In today’s ever-evolving work landscape, remote work has become the new norm, and celebrating holidays with your employees requires a little extra creativity. Many employees are experiencing “Zoom fatigue” due to the countless online meetings, so it’s crucial to find innovative ways to engage and uplift their spirits, especially during the holiday season. If you’re unsure how to celebrate the holidays with your remote workforce, consider trying these eight unique approaches.
The Gift of a Memorable Meal
While traditional office parties might be out of the question, you can still create a memorable holiday experience for your remote employees. Consider giving each team member an American Express Gift Card to enjoy a special dinner with their significant other. This not only allows employees to relish a delicious meal but also strengthens their personal connections, a crucial aspect of remote work. Depending on the size of your team and how much time you have, you can take it up a notch by giving gift cards to each employee’s favorite restaurant or somewhere new and fun they wouldn’t normally treat themselves.
Virtual Piano Bar Extravaganza
Who doesn’t love an entertaining afternoon at the piano bar? While you can’t treat your employees to an afternoon out on the town, you can break up the monotony of virtual meetings by organizing a Zoom session with a guest piano player. Instead of talking shop, your team can offer up song requests and enjoy some music and some relaxing fun. This musical journey will not only provide entertainment but also bring your team closer together as they bond over their favorite tunes.
Gingerbread House Decorating Competition
Bring some festive fun to your remote workforce by sending gingerbread house kits to each employee’s home address. Host a virtual gingerbread house decorating competition where team members can showcase their creative skills. Encourage them to share their final masterpieces during a virtual gathering. Or better yet, have your team build their houses live over Zoom to see what they can create with some fun, competitive pressure. You can even offer prizes for the most imaginative creations!
Secret Santa Gift Exchange by Mail
Secret Santa is a classic holiday tradition that lives on, even in today’s remote work landscape. Use a Secret Santa generator website (such as this one) to assign each employee a gift recipient and set some gift-giving parameters. Then, have everyone mail their chosen gifts directly to their assigned colleague. The anticipation and excitement of receiving a surprise package will add a touch of magic to the holiday season.
Collaborative Memory Book
Create a sense of togetherness and preserve memories from the year by crafting a collaborative memory book. A platform like Newlywords helps you compile stories, photos, and achievements from each employee. It even allows you to invite your team to contribute their own photos, encouraging thoughts, or fun memories. You could do a company yearbook or even a team holiday recipe book. This digital (or printed) book not only serves as a keepsake but also acknowledges and celebrates your team’s accomplishments.
Virtual Cooking Class
Bring a culinary twist to your remote holiday celebration by organizing a virtual cooking class. Collaborate with a professional chef or even a local restaurant to guide your team through preparing a festive dish or dessert. Most programs offer a prep packet so your team has the right ingredients and tools in place to make the most of the experience. Better yet, you can send out gift cards to cover the cost of the materials needed for the cooking class. This interactive experience is a great way to spread some holiday cheer while allowing employees to learn new cooking skills and enjoy a delicious meal together.
Online Escape Room Adventure
Escape rooms have gained popularity over the past few years as great team-building activities. Now, thanks to technology and demand, you can book a virtual escape room experience for your remote team. Solving puzzles and riddles together, even in a virtual environment, might improve morale and foster stronger teamwork. Not only that, but it can be an exciting and challenging way to celebrate the holidays together.
Customized Virtual Trivia Night
Trivia night doesn’t just happen at your local pub. Test your employees’ knowledge and create a competitive yet enjoyable atmosphere with a virtual trivia night. To make it more personal (and provoke some solid laughs) customize the trivia questions to include company facts, inside jokes, and holiday-themed queries. If you’re new to the trivia scene, platforms like Trivia Plaza to make trivia night planning a breeze.
Bonus Ideas for Your Virtual Holiday Celebration
Online Art and Craft Workshop
Get your team’s creative juices flowing with a holiday-themed virtual art and craft workshop. Ship art supplies to your employees’ homes and arrange for an art instructor to lead the session on your company’s preferred digital platform. This hands-on activity allows team members to explore their artistic talents and create holiday-themed masterpieces (or at least have a good laugh while trying something new!).
Virtual Talent Show
Unleash your team’s hidden talents by hosting a virtual talent show. Encourage employees to showcase their unique abilities, whether it’s singing, dancing, stand-up comedy, or even magic tricks. Add a little holiday flare by challenging your staff to make their talent holiday-focused. This lighthearted event will not only entertain but also foster a sense of community among your remote workforce. Not familiar with talent show etiquette? Check out these great talent show tips and ideas.
Celebrating holidays with remote employees requires thinking outside the box, especially when traditional office gatherings aren’t possible. These creative ideas not only break the monotony of endless Zoom meetings but also promote team bonding, recognition, and the festive spirit. By embracing these innovative approaches, you can ensure that your remote workforce feels appreciated and connected during the holiday season, no matter where they are located.
