card-makers out there, maybe my tracking system will be of interest. Other Chemo Angels might find this useful, too.
After trying to create a thorough blog post about this, I decided that it was easier to explain in a video, so if you’re interested…
It’s hard to come up with little snippets, for inside cards, so I collect quotes. Every time I find a quote I like, I write it down in this book. (There’s a post-it at the front of this book, where I keep track of what number I’m on. That way, I can be sure that every quote has a unique number.) I have tabs for lots of different subjects, so I can organize the quotes by topic. This really helps when I want to find a quote to match a particular card. For instance, I have a page of quotes about butterflies, so if the card has a butterfly on it, the sentiment will fit the card. And I’m not limited to one category. One of the Irish Blessings quotes on the page below mentions a butterfly, so you’ll find the same quote, with the same “ID” number, on the page with butterflies, as well as this one.Now, I don’t think collecting quotes is all that unusual, but this next step might be. I’ve created a chart, one that I print off for each new buddy, and I cross off the number every time I send them a quote. That chart, along with various notes, goes in my big binder, under the tab for that particular buddy. While it took a little bit of time to set up, it is SOOO much quicker to check off a square, then to write out the whole sentiment on a list, not to mention how I can see what I’ve already used at a glance.
In addition to the sentiments, though, I also wanted to track card designs. I try to make as many of my cards as possible “unique”, but there are certain designs I like to go back to, especially for all those “one-time” cards. Originally, I didn’t want to share this – I’m not a big fan of my own drawing – but it could be helpful to see. I created a template with a pencil and ruler, I scanned it, and I printed a bunch of copies. Each page has three blank “cards”, and room to write out details. I have separate sheets for “landscape”, and “portrait”. Just like the sentiments, I draw out each card design, and I assign it a letter.Now don’t laugh. I’m not trying to draw a perfect image – just enough to remind me of the design. And, of course, I then generate a chart for each person, crossing off the designs I have sent them. (This is a blank copy, waiting for a new buddy. I use different colors just to help me keep people straight.)I’ve been using this system now for a few years, and it’s working beautifully. But I am always looking for ways to improve it. So, how do you keep track of the cards you send? Or do you not worry about it? Am I crazy for being this organized? (Okay, that last question was rhetorical.) 🙂
Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a super awesome day!
Here are links to a few of the items you see above, and in the video. (Some affiliate links used – see here for full disclosure. If you make a purchase from these links, it won’t cost you any extra, but I will get a small commission, which will be used to keep this blog going. Thank you so much!)