I know, I know, it’s only September, and you are sick of the stores putting out all of their Christmas stuff before Halloween even gets here. I will defend myself by saying that although this is perfect advice for holiday cards, it’s really just good advice any time to get your friends and family’s addresses in order. So, what is this magical, fantastical way to get all of your contacts in order? I’m so glad you asked.
Gathering the Addresses
First things first, if you ALREADY have your contacts in your Google account, you are one step ahead of the game. While viewing your contacts on the web, you will need to export the list. Select the people you will be sending your card to and then click the “more” at the top of the screen, and then select Export.
Export the file as a CSV by clicking these options
Once you have the file (which will be called google.csv) saved on your computer. Then visit drive.google.com and click New and select “upload file” and find the google.csv that you just saved and open it up. Click the top of the screen that says “open in sheets”. Once you have the file opened in sheets you can skip down to the Creating the Labels section below.
First you will need to sign into your Google account. If you have gmail, or blogger, or any other number of Google based products… you have a google account. Then head over to drive.google.com. On the top left corner, you will see a button that says CREATE. Click that and then select Form from the drop-down menu.
When the new blank form opens up, you’ll see something a little like this…
I titled my form “Kimmel Holiday Card List”. The first thing you will need to enter after the title is the first question you will ask your friends and family. Typically it will be for their name so you can know who you are sending it to. There are options for “Question Type”. Since you want them to type in their name, you will just select “Text”.
Next we need to add another form field.
Click the “Add Item” button under the “Done” button. You will be able to type in your next question, and select “text” as well.
Continue adding fields until you have all of the information you would like to request. Once you are done adding the fields, go ahead and push the DONE button.
There will be 3 checkboxes you can select. For these purposes I would uncheck all 3, but you can read through them and see if you want to leave those options turned on.
If you’d REALLY like to have fun with it, up at the top of the screen is a button in the menu bar that says “Change Theme”. You can press this and be presented with various backgrounds for your form. I’ve selected “Classic Ornamental”
Once it’s looking exactly how you want, it’s time to share it with your friends and family! Simply click “Send Form” on the top right of the page. From here you can easily share the link via Twitter, Facebook, or Google+, or just copy the URL so you can post it anywhere you want. You can also email it to folks right from this area too!
Now, there are two ways for you to view responses you receive in your form. The first is you can go back to the form itself and click the top button “view responses”. OR you can go back to your Google Drive and just click on the document called Holiday Card List (Responses). This will take you directly to the responses.
Creating the Labels
If you’ve ever used Google Spreadsheets, or Excel before, the responses should look familiar to you. The beauty of this is that now that the responses are in a nice easy to use spreadsheet, you can create labels for your Christmas cards REALLY easily… without you ever having to re-type a single thing.
As long as you are using Google Chrome, download and install the Avery Label Maker add on located here.
Now, go back to your Google drive, and instead of creating a new form this time you are going to create a new document. Click “Add-ons” at the top and select Avery Label Merge, and then “New Merge”
Next, it will ask you what kind of Avery Labels you have. When you purchase a box of Avery Labels, there is a numerical number on the box. Usually on the top left or right. You will use this number to select the correct format for your mailing labels.
Once you’ve chosen which labels you’ve purchased, you will select which spreadsheet has the data you want. In this case it’s “Kimmel Holiday Card”
On the right you will see all of your form fields. Just start clicking on them to add them to the label. Make sure to press enter, and to format the City, State and Zip appropriately, as pictured below.
Now you are ready to click “Merge”!
Once it’s done, just load the Avery labels into your printer and print it out! Easy peasy!
Disclosure: It’s possible that I may have sent out ONE Christmas card the entire 13 years I’ve been married… it’s also possible that even though I have this super easy solution, Christmas cards don’t just write themselves, so I MAY not end up sending them out this year either. I was NOT paid or compensated by Avery or Google, I just wanted everyone to know how easy it can be!
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you make a purchase using the links.
Sarah Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 16 years of her career as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on KSL News, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com