Tracking greeting cards

By Serjmooradian at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons Another useful little holiday tool I’ve developed is a card tracker. If you’re of the school of manners that says you shouldn’t send the same greeting card to the same person two years in a row, or to two people who are likely to visit each others’ houses, then you’re faced with the question of what to do with any leftovers. You can throw them away, you can try to give them away, you can try to find some other crafty re-use for them, or you can try to track who you sent each one to with some sort of inventory.

Now, this could be done like the gift inventory I did last week, but there’s a key difference. While you’d presumably have at least one gift per person per year, which would lead to an every-expanding number of columns if there was a column for each item, you only have a finite number of cards at any given time, and you don’t really care about who you sent a particular card to, once you don’t have any more of them.

So instead of making the column headers the years, you can use the descriptions of the cards as the column headers, and enter the years in the cells below, like so:

tree photo 2 puppies
Granddad E. 2010 2013 2012
Grandma R. 2011 2010 2013
Mom & Dad 2010 2011 2012
Uncle Bob 2012 2009 2011

As an inventory, that’s all you need. In addition to tracking what you’ve sent people in the past, you can also add people to it even if you’ve never sent them a card before, but want to start.

One quick formatting note before I wrap up, though: If you use the descriptions as the column headers, you’ll want to abbreviate them to get them as short as possible while still telling you card it is, and you’ll probably want to tell the cells to wrap (here’s how), and resize the columns to get rid of the excess space.

Next week I’ll be back with some possible refinements that make this more helpful than just a simple inventory.