Planning a memorable celebration for someone’s retirement, birthday, anniversary, or other occasion can be a joyous but daunting task, especially when you want to involve a large group of people. Thankfully, creating group gifts and cards is easier than ever with websites designed to help you gather content from the crowd and create a heartfelt surprise for your loved one or colleague. In this blog post, we’ll compare seven popular platforms: Kudoboard, GroupGreeting, RecoCards, Newlywords, Group Greets, Group Together, and Send Wish. Each of these platforms offers unique features for creating group greeting cards, gifts, and memorabilia tailored to different types of celebrations. Ready to find the best online platform for your next group greeting card or gift? Let’s dive into the details.
The Best Collaborative Platforms for Group Greeting Cards and Gifts
We’ve compared each online platform based on six different categories. Creating the perfect collaborative greeting card or gift requires top-notch technology, so each platform is graded on a scale of 1 to 5 in the following categories: user-friendliness, message privacy, types of media that can be utilized to create your card/gift, design options, physical gift options, and customer reviews. Which online platform is best for your colleague’s retirement, Grandpa’s 80th birthday, or your remote office holiday party? It depends on your goals, how easily you want to collaborate with friends/staff, and whether or not you want a digital card or a tangible gift to give your colleague or loved one.
Based on the chart above, we’ve unpacked the seven popular online platforms based on their main offering and their strengths and weaknesses in each category.
Kudoboard is known as the go-to platform for creating digital group greeting cards. This platform shines with its user-friendliness and the variety of media types it accepts, making it perfect for tech-savvy celebrants. It is a popular choice for large companies that wish to create a more personalized celebration experience for their employees. However, for those looking to create more than a digital surprise, its physical gift options are somewhat limited. Also, while there is messaging privacy, Kudoboards are visible to all participants, so your contribution may not be as private as you hope. All in all, the online reviews are generally positive, and it boasts an overall rating of 4.5, making it a top choice for most occasions.
GroupGreeting is another popular choice for businesses, as it claims to be used by over 20,000 workplaces and 80% of Fortune 500 companies. While GroupGreeting offers decent user-friendliness and message privacy, it falls short in terms of media types accepted and design options. Users can upload images, add personal messages, and include an e-gift card, but the options end there. It’s a suitable option for simple celebrations with an overall rating of 3.8.
If privacy is your top concern, RecoCards has you covered with a perfect score of 5 in that category. Not only that, but 99% of RecoCards features are free to any user, and their premium plan is only a small monthly fee compared to other platforms. However, its user-friendliness and design options are more limited, which is to be expected with a (mostly) free platform. RecoCards is a safe choice for intimate occasions, with an overall rating of 3.7. For large group events that require more options and pizazz, another website might be the better option.
Newlywords excels in message privacy and also comes out on top as the best platform for creating physical gifts. While other platforms focus on greeting cards, Newlywords provides the tools for businesses and individuals alike to create collaborative memory books. One great feature is that the memories and stories you share on Newlywords are not visible to other participants, which means you can get sentimental without feeling self-conscious. It does lag slightly behind in media types accepted, but the tradeoff is the ability for large groups to upload photos, stories, memories, and even recipes to create both a digital and printed book which makes the perfect physical gift for remote companies, retirements, family celebrations, and more. Finally, Newlywords scores well in online reviews and with an overall rating of 4.5, it’s a great choice for those who want a physical keepsake gift.
While Group Greets falls a little behind other platforms with an overall rating of 3.2, the greeting “card” website offers something unique to other options. Group Greet focuses on creating a more personalized eCard experience with AI-generated photo montages, slideshows, and multimedia mixes. It’s touted as “More like a movie than an Ecard,” making it a great option for groups that wish to send a virtual movie-like greeting without all the fuss of finding the right editing platform. Group Greets may be is average across the board in our six categories, but it is a suitable option for straightforward celebrations and groups that wish to emphasize personalized video content.
GroupTogether takes a different approach to collaborative celebrations by offering both group gifts and group eCards. The platform lets users contribute toward a group gift that can be chosen from over 150 eGift cards (sorry, no tangible gift here, folks). While very user-friendly and a great way to gather funds toward a collaborative eGift, GroupTogether doesn’t stand out in other aspects. Its overall rating of 3.2 makes it a middle-of-the-road choice for your next celebration.
Send Wish is both a group greeting card and invitation platform, making it a great option for those planning a physical event. While the website offers excellent user-friendliness and decent message privacy, is fully digital, which means it lacks any physical gift options (apart from the ability to download a PDF of your group greeting card). The platform does provide a way to schedule eCards, making it a great choice for individuals, families, or managers who want to stay one step ahead of busy birthday and holiday seasons. With an overall rating of 3.7, Send Wish is a decent choice for all things digital when it comes to corporate or private celebrations.
Which Online Platform is Right for Your Celebration?
