A long time ago, I used to have a great selection of greeting cards- back in the day when cards didn’t cost $3 or more a piece.  I used to love to send cards and notes to friends- it was a great way to keep in touch and keep it personal.  I even have some friends who make their own cards- the ink and stamps in their homes put most craft shops to shame.  The point of all of this, of course, is to be able to show others you care, and take time out of your life to remember someone else.

Time constraints mean that I no longer spend an hour browsing for cards for upcoming holidays and events.  Email seems so impersonal, though- is there a middle ground?  Plaxo has solved this problem for me.

Plaxo is another social network online.  It sends me small reminders when a friend has an upcoming birthday, and in a few moments, I can set up and send a virtual birthday card.  There are free and low cost options available, but the value of the service for me is the connection.  I get reminders to do things I want to do- drop a friend a quick note about their birthday.  I can be as thoughtful as I want to be, in a way that’s easy and convenient.

It may be a small thing- to tell friends they are important to me.  But then again,  we all want to know we matter to our friends.  Plaxo helps me do what I want to- what I mean to do- in a way that works for me and also for the recipient.  The reminders are wonderful, and keep me from forgetting these important events in the lives of my friends.

Martha Stewart’s whole success is about manners and politeness,  It’s about going that extra little bit to make a meal, a place setting, a home a bit more inviting and welcoming.  As much as it may be a WASP aesthetic and standards of perfections that I feel I  will never achieve, there are many aspects of her I respect.  The first and foremost is that it’s all about being thoughtful of others- something that has become rarer in a climate where we’re all buttoning down the hatches and trying to save ourselves in what feels like a sinking economic ship.

So here’s a small thank you to Plaxo for helping me keep track of my friends and help keep the connections strong, even when we’re now located all over the Country (and World, to be exact.).  Small things are important too.  Thanks for making it easier to go that little extra step to let people know I care.  I hope all of these great social network tools take a page from your book and remind us that friends are not baseball cards we collect, but people we care about, and it takes very little time to make sure they know we care.