As Christmas cards start arriving in the mail, you likely pull out the card...toss the envelope in the trash, right? A few years ago, I started adding in a single step before turning to the trash bin. As a result of my new habit, I am rarely without an address when I need it.
As we increasingly communicate through texts and emails, the practice of keeping an address book with actual physical addresses has become near extinct. Emailing or texting people for their address each year is tedious and leaves the impression that you didn't bother to keep information from the previous year.
With each new holiday card that comes in, I put the envelope in a pile on my coffee table, where I commit to looking through it while catching up on TV after dinner. Later, when I'm settling in for the evening on the couch, I open my Forget Me Not ai account and enter the sender's name and address. If the sender is already in my contact list, I confirm that I have the address correct and note any kids' or pets' names. Since I do this every night, it's only a few envelopes at a time, which means it's taking up maybe 5-10 minutes of my day. Most nights, I'm done before the first commercial break is over!
A few things are vital to making this process successful. First, consider when you are most likely to go through the envelopes quickly. For me, after dinner is best, since I almost always spend a little time unwinding in front of the TV. I see piles in front of me on the coffee table and want to declutter before bed. For you, placing them in the kitchen to go through them while drinking your morning coffee may be best. Others may place them on top of their laptop to tackle before diving into work for the day. I also know people who put them with their lunch sack since their lunch break is their favorite time to catch up on personal tasks. Whatever you choose, make sure it works for you, and try different things until you find the one that sticks.
Second, decide how you will most successfully keep this information. I started with Google Sheets because it allowed me to access the document from anywhere and share it with a spouse. I then moved it into forgetmenotai.com, so I would get reminders for things like birthdays and give me a way to schedule cards and emails in advance. It has come in handy more times than I can count when driving to a friend's house and suddenly remembering that we can't remember their house number.
I must confess that I am terrible with names and feel like a bum when I forget my friends' kids' names. Knowing I tend to remember things when I see them written out, I decided to add a 'notes' column to my spreadsheet to serve as a cheatsheet. Since people often add their kids' names to their Christmas cards, holiday mail is a great way to get the information you need in just seconds.
Since incorporating this life hack into my life, I've cut the time it takes to send out holiday cards and other correspondence, gotten much better at remembering the names of my friends' loved ones, and have convinced everyone I have my sh*t together much better than I actually do!