The perfect platform for your special occasion depends on your specific needs. Whether you’re a manager planning digital corporate celebrations for a large staff or the family member responsible for finding the perfect way to invite scattered relatives to participate in a group greeting for a loved one, there is an online platform that fits your goals.
Among the seven platforms on our list, Kudoboard and Newlywords certainly come out on top in terms of overall ratings and features offered. Kudoboard offers a well-rounded experience for both corporations and individuals and is the most well-known of all the websites. It is user-friendly and provides great design and media options. Just remember that each “board” is public to all participants, so go easy on the inside jokes. Newlywords, on the other hand, is a better fit for those wishing to create a physical group gift for any occasion imaginable. From corporate team-building to Mom and Dad’s 40th anniversary, the platform makes collaborative gifting a breeze (and keeps your sentiments private so only the recipient sees your loving message). Next time you’re in charge of organizing a collaborative greeting card or gift, consider your priorities and goals and select the platform that allows you to create a memorable celebration for your loved one or colleague.
Famous American chef, James Beard, was noted as saying “Food is our common ground, a universal experience.” In a world where we often find ourselves apart from our community — whether due to remote work, pandemics, or simply living far from family — how do we continue to celebrate the power of food, our common ground? Enter the collaborative recipe book. In the past, sharing our favorite dishes meant coming together in the kitchen to cook, swap recipes, and gather around the table. While being together in one place is not always an option, collaborative recipe books allow us to still share food, recipes, and community — even from afar. From corporate community-building to collecting family memories, here are our best tips for creating a collaborative recipe book with a group of colleagues, family, or friends.
What is a Collaborative Recipe Cookbook?
A collaborative recipe cookbook is a way to gather and publish a diverse collection of recipes from any group of people. Collaborative cookbooks can be built simply by one person collecting and compiling all of the recipes into one place — say a spreadsheet or document that is easily printed. Other ways to create a collaborative recipe book include utilizing virtual tools built specifically for the task — which we’ll touch more on in a moment. No matter how you choose to collect and publish your recipe book, the goal is collaboration: gathering a diverse selection of recipes from among your family, your book club, your home group, your child’s graduating class, or your company. The experience of sharing a personal recipe, and receiving a finished cookbook that allows you to try new recipes from friends and colleagues, is what makes a these cookbooks so unique.
Good Reasons to Start a Collaborative Cookbook
Collaborative cookbooks come in all shapes and sizes, and each serves a unique purpose. For many people, creating a collaborative recipe book was a great way to stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. In place of family dinners, they were able to cook together over video calls and share tips and tricks.For others, it is a way to preserve family recipes passed down over the years. Collecting all of the family recipes and handing out cookbooks at a family reunion is a fun and memorable way to keep family traditions alive. Need a creative way to bring together your team of remote colleagues? One of our favorite uses for the collaborative recipe book is as a corporate team-building activity. Large remote companies use tools such as Newlywords to gather recipes into a collaborative recipe book that gets printed and shipped to each employee. Individuals can then experience the joy of trying each other’s recipes in their kitchens. Not only is this great for team building, but also a fantastic way to foster inclusion and belonging in the workplace. A cookbook allows us to share cultural connections — and love for food — with a diverse and geographically distributed group of colleagues. Just think about all the people who are working from home these days! A cookbook created by employees allows you to create a space where anyone and everyone can share a part of who they are with their team or community.
How to Create a Collaborative Recipe Book With Any Group
Digital tools are everywhere, which means creating a recipe book with a group — especially a group that is spread out across the country or the world — is easier than ever. Instead of chasing down recipes via email or over the phone, online platforms let you contact, collect, and design your cookbook in one place. The first step is to decide who will participate in your collaborative cookbook. Friends? Colleagues? An entire school? The options are endless. Once you have decided who will participate in your collaborative cookbook, you’re just five simple steps away from creating the perfect collection of recipes.
Choose a Platform
The next step is to choose the right platform for your recipe book. Basic tools such as Google Sheets or a Word document provide one way to organize your recipes. The final result won’t look or feel neat, but both are options for collecting everything in one place. More advanced options include designing your own cookbook in a program such as Canva or InDesign. This is a great option for those who have plenty of time to invest in their collaborative cookbook, who only wish to publish a virtual version, and who love to design page layouts. Another fantastic option is finding a platform such as Newlywords that specializes in book templates, design, and collaboration. Instead of chasing down the recipes and designing each page yourself, Newlywords tools allow you to upload recipe content and photos, invite collaborators, and edit content all in one place. Digital templates make it easy to create a recipe book that looks like a professional cookbook. You can share ingredients, step-by-step processes, notes, and even photos of the food, or of you and your family cooking together. Collaboration tools mean everyone can participate in the creation of a virtual recipe book and enjoy both a digital PDF and printed book to share with friends and family.
