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Years ago, I can remember sitting in hotel rooms writing out postcards to send to my grandmother and other relatives. I’d lovingly pick out “the best” pictures from the postcard rack, write a short note, and hope that my mother remembered to pack an address book (she always did).
Over time, I started sending fewer and fewer postcards. It became a hassle to buy stamps for international postage. I stayed at hostels or other accommodations where I wasn’t sure they’d even put my card in the outgoing mail. And even when I did send postcards, it was frustrating that delivery times from abroad could be weeks — and too often, my postcards never ended up delivered at all.
But I still like the premise of postcards. They’re more personal than a Facebook update or a mass email. Besides, who doesn’t like to get things in the mail?
While I was in Asia, I experimented a little with postcard apps. If I could send a personalized update home from my cell phone, I was all in. I carry my phone around with me everywhere these days, so it couldn’t possibly get more convenient.
For my experiment, I sent one postcard home using the Postagram app and another using Touchnote. Both services use your digital photos to print and deliver a physical postcard straight from your phone to your family’s mailbox. It’s the perfect solution for when you’re trekking Nepal and literally don’t have a post office nearby. It’s also great when you’re busy doing things all day and don’t have time to buy stamps during business hours.
Postagram Postcard App
The first note I sent home was through the Postagram postcard app. Postagram is simple to download and use: just select a photo, add a message, input the address, and they’ll print and mail the card to anywhere in the US, Canada, or Europe. My postcard was just 99 cents and it was delivered promptly.
Unfortunately, Postagram had a few notable flaws. For one thing, you’re limited to just 140 characters of text. That’s fine for a tweet, but not much for a postcard. Additionally, I really dislike how they only print a 3″ x 3″ photo rather than using the entire front of the card. Supposedly that’s a selling point because you can punch out the photo square, though I’m not sure for what purpose.
Touchnote Postcard App
Disappointed with the first solution, I tried sending another postcard home, this time using the Touchnote postcard app. Like Postagram, Touchnote is simple to use but has a few more features. You can reposition, rotate, or zoom a photo to fit on the face of a postcard the way you want it.
Then just add in your address, up to a 500-character note, and hand over $1.99. Touchnote then prints and mails your customized postcard. The postcard I designed in Laos made it home in just 4 days.
All in all, I couldn’t be happier with Touchnote. It delivers everything I want — conveniently and reliably. I’ll admit the $1.99 pricetag is higher than you’d pay to mail a postcard the old fashioned way, but remember, you don’t have to chase down postage or wonder if you’ll get home before the postcard does. Throw in a personal photo, and it’s worth every penny.
Everyone I ended up sending postcards to enjoyed them, so I’m glad I experimented. Next time I’ll plan on sending out even more. This souvenir is cheap, easy to buy, and won’t take up space in my luggage.
17 thoughts on “Sending Postcards from Your Phone”
I still send old fashioned postcards where ever I go. Sadly, though, they usually get sent the day that leave. So, I’m home by the time they are in my friends and families hands. I’ve never tried either of the apps. I do have plans on trying them in the future now that I know about them. Thanks for the tips!
@Scott, I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who sends a note home. Let me know what you think of the apps when you get a chance to try them!
@Becky, I read that the Postcard On The Run app, which was featured on ABC’s Shark Tank, is also supposed to be a great app for sending postcards. The cost is a bit higher than the two apps you shared about ($2.49). I think I’ll try all three apps next time I leave the frozen prairie!
My favorite app is Snapshot Postcard. It costs 99¢ per card. My husband is the one who usually sends postcards (the old kind), but the Snapshot Postcards are great when the postcards on the rack are lackluster or don’t include the sights you visited (plus you can get in the picture). I also like that these have a “return address” spot. An actual return address isn’t required, so you can add your own custom message — an opportunity to squeeze in another few words about the attraction or a personal comment.
@VH, I’ll definitely check out Snapshot Postcard on my next trip. Thanks for the recommendation!
Hey Becky, have you tried Postsnap? (www.postsnap.com)? I stopped using Touchnote because they put their prices up recently, but even without that, Postsnap has far more customization features than anything else on the market. It’s certainly worth a look! They do Postcards, greeting cards but also invitations and announcement cards. It’s a lovely little app!
@Ellen, Thanks for the suggestion! I hadn’t heard of Postsnap but will check it out on my next trip. Happy travels!
That is so awesome! I travel ALL the time, so Snapshot Postcard is perfect for me. The price is right, too!
As someone who used to collect postcards and still loves receiving them? I think this would be a great app to try out. I Love the idea of sending and receiving postcards while traveling with ease. What a unique way to send a little “hey we are enjoying vacation” or “Hey thinking of you while traveling” note to someone!
@Brandy, It’s so cute and personalized. Happy travels!
That is the best app I have ever seen for anyone who enjoys traveling. We love to travel, and I am definitely going to be making full use of this to share memories with the fam. Thanks!
This is brilliant! I can’t wait to share it with my husband. We are going to have so much fun!!
@Cathi, It’s a fun souvenir for home, too!
I love this. I had no idea there were postcard apps. I will be doing this on my next trip.
Hi Becky, have you tried textmycards.com? It’s fairly simple and basic, but you can send a postcard via SMS, their webpage or Facebook messenger for $1.50, postage included. It’s great because of its simplicity and flexibility and no app to download. I recently used it on my honeymoon to bora bora to send thank you cards for our honeyfund gifts. All we needed was a wifi connection and by the time we got back our thank you cards were done! Plus everyone loved getting them while they knew we were still on our honeymoon.
@Matt, I haven’t heard of that but it sounds great to use an option without an app! Very cool idea and fun story to try it from your honeymoon. Happy travels!
This is the review I just left on the Touchnote app… I will personally never use them again. After reading such glowing reviews about TouchNote, we decided to switch it up this year, and use them to send our annual holiday cards (usually around 75-100 cards are sent to friends and family).
Price: First of all, I read that postcards cost only $1.99 on a blog post recommending them, only to find out they are actually $2.99 + tax. Ok, so not price effective compared to other apps.
Card design and subscription: To add any fun designs to your card, you must subscribe (various tiers). Otherwise, what is unlocked is extremely basic. I subscribed thinking I would also get a discount if I purchase credit in bulk. Nope. I complained to customer service about this. They told me to redownload the app. I did. Still no discounts. And just recently, bulk discounts appeared on the app. Ugh.
Delivery (or lack thereof): I was pressed on time, so I decided to just send everything out regardless of price. I’m not the type to ask if people have received our cards or not, because it hasn’t been an issue in the past. However, my parents asked if we were sending out this year. I mentioned I had a card sent out to them on Dec 5th, and it should’ve arrived by the 13th. It was Dec 20th. I then asked a few other people, and that said they hadn’t received anything either. So, I reached out to customer service and they gave me a partial refund and a few credits. Mind you, I had to type out every single person’s name who responded to me that said they didn’t received anything. Between the calls, texts and emails, this took me hours. I of course had to use that money refunded to resend all of those cards ( I wasn’t going to switch to another app, because we liked our final design). Guess what? People still haven’t received them.
User friendless: There is no option on your ordered cards to mention that the card wasn’t delivered. You have to email customer service each time. I could’ve sworn there was an option until I complained. And now it’s no longer there.
Quality: We always send a copy to ourselves, which arrived in late December. I was disappointed by the quality of the card and how small in size it is.
I am genuinely shocked they have such high ratings, and I look forward to deleting this app (as soon as I’m refunded). If you want high quality cards delivered on time, then please consider another app. You’ll thank me later.