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New app helps you send out thank-you notes

January 11, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
The Maso children know they are supposed to send out thank-you cards when somebody sends them a gift, but it doesn't necessarily mean they like it.As unpopular as it seems, etiquette experts still see the simple act of saying "thanks" as critical.

"Thank-you notes are just as important today as they were many, many years ago. People like to receive acknowledgement for the items that they've sent," said etiquette expert Constance Hoffman.

The traditional mode of showing your gratitude is the simple thank-you card. Statistics show sales for thank-you cards typically spike in December and January each year.

Hoffman says those handwritten notes don't have to be painful, and it's OK if they are short.

"Just remember to keep it personal," she said.

A phone call would be the second option, but lots of gift-givers really want to see the recipient with the present. Photos help with that, and so does a new cell phone app that lets you send a thank-you note and photo on the spot. It's called iGift Thanks and was created out of necessity by a mom of four.

"I would always be scrambling for a piece of wrapping paper and a crayon to somehow note who gave what before my kids tore into the next package," said Ciaran Blumenfeld, creator of the iGift Thanks app.

"That little scrap of wrapping paper would end up on the bulletin board, where I'd nag my kids for the next two weeks to finally get their thank-you notes done. They'd get them done. I couldn't find the address, and that's why I still have thank-you notes from six years ago sitting in my kitchen drawer," she said.

She assumed there would be an app to help, but when she found it didn't exist, she decided to make it herself.

"iGift Thanks allows you to use your own photos to create instant thank-you notes that you can send out via Facebook, Twitter or via e-mail, and it helps you also keep track of all of your gifts you receive," she said.

She realizes a handwritten note is nice, but points out the app adds a very personal touch.

"A photograph is really worth a thousand words in that instance," she said.

And even though the etiquette expert believes it will go over better with some generations than others, she approves.

"What's most important to remember is you do take the time, whether written or verbal, to give the thanks," she said.