Create a Structure
Once you’ve chosen the right platform for your cookbook, create a structure for organizing the recipes. Many cookbooks, for example, are organized based on specific meals — breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and desserts. Deciding on a cookbook structure first will make the collaborative experience easier and more fun.If you’re using a spreadsheet to collect recipes, add a new tab for each type of recipe. Otherwise, create shared Google folders for each recipe type to keep things organized. Many collaborative platforms allow you to create folders or other systems, so contributors can easily add recipes in the right place. If working with an entire company of collaborators, we highly recommend sticking with a digital platform that already has the collaborative tools built in.
Start Adding Your Favorite Recipes
Now you can add all your favorite recipes to the book. You can do this by adding them to the spreadsheet, uploading a document of each recipe to a folder, or adding your recipes to your Newlywords template. As the first to add your recipes to the collaborative recipe book, you’ll make it easier for your friends or colleagues to see how to structure their contributions. With platforms such as Newlywords, it’s easy to format your recipes and photos to look like a professional cookbook. Adding your recipes and photos will inspire your group to visualize the final product and decide how to contribute.
Share The Link With The Group for Them to Participate
Once you’ve added all your recipes, invite your group or colleagues to share theirs! You can do this by sharing a link to your spreadsheet, using Google tools that allow them to add documents to folders, or emailing the link through the Newlywords platform. Be sure to provide any helpful instructions, such as the planned structure for the cookbook or how to add, organize, and design content. Then watch as your group gets to work and your collaborative recipe book comes to life.
Publish Your Book
When all the recipes are in place, it’s time to publish and share your cookbook. “Publishing” can be done in several ways. For spreadsheets, you can simply share the link with others. If you designed your own layout using tools such as Canva and InDesign, save and download your work as a shareable PDF. Collaboration platforms provide ways to download a digital cookbook, although that usually requires a fee. Newlywords, however, offers free publication of e-books (PDFs). Not only that, but if you absolutely love your virtual cookbook, you can easily upgrade to a printed version. Turn your beautiful, one-of-a-kind collaborative recipe collection into a hardcover, professional-quality cookbook.
While we can’t always be at the table to share food with our loved ones, friends, or colleagues, virtual tools allow us to still make food a shared experience and common ground. Creating a collaborative recipe book opens the door for us to come together and not just share our favorite foods, but also a part of who we are. These cookbooks are more than just a way to collect your favorite recipes in one organized space. It’s also how we share and preserve cultural and family traditions for other generations, groups, and families to enjoy.
Planning an upcoming party? Online invitations are a great choice for so many reasons. Whether you’re saving paper, lack physical addresses for your guests, or want to save time by getting it done online — or you’re simply keeping the budget down! — you may be wondering about popular sites like Evite vs Paperless Post vs Punchbowl vs Greenvelope. In this guide, we discuss the pros and cons of each so you can see what’s available and how to make the best choice for your upcoming event invitations.
Evite is considered the pioneer of electronic invitations. Founded in 1998, it is nearly a decade older than Paperless Post, Punchbowl, and Greenvelope. As one of the original online invitation platforms, it has also experienced the most change as new designs and technologies hit the market. Today, Evite is known for online invitation design and sending, as well as managing guest lists to plan social events. They offer several unique features that set them apart from other invitation platforms.
All four companies compared in this article — Evite, Paperless Post, Punchbowl and Greenvelope — share some, if not many, features. Evite allows you to send invites via email, text, or social media, which all the other platforms also include. Evite includes customizable fonts, colors, and layout of your invitation; and the option to fully upload your own design if you don’t want to use a template — all great features to have when working on a digital invitation.
Evite offers different features based on three tiers: free, Premium, and Pro (all the advantages of Premium with the ability to send unlimited invites/events). We’ll discuss pricing later in this article, but it’s helpful to note that with Premium, you have control over your guest list with the ability to send automated reminders, see when guests have viewed your invite, and put guests into categories for better organization. You can send updates about the event, and when the party is over, you can send thank you notes for free (a feature also shared by other companies), and you can track RSVPs plus connect gift registries.
While many of Evite’s most advantageous features are shared by the other platforms, there are some things that make it a great option for your next event. What makes Evite unique starts with its longevity. As one of the longest standing digital invitation sites, most, if not all of your guests will recognize it or know how to access their invitation. Another thing that makes Evite different is that many of the invitation designs include animation, setting it apart from Punchbowl and Greenvelope. From fun, flashy birthday invitations to elegant animation on a baby shower invite, the website offers plenty of free and paid options. Evite is also the only platform to offer video as part of your invitation. You can upload up to 3 minutes of video to make your invitation extra special — and extra personal.
After the event, you can also add photos of the party to share with guests, a fun feature that is also a brilliant technique to keep customers coming back to Evite after the party is over. One other unique feature is the ability to add a co-host to your invitation, so you can share party planning, messaging, and tracking RSVPs with someone else.
Other fun add-ons for your Evite invitation include a poll for your guests, a “What to Bring” list, and even gift suggestions and donation options.
