Press Releases Nov 12, 2003

TIME-PRESSED PARENTS WONDER: MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF YEAR? OR MOST STRESSFUL?

REDWOOD CITY, CALIF. – (November 12, 2003) — Children anxiously await the arrival of the holiday season while many of their parents anticipate its departure with equal enthusiasm. To them, holiday means: Decorations to hang. Presents to buy. Travel to book. Cards to purchase, address, and mail. And vows muttered to start earlier and make it easier next year.

“Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving and the official start of the holiday shopping season, comes late this year, cutting short the days to browse and buy. With this abbreviated calendar in mind, leading independent online photo service Shutterfly (www.shutterfly.com) asked time-management expert Maria Gracia to provide advice for time-pressed moms and dads. According to Gracia, author of Finally Organized, Finally Free, “with a bit of planning, adults can enjoy the holiday season as much as their kids and, in the bargain, avoid congested mall parking lots, crowded store aisles and long lines at cash registers.”

Gracia’s advice for effectively managing time during the holidays:

  • Spare yourself writer’s cramp without losing the personal touch. Gracia recommends sending personalized holiday photo greeting cards through an online photo service such as Shutterfly — recently named “Best Online Photofinisher” by Computer Shopper magazine (www.cnet.com/computershopper/).

    Gracia’s one-stop, streamlined approach to sending personalized holiday cards starts with signing up at Shutterfly, which is free. Gracia is a fan of the service because: “Shutterfly walks you through the process of importing your address book from Outlook or Palm, uploading your picture, selecting a holiday border and adding your personal greeting. Then they’ll mail the cards for you.” Users can select from Shutterfly holiday borders celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s.

  • Enter the digital age, if you’re not there already. Jupiter Research forecasts a 21-percent increase in online holiday sales this year. The New York-based research firm expects an influx of new Web shoppers to drive online holiday sales to $17 billion.

    Join the trend — buy presents online to ship to out-of-town loved ones. “By using the Internet to shop for holidays, it’s not only easier to locate gifts, but it’s also a timesaver because you avoid crowded malls and the post office,” notes Gracia.

  • Stick with a tried-and-true gift idea. “Why stress yourself spending time searching for a new gift to give, simply for the sake of change,” Garcia asks. To many a grandparent, Godparent, aunt or uncle, an annual framed photo is the most anticipated and cherished holiday gift.

    For those who already store photos online, sending a framed photo can be accomplished with a few simple clicks. All you do is choose the picture and pick a frame from Shutterfly’s extensive collection. With realistic online previewing, Shutterfly will show you what they look like together before you buy. You can include a personalized gift note and they will gift-box it for you. Presto! Holiday shopping is done. For those who cut it close on time, Shutterfly provides two-day and next-day shipping.

  • Archive 2003 holiday photos before the New Year. Gracia suggests uploading and organizing holiday pictures in real time, using an online photo service. “Unfortunately, in today’s fast-paced world, that proverbial rainy day will never happen. Do it while the memories are fresh and fun to share,” Gracia suggests.

    Shutterfly members can either upload pictures to their accounts or save time by downloading Shutterfly Express, free software that lets them “drag and drop” multiple images from their desktops into a browser window for a simpler upload. Organize the images into secure online albums. With Shutterfly, you can store and share as many images as you want, all for free.

    An added plus, there is a new way to add descriptive comments to images. Shutterfly Captions allows users to customize their photos with text on the front of prints. Check out www.shutterfly.com/captions for more information and examples.

  • ‘Tis the Season for Sharing. There is a simpler way to keep in touch with friends and family this year. With Shutterfly, members can easily share pictures with friends and family members: share recipients are not required to become members of the service in order to view or even purchase photos. Instead, they will receive a personal email from you and a URL link, which connects them to an online slideshow of your snapshots — enabling them to view the pictures and select and order prints, if they so desire. No cumbersome files to attach. No unnecessary “doubles” to develop. No time wasted.

About Maria Gracia
Maria Gracia founded her company, Get Organized Now, in 1996 to help people live less stressful lives through better organization. Specializing in clutter control, space planning, time and paper management, Gracia began her career at Dun and Bradstreet’s Nielsen Media Research, developing effective, productive systems for her clients and staff. She and her husband, Joe, live in Watertown, Wisconsin. Her weekly e-newsletter, available at www.getorganizednow.com is delivered to 96,000 opt-in subscribers.

# # #

About Shutterfly (www.shutterfly.com)
Since 1999, Shutterfly has made it simple and fun for people to stay connected with those who matter most. Using film or digital cameras, Shutterfly customers enjoy the benefits of the company’s award-winning products and services; including film-quality prints and an assortment of personalized photo products, as well as free image editing, picture sharing and secure storage in online albums. Shutterfly’s Pro Gallery service (www.shutterfly.com/progallery) provides an end-to-end fulfillment solution for professional photographers who want to sell their photos online. For more information, please visit http://www.shutterfly.com/about/prs_center.jsp.
Media Contacts:
Bridgette Thomas
Shutterfly
(650) 610-3519