Get ahead - plan your year in greetings cards

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At the start of the year, it's time to crack open a fresh new diary and plan the year ahead. Now's a great time to write in any key birthdays and anniversaries that your friends and relatives will have in the 12 months to come. Our top tip is to write these in a few days early, as this gives you time to get a card sorted. If you plan the key dates now, you'll always stay ahead of things no matter how busy 2017 gets for you.

Get super organised with a card planner

One way to really stay on top of things is with a greeting card planner. This works like a file folder, organised into 12-month dividers. You collect up to a year's worth of birthday cards and anniversary cards in advance, insert them into the pockets for each month, and then you're all set to post them out when the time comes. It's particularly good for when you buy the perfect card for someone ahead of time and don't want to lose track of it when their birthday actually comes round. A good tip is also to keep some stamps in the planner so you're all set to post them out.

If you're using a greeting card planner, our advice is to slip some wedding cards in for the summer months and also have a few thank you cards in your own birthday month. You may find them useful when that date comes round! If you find any leftover Christmas cards from the 2016 season, slot those into the December pocket as you'll need them again in due course.

Greeting card planners are easy to find online, just check out places like Amazon. They also make good presents.

It's not always easy to stay on top of your correspondences and friendships, especially when you're busy. Taking a few moments at the start of the year to plan your birthday cards and anniversary cards for the 12 months ahead helps you prioritise them in advance so you won't be late sending out a card to wish them well. You always feel terrible when you forget someone's birthday - so plan ahead now to make sure it doesn't happen to you in 2017.

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