I’ve always tried to make a sincere attempt at keeping up on sending birthday and holiday cards, packages, etc. There is just something to be said for keeping in touch via snail mail and taking a step away from social media for those special messages. Plus, I don’t know about all of you, but I personally LOVE getting fun mail, so it makes me happy to think that I might be putting a smile on someone’s face by sending them a hand written card or letter. Screw the bills and junk! Anyway, despite the best of intentions, it’s inevitable that I miss someone or am really late…
BUT, there’s hope for me yet! Last year, for the first time EVER, I actually managed to hand write and send Christmas cards! Not everyone received them before Christmas, but hey – I got them in the mail before the 25th! That inspired me to make a resolution to get better at my timing, as well as to make sure that no one gets missed.
Until now, I’ve used an excel spreadsheet for my addresses and my brain (yikes…) to remember important occasions. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like my brain just doesn’t want to hold all of the important stuff. I was in Hallmark recently and lamenting about this, and an employee let me know about the Hallmark websites calendar… Little did I know what I would find there!
Fellow MacSuzies, meet MyHallmark – an event calendar and address book all rolled into one!
image courtesy of Hallmark
This ad on their website pretty much sums it up!
After tooling around in my account for a couple weeks, here is a list of some of my favorite features, plus more info below:
IMPORT your addresses!!!!
Multiple email reminder options.
Advanced settings for additional occasion/event details.
Ability to choosewhich (if any) holidays you want to view on your calendar.
Coordination with Hallmark Card and Gold Crown Rewards programs.
More fun stuff about my favorite MyHallmrk features:
Address Import:This is MAJOR! Rather than create contacts one at a time and then edit each contact to add birthdays and anniversaries, you can upload an existing list of your own (or download their excel template to fill out first – I highly recommend this) and/or import contacts via email. It will also import dates (birthdays, anniversaries) and relationship info (mother, sister, coworker, etc.). BONUS: If you include the “birthday,” and/or “anniversary” information, the calendar feature will automatically create an event for those dates!
I knew I could upload my existing personal address list from excel, but I wanted to add the additional birthday/anniversary/relationship info. So, I downloaded their template and copied/pasted what I could from my list and filled in the rest. Then, I completed the upload and KABLAMMO! Complete address book ANDcalendar!
MULTIPLE Email Reminders: This was a biggie for me. You don’t have to just receive one reminder which (if you are me) you’ll view and move on to something else, immediately forgetting… You can set all your events to the same set of reminders and/or customize each event with individual reminders (for those times you might want EXTRA nudges, hahaha!). I plan to try to check the full calendar every month and print a list of my upcoming occasions (see “print/export” feature below). Then, with my week before the date email reminder, I’ll make sure to get everything ready to mail out, and set it on the table next to the door. If I miss that, I also get two more reminders – 3 days before (still enough time to mail something!) and the day of (so I don’t forget to call or FaceTime!).
Print/Export Functions: You can print a list of your upcoming calendar occasions, and you can export/save your address book to your computer. I absolutely LOVE that I can print a list of upcoming events – it’s perfect for including in my weekly shopping list. I also plan to keep a monthly list on my bulletin board so I can it’s always within viewing and I can cross off the dates as they pass. I LOVE crossing things off a list, hahahaha! List making might be a problem I have…
To be honest, though, as much as I love the calendar print feature, the address book export feature needs a little work… At this time, you can only export your entire address book – not selected contacts and/or groups. At least, I haven’t figured that out yet. I’ll update if Hallmark ever changes this feature or if I discover how to do it! As I mentioned before, I prefer sending invites by hand, so it would be really great to be able to print off a list for big mailings like Christmas cards.
Advanced Details: Beyond the basic date and reminder options within the calendar dates, MyHallmark offers a notes section and other features. This really helped me with things like Mother’s Day, where I wanted to make a list of all the mothers in my life (yes, I have multiples, hahaha) that I don’t want to forget. I simply added that list in the notes section of the event. That way, I’ll have a list of my moms, grandmothers, aunts, etc. to whom I’d like to send a card.
Choose Your Own Holidays Unlike many email calendars, Hallmark lets you choose the individual holidays you want to view in your calendar, not just a set group of them based on geography or religion. There were tons of “regular” choices including government and religious holidays, plus those like teacher appreciation day, nurses day etc. Simply open your settings and check the boxes for the holidays you want.
Coordination w/Hallmark Rewards Programs: Add your Hallmark rewards number to your online account, and you’ll also be able to view/manage your rewards programs from your MyHallmark dashboard. This works especially great with their new card rewards app which allows you to scan purchased cards (even from other stores!) right from your smartphone and into your rewards account. Check that out here.
Groups/Households: Once you have all your contacts imported or entered, you can organize yourself even further by creating groups of contacts – Christmas card list, wedding thank you’s etc. Besides the “create new group” function (pictured above), you can drag and drop the contact icons into existing groups from main “groups” viewing page.
The groups feature is especially useful if you plan to use your Hallmark address book for mailing paper invites, announcements, holiday cards, etc. that you customize/purchase from their website (if there are some people for which you don’t have addresses, you have the option for those additional invites to be sent to you to mail on your own). They have tons of great invites to choose from, so I will probably give this a try for the next party or shower I host. However, the fact that you can’t export/print a group list (see “print/export” feature above) kind of stinks for people like me who typically likes to send cards/invites by hand.
Sharing: You can share your address book groups with anyone else who also has a MyHallmark account. You always have the power to keep information private and share only the contacts you wish to share. I haven’t tried this yet, but if any of my family signs up for their own accounts, I foresee this as being really useful.
Event Management: If you do decide you want to utilize MyHallmark for the next event you host, you can manage the event right there in your account. I haven’t tried this, but at a glance it looks like you are able to create a group of contacts to invite, send email invites, as well as manage event RSVPs.
So far, that’s all I’ve explored within MyHallmark. That’s all, you say? I know, I practically wrote a book… I couldn’t help it! Those who know me well, know that I love trying to keep myself organized. There may be more cool features for you to check out on your own, but it was a perfect start to get me organized for my New Year’s resolution. Get organized today at www.hallmark.com/myhallmark!
You don’t have the option to create custom reminders for Hallmark-generated holidays, and the reminders for those will default to your basic reminder settings for all events. If you want custom reminders for a certain holiday, you will need to create one on your own and edit those details.
Be sure to check out all of Hallmark’s great apps – there are a ton of really cool ones! There’s one to scan your cards for rewards, one to create and send personalized photo cards right from your phone (or have them ready in 1 hr at Walgreens), and the list goes on. You can read more about each of them here: www.hallmark.com/apps. Each one could seriously be an entire blog post in itself! Gotta love Hallmark, and not just for their adorable ornaments!