Why Handwritten Notes Make Outsized Impressions

In this age of emails and texts, there is still no better way than a handwritten note (delivered in an envelope with a real stamp through the USPS) to offer sympathies, express appreciation, send a light-hearted greeting, or even convey a serious message. As a matter of transparency, on several appropriate occasions, I have failed to employ the advice offered here. I regret my poor choices.

Many years ago, my mother dictated the rules for properly acknowledging an event in another person’s life or expressing a sincere “Thank You” for a gift given to me. Fast-forward to the “electronic” age we now find ourselves in, and handwritten notes have become one of the most treasured and remembered gifts one can offer. A small investment in stamps, a black ink pen, and note cards with envelopes is all you need to craft handwritten notes. The time you invest in the effort of writing and sending a note is what makes this gesture so special.

A few hints that I can offer:

  1. One of the discouragers of writing a note is not having someone’s correct home mailing address. When you think of the person you want to write a note to, email someone else who would have that address with this message: “Please email me back First Last Name’s home address so I can send them a handwritten note.” You will get the address you need because you will be explaining why you need this information, and stating your intention to someone else will make you much more likely to follow through with sending this note.
  2. Type out what you want to say in this note before you write it. Review what you have drafted, make any notes, and then write out this written “draft” on the note card. This process will allow you to concisely state the sentiment you want to convey and will even help with spelling and grammar.
  3. Avoid flowery language and stick to the core message of your correspondence by employing my version of the K.I.S.S. principle: “Keep It Super Simple.”
  4. Another discourager of writing a note is not having a stamp handy. So, buy a small sheet of Forever stamps (so you never have to worry about having the proper amount of postage) and keep them with these note cards.

On several occasions, people have thanked me for the gift of a handwritten note, whether it was a sympathy message, humor, or another subject. And, on one recent occasion, I was told later by the note recipient that they placed my note in a special place with another note I had sent them many years earlier—this proved to me that these notes have a special meaning to many recipients.

You hear people say all the time that they get far too many emails, but when is the last time you heard someone say that they just get too many handwritten notes? Never!

Now, go write someone a note!


If you have any questions or comments, please email me, Pete Taylor, CEO and Chairman of the Board at Standard, at:

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