A Daily Dispatch from the Front Lines of Leadership.


The Lost Art of the Handwritten Note

There are times when email simply does not convey the message we want to send. And the Hallmark card falls woefully short on the authenticity scale. Reach back in history and seize an old-fashioned method that lets others know you’re thinking of them. Write the note by hand. 

How novel. 

There is something about the time and thought it takes to write a handwritten note that speaks to people, even today. No other medium can match the personal gift of putting words on paper for someone who matters to you. 

Whether you’re writing to offer comfort, gratitude, congratulations, condolences, or encouragement, handwritten notes create a connection between people that is hard to replicate. 

A note written in your voice and by your hand tells others you think highly of them and deem them worthy of your time and effort in a uniquely intimate way. Handwritten notes make a deeper impression and often touch people through the thoughts and words sincerely conveyed. 

A single note can leave an indelible mark, one where the receiver saves and rereads the note for years to come. Anything kept, preserved, and cherished must be considered a treasure. And so it is with many handwritten notes. 

Of course, we have many excuses not to write them. First among them is the time and effort they take. Which, by the way, is exactly why they make such an impact. That the other party deserves the time and energy it takes you is more than half the message. 

Actually, what prevents most people from writing handwritten notes is not time, however, but the need for perfection. We struggle over the “right” words to express our thoughts and feelings. So we deny those people we care about from our words because we fear they won’t perfectly capture the meaning we want to convey. 

It’s time to get over yourself and your insecurities and let others know how you feel more often. Fretting over the perfect thing to say is a lousy excuse if it robs others of words they would need to propel themselves forward. Handwritten notes are a lost art because we think more about ourselves than others. Perhaps, it is time to shop for some stationary and make an old-time habit new again. 

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