While the Evite website is clean and simple to use, it can be difficult to find details about features and pricing options without first creating a login. This could be a tactic to get more people to join their platform, but it may be a deterrent for those simply exploring their options who aren’t ready to commit to one digital invitation platform. What we did discover is that Evite’s web pages for both their Premium options and Evite Pro are clearer and more detailed. However, finding these pages from their original site is a mission. The good news is, Evite offers and app, both in the App Store and Google Play, which mitigates some of these desktop website snafus.
The Premium and Pro pages of the site are easier to navigate (and the content is very clear), but there are multiple reviews from long-time users who are frustrated. Customer service can be slow to respond, emails cannot be edited, and multiple customers complain of “glitches” where evites don’t send and they have to pay again to resend.
Some customers also complain that evite emails end up in recipients’ spam folders. And while ads in the Evite emails can be misleading to guests, you can purchase ad-free invitations through the Premium and Evite Pro options, much like on other platforms.
Paperless Post, founded in 2008, is one of the first electronic invitation platforms that sought to offer unique and elegant designs — and an experience akin to opening a real printed and mailed invitation. If you’ve ever been sent a Paperless Post, then you likely enjoyed the animation of opening the envelope to reveal the beautifully designed invitation inside. One of the differentiators from other online invitation platforms is their printed designs through Paper Source and their partnerships with major stationary designers and fashion icons.
Like we shared above, Paperless Post has very similar advantages as the other platforms. You can send your invitations via email or text, create custom designs, track RSVPs, and message guests. But there are also a few features that are unique to Paperless Post.
In 2018, Paperless Post introduced Flyers, a tech-savvy alternative to their classic (read: traditional) invitations. Flyers are invitations that are much more customizable, include plenty of animations, and look great sent via text message. They’re an informal option for easy-going get togethers.
Also, while Paperless Post isn’t unique in offering text invites, their text options are superior to those of Evite and Punchbowl. They take up the entire phone screen to look like a real invitation over SMS (vs a plain text SMS with a link to the invite). This is great for the party organizer who loves the classic look of Paperless Post invitations but also loves the ease of text.
As we mentioned earlier, another fun feature of Paperless Post is that they also partner with iconic artists who are unique to their company, such as Kate Spade, Rifle Paper, Anthropologie, and Oscar de la Renta, among other designers. On top of cute designs, they offer tons of customizations to make each design your own. If you’re planning a wedding, the Paperless Post features are especially beneficial. You can send a digital Save the Date with a map, gift registry link, and even highlight local accommodation. Then, print the formal invitation and get the best of both the digital and classic invitation world.
Finally, both the Paperless Post website and the app are as well designed as their invitations — clean, beautiful, and easy to use. Their designs appeal to a specific style of event: a combination of elegant, fun, and modern, with a slightly traditional twist.
One drawback that customers express regarding Paperless Post is the cost. Another downside to the service is that they use a coin system that skews the actual monetary cost — and is somewhat confusing, especially for the less tech-savvy crowd. The coin system can be cumbersome for some users. For example, each premium feature costs a certain number of coins per invitation. If your invitation requires 5 coins per guest and you have 20 guests, it will cost 100 coins (or $22).
To purchase a printed version of your invitations, you must go through Paper Source, which can also be a bit pricey. You can’t see the names of plus ones, which can make planning a bit difficult. On the free flyers, you must remove the extras and uncheck “premium” to make sure it’s free. Premium is the default, which can catch customers off guard. You can include video with the flyers, just not with the classic card invitations. And while Paperless Post allows you to gather information from guests (such as addresses), they don’t include the “potluck” or “what to bring” feature that is prominent with Evite and Punchbowl.
Punchbowl was originally called MyPunchbowl and was a free site for end-to-end party planning. Started in 2007, it was created in the same era as Paperless Post and Greenvelope. Punchbowl grew to become the original provider of Disney characters for online invitations, and added more collaborations with iconic kid’s character companies like Nickelodeon, Sanrio, and many more.
Most recently, Punchbowl acquired Memento, a video recording and shared album platform where people can also make group videos and collaborate memories.
Punchbowl sets itself apart as a great resource for family friendly gatherings and fun, casual events. Because it was once a standalone party planning site, Punchbowl is also a great resource for party ideas and favors.
Punchbowl, like Greenvelope, helps support causes focused on sustainability, so they’re well-liked by people who care about using electronic invitations as a means to support sustainability and climate change.
By far the thing that stands out the most about Punchbowl are their great options for kids’ parties and events. Fun characters such as Peppa Pig, Trolls, Spiderman, and Minions make planning a themed party incredibly easy.
Like the other platforms, Punchbowl invitations can be delivered by text or email (or link via social). They also include an app in both the App Store and Google Play — fantastic for people on the go. Organizers can include a custom message to guests, or even use the Potluck tool to ask guests to bring food to the gathering! The best way to describe Punchbowl is the e-invitation site that keeps things simple. The designs, process, and tools all make sending digital invitations simple and fast, so you can get to the fun part of planning and prepping for your event.
