1. The Katz Family Christmas Photo letter. In previous years, it took hours and hours to cut and paste prints into the final collage. Then I’d drive the hard copy to the print shop, and return a couple of days later to pick up the copies. The process usually involved two road trips and a delay in the middle.
Last weekend I created this year’s version using only digital images, emailed a pdf of the final product to the print shop, and an hour later was notified that 60 color copies were ready for pick up. So much easier! (Yes, I know, I could just email to friends and family instead of printing at all; but call me traditional, I still like finding treasures in my mailbox this time of year and assume others might as well.)
2. New photos are afoot for my website and business materials. In previous years, the process involved three meetings: one for planning, one for the shoot itself, and a follow up meeting to review the results.
This time around my favorite portrait photographer, Stu, and I chatted by phone, exchanging email samples of what we were thinking about poses, wardrobe and setting – no advance face to face meeting required.
Since the photo shoot, I’ve had access to an online gallery of images (including Stu’s favorite pics) and have been able to review them at my leisure. I’ve emailed my list of favorites back, and we’ll soon have the choices made and the images ready for use – no follow up appointment required.
3. The bulk of my Christmas shopping this year has been done by phone and internet – no line-ups, no parking problems, no braving minus 35 degree temperatures. My techno savvy husband and children actually provided Christmas wish lists complete with web links to the source. I’ve ordered books, sportswear, and electronics from the comfort of home – and they’ve been delivered directly to my door.
Don’t tell my Dad, but I tracked down a pair of alpaca work socks for his Christmas gift. Turns out the alpaca ranch that I located through an internet search is just a few miles from my hometown. The owner was happy to swing by my house with a suitcase of choices. She even shared a few family stories about Earl, the alpaca, who provided the fiber for the socks. His photo is on the label. Who says technology means doing away with the personal touch?
ACTION: None of these experiences would have unfolded with such ease had not the print shop, the photographer, and the sock merchant all embraced the possibilities inherent in new technology.
I am a definite fan of making life easier and adapting to new ways of doing business. How about you? What’s out there that just might reduce some of the overload in your life?
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “You’ve got a lot of choices. If getting out of bed in the morning is a chore and you’re not smiling on a regular basis, try another choice.” – Steven D. Woodhull
READERS WRITE: Re last week’s Pause on ‘Hard Optimism’ RB writes: “I don’t know whether I believe more in ‘hard optimism’ or real hope, but I think they go together. In fact they have to go together. I think hope is more than optimism, but optimism is important for shaping and sharing hope.”