Annie at Estabrook

Postcard Apps for Writing Notes from Afar

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Given most of the world is in lockdown due to COVID, this is probably not the best time to write an article about postcard apps that let you mail a note with your own photo from all over the world.  At the same time, they may still be used to cheer someone up during this difficult time and for the holiday season.

When I began traveling internationally for extensive trips, I wanted an easy way to say “hello” to my friends and family back home without having to hunt for a postcard, find a post office, and get the appropriate postage.

Ink Cards

In chatting with my brother, D’Arcy, he told me about Ink Cards.  The app allows users to upload a photo, write a note, and send a card from anywhere in the world.  Users may connect the Ink Cards app to their photos and contacts.  Additionally, users may add birthdays and schedule when the cards will be sent, useful tools for sending a birthdays card on time.

I tried the app, but ultimately have never sent a card with this app for two reasons.

  1.  I could not find a plain postcard.  They all included a theme such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Thank You, Happy Birthday.  I wanted a simple card which featured my photography.
  2. Additionally, I tested out an international address, and I could not get past this stage as I was likely entering the address incorrectly.  As a result, I didn’t know how much an international postcard would cost.

Cost of Postcards

A domestic card costs $2 and pre-purchasing credits provides a 20% discount.  The app provides upgrade options from postcards to notes.  Notes cost $4.  If upgrading to a note, gift cards to major retailers may be added.  As a result, Ink is likely the best of the Postcard Apps for sending a Christmas gift!

While I didn’t originally use the app, nor have I since, I later since found another service by Ink Cards called Postagram. It was hidden in the 3 bar drop down menu. In the meantime, however, I had already searched other options for a plain postcard. I found two more postcard apps, PostSnap and TouchNote.

Pros: Low cost, ability to send gift cards

Cons: must use designs

PostSnap

I began with PostSnap because I didn’t have to select a plan upon signing up as with TouchNote (more on this later).  It is very easy to create a postcard.  Just select the postcard layout, add a photo, and then apply different effects and borders for the front of the card.

The back of the card provides space for a message, the recipient’s address and your signature with a photo of you.  After making the appropriate edits, be sure to select the postcard size.  The app defaults on the bigger, more expensive postcard which costs $3.25.  The smaller postcard, which is still a nice size, costs $2.75.

Cost of Postcards

PostSnap provides a discount with pre-purchased credits.  I purchased the most popular plan for $50 to receive $20 free, or the equivalent of 7 cards.  So, the cards are actually $3 a piece, and the $2.75 is my discounted rate. The pre-purchased credits may be used for up to two years after purchase.

PostSnap postcard apps plans

Other Things to Consider

While I like the signature option as it makes the postcard feel more personal with something handwritten, PostSnap doesn’t save it for future use, which I found that frustrating.

Just as with Ink Cards, users may add birthdays, but the option is not conveniently available with checkout.  Instead, users must go into the “more” menu and select birthday and events. 

The above two inconveniences along with some stability issues led me to revisit TouchNote.

That said, for those who want the ability to add a signature, the nice quality card from PostSnap is a good option.  Here is my code (9F3F70) for $2 off.

Pros: ability to add a signature

Cons: expensive

TouchNote

Of the three postcard apps listed, TouchNote is my favorite.  However, the sign-up process in the beginning was a turnoff.  The company requires a membership for any discount.  Not only am I not a big fan of memberships, as a new customer, I didn’t understand all the details and benefits.

Additionally, initially only the silver membership was available to me, and I wanted a bigger discount with the ability to send more cards.  I really liked many features on the cards, however, so I reluctantly signed up for the silver membership and immediately contacted customer service.

Cost of Postcards

Fortunately, Touchnote’s customer service is outstanding!  They responded to my request to upgrade to a gold membership in 24 hours and also clarified some of my confusion.  With the Gold membership, I pay $120 per year for 6 monthly cards which calculates to $1.67 each. The cards don’t have to be used each month.  They may be rolled over for six months. 

Touchnote postcard apps membership

While it is not the two year expiration that PostSnap offers, it gives me enough flexibility with my travels, birthdays and COVID cheer up notes to write the cards when I want. Additionally, sometimes I get bonus cards. So now that I am past my initial irritation of getting a membership, of which there are other choices, I really like this post card app.

Other Things to Consider

As with PostSnap, it is easy to upload a photo to a plain design with optional layouts, borders, effects and text.  TouchNote, however, includes four additional features that I love.  And all for a lower price.

First, the app includes an orders tab which lists the recipient and the date the card was posted.  I find this function extremely helpful for my poor memory. I may review the list to remind me to whom I have sent a card recently.

order summary page on Touchnote

Second, the birthday function is easily added to the contact at the time of ordering the card.  This feature is far more handy than having to sift through a drop down menu later.

Finally, I love being able to add a map and a stamp to the back.  The map shows where and when the picture is taken, like Denver in November 2020.  And the stamp provides another spot where a photo may be added.  I use it for my logo.

As I mentioned above, this is my favorite postcard app.  Give it a try and if you like it, here is my code, ELIZLUTM, for $10 off a membership. 

Pros: ease of use, order tracking, ability to add map, low cost with membership

Cons: membership required for discount

Summary

Again, since few people are traveling, it might not be the best time to write this article, but using these postcard apps is a fun and easy way to send a note from afar. Of course with the challenges of COVID19 these days, just about everyone could use are card!

Aura Digital Frame

On a side note, no pun intended, another way to send fun pictures to your family is through Aura Digital Frames.  I got one for my mom for Christmas last year, and she loves it.  She has it on the side table by her favorite chair in the living room.

I gave it to her early because I wanted to send her photos from afar while I was on my six week vacation in the South Pacific visiting Tonga, American Samoa, Samoa, the Solomons, and Vanuatu.  I thought she would enjoy seeing a new one appear on the frame when she settled down to watch news.

She liked it so much, she just started adding all her favorite photos to it!  That’s the beauty of the frame.  Anyone who is provided access, may add photos.  So, it may be a gift from everyone in the family!  She has so many photos on there now, I don’t even know if she’d notice a new one pop up.

Regardless, it is a fun Christmas gift for families, and even the technically challenged can work it!  While this link won’t give you a discount unless there is a sale, you may check it out here.  ETB

Shop

Check out the photographic note cards and key chains at my shop.  Each card has a travel story associated with it.  20% of proceeds are donated to charity.

photographic note card, snowy waterfall in oregon
SNOWY FALLS

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Published by

Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned travel photographer and blogger.

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