Some drawbacks about Punchbowl include the presence of ads on the invitations, even with the free trial — customers must upgrade to the Platinum plan to have them removed. Also, their texts can look like spam links (as opposed to the full-frame invitation or graphic that appears with other platforms), which can make it confusing for recipients or even cause them to delete the text.
While Punchbowl’s RSVP tracking and messaging features may not be as robust as some of the other platforms, they offer a competitive invitation service for a fraction of the cost. Platinum membership — their highest tier — is only $15.99/month when not on sale, and it allows you to send invitations for up to 500 guests per event. All in all, many customers find the easy-to-use service a great choice for quickly organizing events for family and friends.
Greenvelope is a Seattle-based company founded in 2008 that is focused on helping people go paperless to preserve the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. They focus on invitations that have a realistic opening experience and the same elegant “feel” as a classic, paper invitation. Greenvelope specializes in online invitations and RSVP tracking, making the platform a great resource for large events.
Greenvelope is lauded for its tracking and planning features. You can easily import guest lists, send surveys, message guests, and more with Greenvelope. The platform also offers email address verification, so you can avoid the issue of double paying and still have theemails end up in junk.
Greenvelope partners with artists across the globe, so you can find beautiful and unique designs. This gives the sense of exclusive designs and a more specialty appeal for your event. Greenvelope also offers a free trial that you can use for an unlimited amount of time with limited features. However, their paid plans offer the bulk of the benefits that are part of the Greenvelope experience.
There are no ads on Greenvelope. They offer device support, and are focused on user experience so you can customize your digital invitations, add registries and more. Custom designs usually come with added fees.
Possibly the coolest thing about Greenvelope is the sustainability causes they support, which include the National Park Foundation, National Forest Foundation, Mountains to Sound and 1% for the Planet. They also have a bus program and plant trees. Greenvelope has overall really good reviews, and they’ve won some awards as well.
One of the biggest drawbacks to Greenvelope is the cost. It is more expensive (after the free trial) than other platforms but with the big cost comes some big benefits. Greenvelope offers a wide array of services beneficial for larger events, as opposed to family-focused events. The platform is great for the corporate event or wedding where guests need to specify meal options, song requests, and where the organizer needs the best tools available to track RSVPs for a large number of people.
With the pricing issues come a few other sticking points for Greenvelope users. Some people do not like that Greenvelope prices per person — rather than per email. If you send an email invitation that includes five guests but only one email address, you get charged for five guests. Also, if you resend any invites, it’s an additional cost.
Evite vs Paperless vs Punchbowl
Now that we’ve seen the pros and cons of each electronic invitation platform, let’s compare these four services with specific aspects of each.
Evite, Paperless Post, Punchbowl and Greenvelope are all very similar in their features and offer many of the same benefits for users. However, there are a few key differences:
Evite offers users the ability to send cryptocurrency gifts. They also include animated invitations and video invites, great options for your events with family and friends.
Paperless Post lets you order matching party supplies and get printed invitations. They partner with iconic artists and designers so you can have amazingly unique and upscale invites. All invitations have animated envelope opening, and text invites take up the recipients’ screen versus making them click on a link. This is a great choice for weddings and more formal events.
Punchbowl offers party favors and photo/video sharing services. They also partner with artists, and they’re the only one to offer iconic kids’ characters for invitations (like Disney, Sanrio etc). An incredible choice for children’s parties and family events.
Greenvelope also includes animated envelope opening to mimic the real thing. They partner with companies like the National Park Service and are the most committed to sustainability. They have the most robust backend tools for organizing and managing for large events, making them a great choice for corporate events.
Which website is more user-friendly and makes it easiest to use the service? According to customer feedback, the best sites for user friendliness are Greenvelope and Punchbowl.
Greenvelope has amazing customer reviews overall, though they’re more focused on elegant invitations for large events rather than smaller, informal events. Their website is up to date and easy to use and includes all the information a customer needs in order to compare Greenvelope services and make an informed purchase.
Punchbowl’s founders are user interface experts, so the Punchbowl website ranks at the top for user experience. They still have some bugs to work out in their app, but they have a high number of positive customer reviews online than other services.
Paperless Post comes in third, as many customers seem to have trouble figuring out how to design invitations on their site — not to mention, the coin system is unnecessarily confusing. However, their customer service team strives to answer people promptly, making the user experience a tad bit better with one-on-one support.
Evite comes in last, because a quick online search will tell you that more customers have negative experiences with Evite than the other websites — the interface is outdated, and it is very difficult to find the info you need all in one place. However, once you find their Premium and Evite Pro pages, it is easy to see that their upgrading their website experience.
Design Library & Flexibility
Every great electronic invitation website and app comes with its version of a design library. Finding the one you like best depends on what style of invitation you’re looking for and what type of event you’re organizing.
