It’s easy to fire off an email or text. But it’s less easy to convey pure emotion that way.
So I wrote a piece recently for Medium to give you five great reasons to send handwritten notes. I wanted to make sure I shared an excerpt with you here, too. You can check out the full piece on Medium here (and if you do, please give it a clap!)
Five Reasons To Send Handwritten Notes
The fact is, it really doesn’t take much longer than a few minutes to compose a thoughtful letter. Whether business or personal, you can send notes for a variety of reasons. And they need not be long for you to convey your thoughts.
In case you aren’t convinced, here are five reasons you should send more personal notes:
1. Connect With Others
Handwritten notes have a way of connecting two people in a way that social media and emails just can’t.
When you receive a handwritten note from someone, it’s a tactile experience. You’re opening an envelope that they sealed, you’re running your hands over ink that they wrote and thoughts they memorialized. It’s almost like you have a piece of them.
Think about how you felt the last time you read a handwritten note. I know the last note I received made me feel special.
That kind of connection and emotion is simply impossible electronically. Especially when your email will likely land in the recipient’s inbox right next to any number of spam emails.
2. Express Thanks
While there are lots of reasons to send handwritten notes, saying thanks is probably what most people think of.
It’s a fact that gratitude is good for your health. A study published by Psychological Science found that people chronically underestimate the power of expressing gratitude and instead overestimate it being potentially awkward. And that the combination of the two may keep them from engaging in the simple but impactful practice.
You should never be apprehensive about how someone will receive your thank you note. Even if your message isn’t as artfully articulated as you’d like. Ten times out of ten, your recipient will view it as a thoughtful gesture.
3. Make amends
There’s no better way to say you’re sorry than to send a handwritten note. For real. An email can be picked apart and it’s easy for the recipient to fire off a response without thinking. Which easily escalates disagreements.
But a letter? A letter forces the recipient to think more carefully about his or her response. And perhaps take the time to accept the apology.
4. Network And Make An Impression
Professionally, handwritten notes will set you apart. Whether it’s to thank someone for an interview, to follow up on a meeting, or to say it was nice to meet someone, you’ll be remembered for sending a handwritten note.
You’ll stand out for making the effort. You’ll be viewed as thoughtful and detail-oriented. And whether in the form of a new business or a new job, that is likely to pay dividends when you least expect it.
5. Express your feelings
Handwritten letters force you to take time to articulate your thoughts rather than banging out an emotional email (and really, who among us hasn’t felt that pit in your stomach after you’ve hit “send” on an angry email that you know you shouldn’t have sent).
Taking the time to handwrite a note means you’ll have to put your thoughts in order before you record them. And take a pause before you put them in the mail!
There are many more than just these five reasons you should send handwritten notes.
And I’m not saying you should never use technology to communicate. There are absolutely ways to use it and still retain the personal touch. Isn’t that what I’m doing here, after all?
There are wonderful virtues in the ability to be able to instantly communicate through email, text, and social media. But there’s also an immeasurable value in the handwritten connection.
So close the laptop, get out your pen and paper, and write that letter.