Using Greeting Cards for TN Dashboards

by Andrea Koochin

June 2017

It almost sounds interesting, doesn’t it – nice shiny surface, good quality card stock, if you are lucky – but what about the pictures and writing you don’t want? How do you cover that up?

So here is the fun part, using this online system you can create greeting cards with any images you like including your own photos, and you can write whatever messages you like as well. There are thousands of stock cards to choose from, but a blank card is as blank as a blank document, and you can add writing in different fonts and colours, backgrounds, images, photos, even clip art, and create something totally unique.

Each card is created individually, stuffed into an envelope and sent to the recipient from the printers in Salt Lake City for you, so it’s a great tool for last minute cards and gifts, and you can even send cards from an app on your phone. I’ve been using this online system to make greeting cards for about 5 years, and a few months ago I realized the shiny, good quality card stock made a great dashboard surface to stick things on. So I made some ‘greeting cards’ which I sent myself so that I could use them as dashboards, and it was a resounding success.

To design my dashboards I took a blank card template, and added the design I wanted. The two smaller dashboards in my photos are the front and back of one greeting card, so I got even more of a bargain on that one, and when the card arrived I just cut it along the fold, scored each side down the middle, and folded each one in half. Then they slip onto one of my TN elastics easily. It’s a little wider than Field Notes size.

Savvy Tomato Greeting Card in TN
Savvy Tomato Greeting Card in TN

Then I figured I might not want the dashboards to be that small, so I could use a whole card and trim it down if necessary, and you see in the photo, the larger one, which I just popped in the back of a notebook, I trimmed to fit. These greeting cards are standardly 5″ x 7″, but you can also get 8.5 x 11, and that covers just about any size of planner you might have. The price is really low too – a standard 5” x 7” card costs $1.66 including postage.

Now you might be wondering what happens at the back of the card as most greeting cards are white with the designer info and the publisher’s logo on the back and my dashboards have a design on them. Well, the greeting card system I use allows me to customize the back of the card with whatever I want, as well as the rest of the card, so I can play with all four sides which allows me total freedom in my design. This is so that if businesses send greeting cards out, they can use their own company branding on the back rather than someone else’s.

For travelers notebooks it is important that you get a fold in your dashboard, but for ring or disc bound planners it does not matter at all, so you just cut along the fold and punch your holes where you want them.

As I write, my imagination is running away with me – what if you created the design of the dashboard with a tab which you could then cut out? How useful would that be?

And now to the free offer

I’d like to offer readers of Carie’s wonderful Paper Planning Magazine a free greeting card dashboard of their own design.

Option One – standard card back

If you want to try the system out for yourself and do not mind having a standard white back with the SendOutCards logo on it, this is what you have to do to get your dashboard.

  • Go to SendOutCards.com/SavvyTomato
  • Click on Send A Card in the upper right corner
  • I recommend you do ‘allow someone to show you the system’ as this is like a video step by step walk through and will show you how to format the text and add your own images
  • You will be creating a new account for yourself so after you have designed your card, you will be asked to enter both the shipping and the recipient address, which will probably both be the same in this case
  • You will need to think up a password so that you can return to your account and create more designs another day
  • But let me remind you, if you do it this way, the back of your card will be white with the SendOutCards logo in the middle, which might not matter if you are going to put sicky notes all over it in any case

Option Two – customized back

If you want the full four customized sides you will have to

  • Send your design to me and I will generate and send the card for you
  • I will need your artwork, and you can send jpegs of your design, or an image you want me to use, the more information you give me the more my creation will resemble what you imagined
  • You are designing for 5 x 7 in portrait if you use the full 5” x 7” size or landscape for folding if you make it smaller as I did in my photo
  • You will still need to give me the mailing address, but you won’t need the password this time
  • You can send all your information to me at andreakoochin@gmail.com and if you have any questions at all feel free to call me on 858-829-5226 and I can figure out how to help you get what you need.

Happy designing my friends!

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