Evite, Paperless Post, Puchbowl, and Greenvelope all offer designs for nearly every imaginable event and holiday, and they all allow for custom designs and uploads (with the paid versions, of course). So which design library is best? It may come down to how much you’re willing to pay.
All libraries offer many free options (or free trials) that would do the trick for your family birthday party or Superbowl gathering. However, if you’re looking for higher-quality — or more unique — options, then you may need to splurge for the paid versions. Each paid option offers a wider array of designs as well as the flexibility to send out invitations to a larger number of guests.
For some fun, printable options, Paperless Post offers matching party supplies and printed versions of their invitations, which the others do not. Paperless Post also offers around 1,000 free customizable invitation templates.
Let’s look more at use cases to see which library would best suit your situation.
If you want household-name designer invitations — and the ability to send both digital and print versions — pick Paperless Post. Evite and Greenvelope also partner with artists, but not as many well-known fashion names or stationery designers. Paperless Post also offers great event planning tools to help ease the stress of managing your guest list.
For fan favorite, iconic kids’ characters, go with Punchbowl, which has characters from Disney and more for all ages.
If you want unique invitations designed by a variety of global artists, choose Greenvelope. They also allow for maps to be included, as well as external links and survey questions for guests.
For ease of use and familiarity, choose Evite. As the longest standing platform of the four, more of your guests will know how to RSVP and access event details. Evite also offers a wide range of options for any event from a graduation party to your office holiday event.
Evite, Punchbowl, Paperless Post, and Greenvelope are fairly comparable when it comes to email list management. All four platforms allow you to manage your guests with RSVP tracking and the ability to message guests with updates.
They also all include polling, where you can create questions for your guests to answer that will help with party planning. For example, meal choices or dietary restrictions, song requests, and more.
Greenvelope and Paperless Post also include easy-to-use map features so guests can easily see where the event is taking place. Other specialty features include links to a registry, nearby accommodation, or helpful resources.
Of all the platforms, Evite has many complaints from customers who say emails weren’t delivered or ended up in spam folders. When they tried to resend or edit email addresses, they got charged to resend the emails.
Some of the digital invitation platforms hide their pricing well, and you’ll likely have to get into designing your invites before you get an accurate price. However, here is what we do know about invitation prices.
Evite’s Premium pricing (which includes the ability to disable ads) starts at $15.99 for their small package for up to 15 guests and maxes out at the extra-large package (up to 750 guests) for $79.99. Then there is Evite Pro, a yearly subscription for $249.99 that offers all the bells and whistles of the premium membership, plus an entire platform to host virtual events. Evite Pro is geared mostly toward businesses and non-profits, giving corporations the ability to invite up to 2,500 guests, add donation options, and even include a custom business logo on the invitation.
Paperless Post is the only platform that uses “coin packages” instead of straightforward pricing. The price per coin varies depending on the package size. There are 5 package options with 25 coins for $12 to 1,000 coins for $115. The coins are non-refundable, but they stay in your account for up to 5 years to be used on later purchases (free coins last one year). The coin system is fairly confusing, as you don’t know how many you need prior to designing your invitation and adding your guest list. This is very challenging for the budget-conscious party planner.
Punchbowl pricing is by far the most straightforward. The site offers subscription plans of Platinum, Premium, and Plus, and their yearly plans are non-refundable. The cheapest plan is Plus, which is $7.99/month (aside from sales — right now it’s $3.99/month). This gives you up to 50 guests per event. The only way you can get ad-free invites is with Punchbowl’s Platinum “Remove Advertising” plan, which is $15.99/month (currently on sale for $7.99/month) that includes 500 guests per event.
Greenvelope pricing is based on the number of guests — not invitations, but actual invited individuals. This means that one invitation for a family of five is charged as five guests. They have single mailing plans for your one-off event that range from $19 for up to 20 guests, all the way up to $3,799 for up to 25,000 guests. They also have plans for unlimited mailings, starting at $125/year for up to 50 people and ranging up to $4,235/year for up to 12,500 people.
Depending on what you’re celebrating, finding a good service for digital invitations is tricky! We hope that our review of these platforms helps you discover which invitation service best fits your needs and expectations for your next event.
Evite, Paperless Post, Punchbowl, and Greenvelope each have unique aspects that set them apart from the others. One may be better for you depending on your needs and purposes. And perhaps you’ll try them all at one point or another! There really is something out there for almost every kind of event, invite, and shindig you can dream up.
In short: if you’re looking for the perfect theme for your child’s birthday party, choose Punchbowl; if you want gorgeous designer invitations, choose Paperless Post; if you want to support places like the National Park Service and some unique indie designers, choose Greenvelope; for the most familiar service or best free tools, try Evite; and if planning a corporate event is on your radar, Greenvelope and Evite Pro have the most robust tools for your needs. And finally, if budget is important to you, you can also choose the one that has the pricing options that makes the most sense for your event.
