Our 'Check In' cards
We're in our first week of launching our 'check in' cards and I am beyond excited.
This idea came about relatively quickly, but perfecting something takes time. It was so important to get certain aspects of this right; in my mind I knew what the card had to be and what it had to say, both in its words and in its use, but the harder challenge is creating it such that each person who picks it up can understand its purpose and potential immediately.
The card, which I have coined a 'check in' card, is similar to a business card in its use. Designed mostly for workplace situations where we spend so much time with people, but may not feel comfortable enough to check in with them when we notice a change in their behaviour. In a perfect world, I think we should feel empowered to ask any one how they're feeling and in my personal experience, sometimes it was the people I was less close to at work whose concerns touched me the most.
Handing over a business card is common practice; it spans generations, industry and gender. So if we're so comfortable handing over our details to others we don't know too well in an offer to connect later, why not leverage this and create a card used in the same way? But instead you're handing over an invitation to chat if the person feels like they need it. Hence, the 'check in' card.
I spoke recently in an instagram post about how my mother texts me multiple times a day in a very supportive way with no expectations, just to let me know she's thinking of me, making sure I'm alright and giving me an opportunity to reach out if I need to at any given time. Her messages always simply read, "Checking in". This is the basis for the language on the card, I just wanted to check in with you. The language is very colloquial and relaxed, using low modality as so to not imply that the recipient has something wrong with them; this is not a patronising or victimising gesture, simply a subtle but meaningful message. In reality, someone could hand this card over to someone who broke their leg and they wanted to check in, or they moved house and it was stressful. It doesn't have to have the connotations of severe struggles.
The most important part of the card is to prompt the giver to set up an activity to do together. This is all about accountability. It's so easy to check in with someone, and then never follow up. We all do it. But the tangible nature of these cards and actively choosing or suggesting something to do together creates a far better chance of those two people meaningfully catching up later. The prompts - Grab a coffee / Get some lunch / Go for a walk - whilst being pleasingly alliterative, are also very easy activities to do in order to catch up or begin a more challenging conversation. There is also the option for you to write your own activity; maybe you both like running or shopping or swimming or pottery...if you can think of another activity - great!
I also thought it was really important to consider the design in a different way. Whilst I had lots of ideas for designs swimming around in my mind, they were all quite feminine. I wanted to make these cards as gender neutral as possible. This is not a female initiative, it's a human one. With a monochromatic scheme, I had to infuse the cards with special details in other ways, hence the thick, textured stock and the embossing details. Personally, I think they turned out perfectly. Big thanks to George, my printer, for all his help.
The benefits of this card are really endless. Since their launch, the feedback I have received has been so encouraging and enlightening. People are seeing ways for these cards to slot into their worlds in all kinds of ways. This truly makes me so happy. But here are three reasons why I think these cards are so important.
By handing over your details and arranging a later time to meet up and chat, more accountability is created. People will be more likely to follow through on their intention to listen to someone who may be struggling.
Some people find it difficult to ask someone how they are. These cards help to break down those barriers and as a result, more people will be reached out to. Those who find it difficult to respond may also be more likely to open up after this connection has been made.
Even if someone doesn't feel ready to chat straight away, they know someone cares and the initial barriers have already been broken down. They have time to prepare and reflect on whether they feel ready to chat, and if not, they know when the time comes, that that person is there for them.
Our Check In cards are available here. You can purchase these in bundles of 5, 10 or 50. We're calling them our Personal, Share or Corporate packs, respectively. However, there is no limit on the number you wish to purchase. For larger orders, simply email me and we can chat about your options.
I look forward to hearing from more of you as to how these cards have changed the way you have connected with others.