Thursday 19 April 2018

Review of Paperless Post

  If you've been reading my weekly posts, you'd know that I'm currently pregnant. How exciting, I know. :) I've just crossed the six months mark and if all goes according to plan, I should be due on the 13th of July 2018.

  One of my best friend, Hush, decided to plan a baby shower for me. Funny thing; the Chinese do a "full month celebration" or a "100 days celebration" for the baby, so I thought that baby showers were the Western version of that. Apparently not. Baby showers celebrate the parents and happen BEFORE the baby is born. Who'd have thought.

  I've got catering done. Balloons will be bought. Decorations have been planned. Now I just needed a way to send out invitations. It just happened that I discovered a company called "Paperless Post" to do just that. Paperless Post creates e-invitations to any events that you might have. This was a great option for me because I didn't want to send out physical invitations, but just sending a text message to my guests seemed a little too casual. Electronic invitations seemed like the perfect in-between.

  Paperless Post has beautiful design templates, with an easy-to-use interface. And the best part is, people can RSVP directly through the invitation- no more phone calls or text messages needed. I can also see that this would be great if you have an informal gathering for cocktails, or a really large event like a wedding, or if you didn't want to contribute to paper wastage.

  To start, you can use your Facebook or Google account to sign into the website, or you can create an account. You can then go ahead and add email addresses to your "Address Book".

The red arrow is where it's at.

  After that's done, you'll get to the fun part- designing your own invitations!

  There's so many designs to choose from, for so many different occasions... Birthday parties, weddings, happy hour get-togethers (that sounds fun)...

  I was glad that the baby shower invitations were not all pink or blue, or gender reveals... I never liked the idea of that. My baby shower's theme was going to be teal-white-gold-coral.

Literal baby shower? hehe

I liked this coral-gold combination.

 There were storks, and flowers, and animals... In some designs, you could even upload your own photos. Lots of designs were really pastel and soft, and I'm a more... *coughs* loud, sort of person... So I picked this design:

  You can change everything from the text that's written on the invite, to the fonts, the sizes of the words, the colours of the words... You can even add a backdrop for your card. One thing I wished you could do, is to have multiple boxes, so that you could add texts in a staggered fashion rather than align left/centre/right only. 

  After that, you get to choose an envelope and a liner. For an additional coin, you get to pick your own stamp design.

  What's this "coin" thing I'm mentioning? It's a virtual currency that you use to buy the designs on Paperless Post. After you've finished designing your invites, the site will tell you how much it'd cost per invite, and then you can use the currency to purchase however many invites you need.

  You can also add additional "pages" should you need to tell your guests how to get to the venue, or when to arrive, or whether food/drinks will be served. Here's how mine looked like:

  After you've done the invitation design, (and that took me forever in its own right... there are literally so many design options to choose from...) you get to fiddle with how you want your guests to reply. I discovered that you could ask for their mailing address, which seemed like a great option if you were having a wedding and wanted to figure out how many people would be free to attend it before you ordered physical invitations to send via post.

  I just picked the RSVP option, so guests could just click "will attend" or "will not attend". Paperless Post then got me to fill out a form that included the event's name, venue of the event, date and time of the event... and then it gave me the option to include my phone number for the guests to reach me, and also an additional box if I wanted to ask them a question. (I asked whether they would bring additional guests.) Here, you can also get guests to give you their mailing address, add a comment, and you can even include a gift registry.

  After that, you click "Next" and it's just a matter of making sure everything looks good by clicking on "Preview Invitation". If all looks swell, you can import your contacts from your address book, and then send out to e-invites to your guest list. There's even an option to send yourself a test email.

  I checked and re-checked, and double re-checked the card to make sure all the details were correct... and then finally hit the "send" button. I sent one invite to myself just to see how it'd look like on the guests' side. I was very pleased. The cards that I had spent so long creating were there. The last card told guests to reply below. After you scrolled down, you'd see the date and time and venue of the event. You could even click a button to get directions on Google maps to the event. And you could send a message to the host by clicking another button. And the little buttons for "will attend" and "will not attend" would follow you as you scrolled down the page. Great attention to detail.

(Address blocked out for obvious privacy reasons..)

  After you click "send", Paperless Post directs you to a page with a list of all your guests, and whether or not they have replied. An easy way to check on how many guests will be attending, and whom you need to check-in with as the event date draws closer.

(Emails blocked out for privacy reasons. Mine is shown, because it's all over this blog, so it's not like it's a secret.)

  Oh, and... If you're a more traditional letter-by-post sort of person, I happened to find out that Paperless Post has a sister site that sells actual physical invitations. Find out more here:

  I'm beyond thrilled at how the invites turned out. Now, I just need to wait for all my guests to RSVP. All in all, I would use Paperless Post again... I even have remaining credits. They also do "thank you" cards, but I'll be creating mine by hand and gifting them my guests on the day of the baby shower. Perhaps I'll do a Christmas card for this year.

  Expect pictures of the baby shower. :)  I have a couple of cute things planned.

  I'm excited. A new chapter of my life. It feels surreal, at times. Or I'll forget that I'm pregnant, and then I'll feel the baby kick and then be reminded. Stephanie: Artist, Certified Zentangle Teacher, daughter, wife, and now soon-to-be mother... I can't wait to see what the future holds.

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