Stationery Make It Personal

In the today’s world, technology reigns supreme. Small businesses and big corporations alike depend on the Internet for daily functions. But it’s not just the business world that uses technology to communicate and go about the daily tasks. We are also reliant on our tablets, smartphones, and laptops for personal use.

Whether we want to get in touch with our coworkers or family and friends, many times we turn to our iPhones to do that. And why wouldn’t we? Since smartphones have the capability to make emails, texts, and the occasional phone calls this makes sense. However, while these are all convenient ways to stay in touch with loved ones, they lack the personal touch. Adults no longer experience the joy of a receiving a letter in the mail like we once used to. While you may not realize it, there are plenty of people in your life you can send notes and letters to. The following are just several ideas:

  • Long distance family members/friends
  • Neighbors
  • Mentors
  • Teachers/professors
  • Colleagues

That’s why sending a letter or note, preferably handwritten, is a much more personal way to stay in touch with others. And, while a letter is a good way to reach out to long distance friends and family, handwritten notes work great for professional settings and reasons. Consider sending a letter or note for the following occasions:

  • Holiday greetings.
  • When a neighbor/mentor/friend does something nice or helps you in a time of need
  • To thank a fellow business or person for their service or donation
  • After an interview with a potential employer
  • To check in and update loved ones about your accomplishments
  • To thank a coworker for the extra help or time spent on a project.
  • To introduce yourself (as a business) to the surrounding businesses/potential clients.
  • Thank you notes after the following events:
  • Bridal showers
  • Engagement showers
  • Baby showers
  • Birthday parties
  • Dinner parties
  • Graduation parties
  • Retirement parties
  • Anniversary celebrations

Why Snail Mail?

So, you may still be wondering why you should invest your time in snail mail when email is much more efficient. Unlike emails or texts, letters or handwritten notes are personal. They both evoke strong emotions and are an unexpected way to stay in touch with your friends and family. Imagining the look of surprise on your loved one’s face from the receiving your letter is just half the fun!

Along with providing the recipient with something so special such as sharing your emotions or thanking them for something they did, you have the ability to create a bond. Letters can become a habit or tradition between long distance friends. Also, genuine handwritten card or notes make a great gift for those you rarely see.

So, before you grab your phone to send a text or draft an email to a loved one you haven’t heard from in a while, reach for your pen and paper instead. Below, we illustrate just a few of the reasons why.

It requires time and attention.

How many emails do you instantly delete? Or, how many texts do you forget to reply to altogether? Unlike technology, reading a physical letter requires your time and attention. Although a ton of good things have come out of technology, it has also caused individuals to become used to constant feeds and interactions. Which, in turn, makes us unable to concentrate on one thing for very long.

Even if we don’t want to admit it, that has caused us to spend less time on our interactions with the ones that we care about. In fact, most of the time we rush through our text and email conversations. However, when you are holding a physical letter or note in your hand, you have to give it your time and attention. Plus, reading someone else’s words on paper will give you a much-needed break from staring at your iPhone and laptop screens.

It preserves and improves handwriting.

While it’s probably safe to assume that we are all excellent typists (it is the digital age, after all) what about our handwriting? As the saying goes, if you don’t use it, you lose it, and with handwriting this couldn’t be truer.

Since we rarely need to jot anything down, penmanship isn’t as important as it used to be.However, if you struggle with reading your own handwriting, writing letters can help you improve it. Plus, how cool is it to think that, when you write a letter, your handwriting is preserved forever?

It’s tangible evidence of our feelings.

Letters are something the recipient can keep forever. While you can save emails in a folder, it is not the same as holding a letter in your hand, unfolding and rereading the message, and storing it in a keepsake box or in a favorite book or journal. Letters take up space and become a special part of our belongings. Plus, when you reread the letter, you can experience your emotions all over again.

They look prettier than emails.

Let’s face it: Emails simply do not capture the beauty of curly handwriting, the look of quality stationery, and the feeling you get when you see a family member or friend reached out to you via snail mail. And, while you can save emails, it’s just not the same as displaying a letter or note on beautiful stationery around your home.

Picking Out the Perfect Stationery

As we illustrated above, whomever you write is bound to love your letter or note. However, with the right stationery, your handcrafted letter or note will be one he or she will want to hold on to for a lifetime. When it comes to picking out stationery, there are many things to consider. Here are just a few tips on how to pick out the perfect stationery and then start on your letter.

Quality

The first thing to remember is that quality is important. When you select stationery that is high quality and made of fine materials, it shows the reader that you value quality and, in turn, value them.

