Recently, MomSelect and Smartecard gave me the opportunity to use smartecard.org to create and send cards via email. I was thrilled to have the chance to first, send cards to my many friends whom I keep in touch with via email or facebook but not necessarily in person or via mail, second, to be just a smidge *green* in my holiday giving, and, third, to give to a charitable organization while sending my Christmas cards. I love being able to give whenever I can; how amazing is it that I can help Cure Childhood Cancer while doing what I normally do every year anyway!
The process seems simple enough. Registration and creation of your holiday cards (they have MANY types of cards from “Thank You” to “Christmas” to “Birthday” to “Kwanzaa” to “Friendship” and pretty much anything in-between) is free; the cost thereafter is $1.00 for each credit which will send out one card to an email recipient. I chose a Christmas card.
I like that I can upload MANY pictures into the card and that there is a timeline attached to the card. Often, with a printed card, one is limited to the number of pictures and the text that is in the card. I know that many times, I end up typing and printing a separate holiday letter to update everyone on our annual events. Smartecard solves this. It reminds me of a mini-PowerPoint presentation – but easier to create! All I did was upload my pictures into my account. This was a bit of a challenge for me since my pictures files were rather large; it was a rather slow process. You can only upload twelve pictures at a time as well.
Once your files have been uploaded, I will remind you to save your project. I always think that if I have an account and I have uploaded something to that account, it is there for me later. Smartecard does not autosave.
The next part is the FUN part. Drag your photos to the timeline. You can add more frames if you like. You can double-click on a frame to move the picture, to add text, and to even rotate pictures. Make the card YOURS for the giving! Personalize, personalize, personalize! Tell the story that you want to tell. Enjoy!
After you have created your timeline of pictures, select your music. I love the tunes, and it was a really difficult choice. This music isn’t MIDI files either (is that what they’re called?!); it has good sound quality.
After you have played the music and made your selection, it’s time to preview your card.
Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect; you can always go back and edit. I know this because I did this…. THREE TIMES! A card is after all a little gift you give to someone you love; it should be as perfect as it is going to be!
After you have previewed and edited to your heart’s delight, SAVE THAT CARD!
Then, don’t keep it cooped up in smartecard’s website; send that card out to all the people you love! They have made it very easy to send smartecards to your friends and family: import your email contacts from one of the many providers they have OR manually input names and email addresses of those dear to you. There is also a section for adding an email message – you know, for Aunt Martha, who isn’t quite sure if she should click on something she receives in an email.
In your account, they keep track of the credits that you have sent and the cards that have been opened. If Aunt Martha decides that might be a deadly computer virus and never opens her beautiful card, your account isn’t charged the credit. How SMART is that?
There are many charitable organizations that you can choose to donate to by using smartecard.org while still sending a little gift of love.
Some *fun* features that smartecard.org uses:
- Use the “Import Contacts” button in the Address Book to quickly display and select your contacts from Gmail, AOL, Yahoo and others.
- Text headers in the “Intro” and “Outro” screens of your card builder are not moveable, but the custom text box is.
- “Batch upload” photos from your desktop to save time.
- Recipients will use the “send a comment” feature to send nice messages back to you–directly to your email.
- Use the “Reports” tab to see exactly who has opened your card.
|Lauralee Saad loves homeschooling her three kiddos: Ballerina, age 8, Big Boy, age 6, and MESS, age 3. She enjoys sewing when she can find a spare corner to set up her machine and dig out fabrics, cooking and baking – especially if the kiddos are helping, and enjoying a good book after the kiddos have gone to bed. She is thrilled to be welcoming a baby girl into the family in March of 2012.|