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Why You Need to Write Handwritten Notes Again

Feb 19, 2016 | Leadership

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We rarely pick up a pen and paper to write to each other, these days. We would rather text, use social media messaging, or—more recently—emojis to express how we feel. It’s certainly a lot faster and more efficient. In fact, when a gift is sent, the sender often wonders.

I can’t remember the last time I received a handwritten note, which is a shame because I love getting them.

Other than personal thank-you letters from prospective job applicants, my mail is pretty mundane and mass-produced.

I’m sure there are many reasons for this, so I don’t need to explain the obvious or dissect the depths of the modern eBusiness psyche.  

But I do love getting them. And I know I’m not alone.

The Lost Art of Writing Handwritten Notes

When I was a young professional, I had a pretty nice pen, bought stamps, wrote letters, and mailed them.

Getting a letter always felt like a personal moment. I knew that writing it took time, care, attention, and some work (stamps, licking, sealing, etc.). When I lived in Spain for a few years, opening my mail was a ritual.

Start Writing Handwritten Letters Again

Research has shown that writing by hand is beneficial for our physical and mental health, but today I want to outline some of the personal benefits of writing letters by hand.

  • They are personal and a memorable way to touch the people you care for. In the digital world we live in, nobody expects a handwritten letter anymore. When you receive one, you treasure it. It becomes more than the words on the paper. For the one receiving it, it represents a lovely gesture to be treasured.
  • They require your undivided attention. When you write by hand, you can’t check your email, you don’t see notifications popping up on your screen. It’s only you, your thoughts, and the paper in front of you.
  • Every word counts. With a handwritten note, you are “forced” to be brief and deliver your message with clarity. You don’t have much room to ramble. Which makes it even more precious.
  • It’s wonderful surprise that brings a feeling of importance for the receiver. The message you send with your handwritten note is loud and clear: You matter to me.

You may think doing something so simple, yet different doesn’t make much practical sense these days. But imagine the momentary joy you can produce from a friend, prospect, client, partner, or family member by writing them a letter. You’ll stand out in age when nobody stands out.

Now that’d be a modern novelty. Sign me up.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Want to learn how to be brief and more effective in your day-to-day communication? Get your Brief Tool Kit



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