I don’t know about you, but I still get excited to go to the mailbox. I intentionally let a few days go by before I check it so that I get my super “jackpot” pile.  Upon turning the key, I get a waterfall of flyers and envelopes landing in my hands. Yes, this disorganized chaos still enlightens me. Of course, it’s not the bills that I’m dying to rip open or the fact that as I walk from my mailbox to my recycling bin some items are instantly distributed to the blue bin, that I think is pretty common. In an age where getting an email or sharing a picture on Facebook is the preferred way to chronicle your travels or celebrate your grandmother’s 90th Birthday, there is something to be said about the anticipation of getting that thick 4×6 piece of cardstock with a slanted stamp from a someone who doesn’t live within driving distance from you. Postcards are timeless treasures that continue to make our hearts dance each time we get one.

That being said, the last time that I sent any postcards was backpacking through Europe in my early 20’s. Each city that I passed through I made sure to not only collect some for myself but at least to send some home.  In those days, (2003), there weren’t any fancy social media sites that enabled me to tweet to my friends I had my best cappuccino in a small café in Rome because an event like that wasn’t headline worthy. Exploring the Sistine Chapel, taking posed photos of pretending to hold the Leaning Tower or Pisa with my arms alone was what I though was brilliant photo (like thousands of others). The only problem with that was that there was no way of sending that exact moment back home. If memory serves me correctly I still loaded my camera with film that day as we only had one digital camera to take on the trip. My problem back then is not a problem today. Using an app in your iPhone is all you need to make sure those precious moments are delivered right to the door of your friends or family.

Postcard on the Run

People use phones more than just to hear a friendly voice these days and so it’s natural that a lot of picture taking is captured on our mobile devices. I think we all have hundreds of image galleries saved on our computer or stored in our phones and printing is more of a hassle than first on our priority list. Postcard on the run is a profound App available for iPhone, iPads and iPhone users. It allows you to send pictures in printed format to any recipient in your address book without having to purchase a stamp.  Postcards can be created from the coffee shop you’re sitting in to accessing your photo albums on Facebook. Grab your favourite pic from one of your albums to share with someone who may not have a Facebook account. The app will detect the resolution of the photo and let you know if it is good enough to send.  When uploading new photos to Facebook, you can select the picture quality as you of the photo:

The entire process takes only a few minutes. Essentially, you take a photo, select a recipient from your address book, add a personal message then hit send. That’s it. International mail service varies, but those within the U.S. average 3-5 business days for delivery.  Postal Grapher is an in-app feature that allows you to retrieve an address right from your address book without having to manually input the data. What if you don’t have an address for the recipient? At that point, it the App will prompt you to either text or send an email to the person so they can send you the address. Once you receive the confirmation of the address, it is automatically saved to your phone.  You can also create groups so that you can send one photo to more than one person at a time.

How it works

Adding a GPS map and being able to preview both sides of your card is another great feature embedded within this app as is the option to post your finalized postcard to Facebook.

Show me the money!

The price varies based on how many post cards you send but it will range from $.99 to $1.49 each, printed, addressed and mailed. Payment is made through any major Credit Card and to ensure privacy, a secure payment token is generated in your device so you don’t have to re-enter the same information each time.

There is a pending feature called “ smell mail “ that will allow you to select a scent like sun tan lotion, or Christmas tree to your postcard with a scratch –and –sniff option.  This is just the beginning for this genius application that I’m sure will be mobilized to other personal devices in the future. If you’re a developer, you can request to be part of their private Beta Program so you can integrate the postcard features within your own applications.  This is one App that doesn’t eliminate the traditional functionality of its message but rather re-invent our passion for the long lost art of postcard writing. I think it’s time to head back to Europe and do it all over again