Old School - The Hidden Value of Handwritten Notes

Posted by Leah DeMasters on May 24th, 2019 in Marketing & Design

Electronic communication has become second nature to so many of us in this ‘wired world’ we live in. Our days are filled with tweets, posts, emails, and text messages because they are so much more accessible and aligned with the fast-paced world than the ‘outdated’ handwritten letters — this is the natural evolution of communication.

Who has time for stamps, stationery, and “manual” spell-check anymore? But to write off the importance of handwritten notes is premature. They remain impactful and unique in several ways.

Electronic communications are rarely notable, but handwritten notes are unusual. They take minutes (or hours) to draft, each word carefully chosen with no “undo” or “autocorrect” to fall back on. Drafting one involves selecting stationery, paying for a stamp or two, and visiting your local mailbox.

That conveyance of value is amplified by the fact that personal messages are often notes of gratitude, civility, and appreciation that reach beyond the conventional thank-you. Because handwritten notes are so painstakingly slow — to draft, to send, to assure delivery — they’re often a poor way to ask for things. Instead, they’re more frequently used to remind others that you value your relationship.

While saying “thank you” is important, the beauty of a well-crafted handwritten note is that it can show deeper investment and appreciation than a simple thank-you can. It can follow up on a conversation, remind someone they’re not forgotten, raise new issues, or even include a gift that carries its own meaning. And in a world where so much communication is merely utilitarian, these simple acts of investment, remembrance, gratitude, and appreciation can show the people who matter to your life and business that they are important to you.

Finally, handwritten notes have permanence. How many of us have our old high school yearbooks in a closet somewhere? How many keep shoe boxes with old letters or short notes from former colleagues or friends? When you take the time to read through some of them, you'll find memories and gratitude. Email is “permanent” in its own way; our electronic messages are easy to keep and search in huge volumes. But they aren’t tangible and enduring in the same way those old notes are. We don’t print emails and display them on our desks, refrigerators, and mantles they way we do with letters and notes from friends. The physical notes are more memorable.

At Wilmington Design Co., we embrace the personal touch of a handwritten note. They cost something, mean something, and have permanence in a way emails and text messages don’t. We leave them for one another when celebrating successes or giving encouragement, and we often include them in packages to clients noting important details. We let the people in our lives know we appreciate them enough to do something as archaic as pausing for 15 minutes to put pen to paper in an attempt to connect and sustain a relationship with them. Want to work with a local partner that cares, let us help you take on your goals together.