There are so many options out there, so have fun exploring, creating, designing, and party planning!
For generations, cooking has brought families, friends, and communities together. The kitchen has long been considered the heart of the home, the place where everyone gathers to enjoy the combination of good company, and good food.
As we continue to live in the uncertainty of COVID-19, social distancing means forgoing family dinners, gatherings, and even brunch out with friends—all of which revolve around food. Because of this, many have turned to home cooking to while away the hours, with the hashtag “coronaviruscooking” taking social media by storm.
But one thing our COVID-19 season is missing is the people with whom we love to share our meals. As we spend more time experimenting and expanding our recipe collections, we also want to be able to share our #coronaviruscooking with others.
At Newlywords, we believe in the power of collaboration and community—and a good home-cooked meal. This is why we decided to bring all of those elements together into one, heartwarming collaborative cookbook, where you—and others—can share the recipes you love the most.
What is a Collaborative Cookbook?
Building a cookbook is often a solo task, one that requires long hours experimenting with recipes, professional photoshoots, and plenty of editing. The collaborative cookbook, however, is something else entirely.
Much like the community cookbooks of old—those made for the Ladies’ Aid Society or local high school fundraisers—collaborative cookbooks include recipes from across the community, brought together into a single book.
In many cases, these cookbooks revolve around a specific theme or group. People make cookbooks to share recipes among their school groups, religious gatherings, or even give their recipes as gifts. Every participant shares a recipe or two, and one person combines the recipes to make a complete cookbook.
How to Build a Cookbook with Your Community
At Newlywords, we’ve simplified the process of making a collaborative cookbook. You can easily invite friends or family to contribute recipes, photos, and ideas via our online platform. You can then rearrange the contributions to make a cohesive cookbook that combines everyone’s favorite recipes. Cookbooks can either be shared via PDF, to add to your digital collection, or printed, for those who love the feel of a cookbook in their hands. Friends, family, and co-workers can once more come “together” around food in the form of the collaborative cookbook.
Our Favorite Ways to Share Great Recipes
In the midst of COVID-19, while we may not be able to share our cooking, we can certainly share our recipes. These are some of our favorite ways that customers are using collaboration and cooking to stay connected.
Recipes for the Class of 2020
With nationwide school closures, the class of 2020 is the first ever to end their school year at home and even experience virtual graduation ceremonies. But don’t worry, the cooks and the bakers won’t let this crazy moment slip by without some home-cooked cheer.
Parents, classmates, and even teachers can work together to create a memory that will last a lifetime: a cookbook full of recipes from the class of 2020.
Collaborative Wedding and Shower Gifts
For many engaged couples, the coronavirus pandemic meant canceled plans and postponed ceremonies. For others, however, their weddings simply morphed into something unique: virtual ceremonies, or small, private affairs. Baby showers have also changed dramatically as people jump on video conferencing platforms to celebrate the mom-to-be.
One way loved ones are coming together to help celebrate the newlyweds or new parents is by building collaborative cookbooks. By inviting guests and family members to contribute, they are able to create a beautiful gift that speaks of community, love, and a shared appreciation for great food.
Birthday Party Favor
Looking for creative ways to thank your friends for jumping on Zoom or Houseparty to celebrate your birthday? We think the collaborative cookbook is one of the most memorable ways to say thank you.
You can easily email your guest list from the Newlywords platform and invite them to submit their favorite recipe. You can even give them a theme, like “favorite desserts” or “best birthday party snacks.” Once everyone has submitted a recipe, easily edit and combine the submissions to create a PDF of everyone’s favorite foods. Send it off as a birthday party favor, and even print a hard copy to add to your own collection.
Many of us are feeling the lack of community and connectedness that was previously part of our everyday lives. In order to combat isolation, people are finding creative ways to come together through cooking!
Some eager cooks are using this time to build community by collaborating with neighbors and sharing fun, new recipes. Take it a step further and combine those recipes into a single cookbook that can be passed down as a memory of this season—and some of the sweet and savory delights that came out of it.
The Co-worker Collective
If working from home has you missing your co-workers, the collaborative cookbook is a fun and easy way to bring everyone together on a project unrelated to work. While some are opting for virtual happy hour to stay connected, combining your favorite COVID-19 recipes is a great way to connect and build a lasting memory.
Your office collaborative cookbook also makes a great retirement gift for co-workers that are retiring in the midst of social distancing measures. While a big party may be out of the question, you and your team can give a lasting gift in the form of shared recipes.
Remembering the Season
One of our favorite ways to use the collaborative cookbook is as a time capsule to remember this unique season we are in. With family members unable to visit one another, they can instead turn to the shared expression of cooking.
Grandmothers, uncles, brothers, moms, and daughters can all contribute toward a cookbook that captures the recipes that brought the most joy during this difficult time. Not only will the collaborative cookbook be a fun memory to share as a family or among friends, but it also makes a great gift for those who may be too young to remember this season when life returns to a new normal.