Handwrite the Note

While it is extremely easy to type your note, it means that much more if you take the time to handwrite it. After all, handwritten notes or cards are so rare these days that it’s refreshing to receive one. Plus, it seems more personal to the receiver, and you create a stronger connection.

Along with writing the note by hand, it’s important to remember to hand address the envelope,also. Even if you have your return address printed or in a sticker form, the handwritten address and note inside shows your appreciation to the recipient and displays that you took your time on them.

Reflect on Your Taste

Spend time to find correspondence cards that reflect your personality. There are fun prints and designs that are great for specific people in your life, such as girlfriends, aunts, mothers, and grandmothers. However, for more formal or generic occasions, simple and classic designs like a monogram that add a personal touch but do not take away from your words are best.

Consider your hobby when you set out to select your paper. So you love animals – then look for stationery with cats and dogs on it. Do you love to garden? There are plenty of floral options to choose from. Spend time finding a set that reflects your personality and complements your written words. When a loved one sees the letter, you want them to immediately think of you. They are likely to pay more attention to the words, and the reader will likely have a stronger connection when the stationery shows off your personal tastes.

Constructing Your Letter

Whether you wish to express to your loved one how you feel about them or you simply wish to say hi and update a faraway friend of the latest happenings in
your life via letter, it is intimidating once you sit down. You want to get
everything right, so follow these tips for the perfect letter:

Plan what you want to say.

If you are having a hard time putting your thoughts to paper, brainstorm first. Make a rough outline or draft of the topics you want to discuss and things you want to say. This is a great way to set the tone of your letter and get used to the feeling of pen in hand again (we know it’s been a while!)

Personalize the message.

It’s a good idea to refer to experiences you have shared with the person you are writing to. Talk about good times in the past and something you look forward to in the future, such as an upcoming holiday or vacation. Aim to have the letter sound like a conversation you would have with the recipient.

Take your time.

Take your time to write your letter neatly. Work on your penmanship. Outline what you want to say, and write your words with a quality pen that doesn’t scratch or smudge. This is especially important if you plan to use your letter as a gift to a parent, spouse, or friend. A major part of receiving a letter is the presentation. Holding the letter in your hand, feeling the cardstock, and reading the written words in front of you makes the experience special, so don’t rush through the process.

Be yourself.

It may seem weird to write a letter, at first, but remember to let your personality shine through! While sending a letter probably seems more formal than sending a text, you shouldn’t sound stiff or use words that aren’t in your everyday vocabulary. Construct sentences in the same tone you would normally speak with the recipient. However, be sure to spell everything correctly and double check your grammar!

Constructing Your Thank You Card

How many times do you find yourself thanking someone via text or email for the time they spent helping you, a thoughtful gift, or for coming to your dinner party? While that is definitely an easy way to get your point across, it is hardly personal.

On the other hand, sending a thank you card is not just personal, but will also make the recipient feel special. Not sure where to start? Don’t worry; below we’ve included the dos and don’ts to relieve your thank you card writing woes.

Hand write the note.

This one is a biggie, and the extra effort will go a long way. Even though it is easier to email or type out your appreciation, writing your words on stationery is a more sincere form of gratitude.

Personalize it.

While thank you notes are not as lengthy as letters, they still need to be personal while getting right to the point. Obviously, you need to thank the recipient for his or her gift, donation, good deed, or time, but there should also be an additional sentence or two that makes your card personal. The standard format is as follows:

Greet the recipient.

This one is a biggie, and the extra effort will go a long way. Even though it is easier to email or type out your appreciation, writing your words on stationery is a more sincere form of gratitude.

Express your thanks.

Clearly thank your recipient for the gift, but don’t offer a generic “thank you for the beautiful gift.” Be sure to name the item, such as “thank you for the gorgeous holly wreath.”

Add specific details.

Add a detailed sentence or two about how you plan to use the gift or how you have already used it. For example, “Thank you for the gorgeous holly wreath. It looks great on the front door, and we have received many compliments on it already! ”

Look ahead.

Either mention the next time you might see them or simply say you look forward to speaking/doing business with them in the future.

Restate your thanks.

Reiterate your gratitude before ending the note. Something like, “Again, thank you so much for the wreath.”

End with your regards.

Depending on whom you are addressing, end with “Sincerely,” “With love,” “Many
thanks,” etc.

Take your time.

Just like your appearance makes the first impression, often before you even speak, the appearance of your note will do the same. Take your time to neatly write it, and make sure your pen does not scratch and the ink doesn’t smudge. Double check that there are no errors or misspellings, and that the card is in pristine condition before you seal and mail the envelope.

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