Do you send out holiday cards? I can remember my mother beginning this laborious process every December, spending long hours at the kitchen table writing and addressing cards to everyone we knew. As much as I love sending and receiving mail, I rarely put in the effort to send out cards come Christmas. I simply can’t imagine spending that kind of time and energy to communicate with friends and family when I can quickly and easily connect on Facebook.

A new generation of apps allows you to quickly create and customize cards on your tablet or phone and then send electronic or printed versions to family and friends. These apps are easy to use and the end result is even more personal than the traditional hand-written card. Here are a few of my finds…


Paperless Post


Paperless post has long been my go-to for really great looking e-cards. They do the best job of simulating the best part of the print card experience (envelope, paper textures, letterpress) in a totally digital space. You can also send out customized photo cards, and the service is completely free. Available on your desktop and for the iPhone.



Ink Cards


Cute and easy to customize, this app allows you to send actual paper cards of your designs. And at only $1.99 per card, including postage, it’s a budget friendly way to send your season’s greetings. Available on the iPad and for Android devices.


Apple Cards


Like Ink Cards, Apple Cards sends out printed cards as well, but they take it to the next level by adding the tactile delight of letterpress and high-quality paper stocks. You’ll pay a more premium price, however, as Apple Cards start at $2.99 per card, including postage. Available here for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.



Great designs and witty messages make justWINK a popular pick, with the added bonus that you have the option to send the card via email, text, snail mail, or Facebook. Printed cards run $2.99 per card, including postage. Everything else is free. Available for iPhone or Android devices.



Really wow them this year by sending a video card. It is great for showing a whole year’s worth of pictures in less than a minute, so these cards are great for families. This app is super user friendly, but doesn’t allow for a lot of customization. You can email the video for free or order a DVD. Available on your desktop or for iPhone or Android devices.

~Elizabeth VanStee is a graphic designer at Airfoil, a high-tech PR and marcomm firm with offices in Silicon Valley and Detroit.