January 23rd is National Handwriting Day, and I have written before about the magic and the pleasure of writing by hand, using pen(cil) and paper. Here is one more post today, just because. While I cannot handwrite this post, I could have attempted to write it down and post the picture of it, like I did earlier with this handwriting related article. But today, I am typing down the magic of the handwritten note (ironic, I know)..
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The Magic of the Handwritten Note
How does the handwritten note add a touch of magic?
- By showing we care. Writing a note, even a quick one to say ‘thank you’, shows the recipient that we took the time out to do all that was needed to pen that short phrase. Getting out the pen, the notecard, and remembering to send that note of thanks itself, and the process of sending it over to them (be it by snail-mail, hand delivery, or other means)
- Strengthens the bonds, no matter what relationship we have with the recipient. Be it friends, family, acquaintances, or colleagues, or even a stranger we are reaching out to for the first time through that note. Maybe an author whose book we loved.
- In today’s world (and even eons ago), they are sure to be cherished.
On a sidenote, taking notes for school or work by writing them down using pen and paper helps strengthen the learning process.
How to Ensure You Handwrite More Notes
Have a Note-Kit Handy
Build your own kit for writing a quick note, or even longer ones, and keep it handy and within reach always. That way, you are always ready for when you are wrapping a gift for someone, or wanting to reach out to someone to say you care, or to thank them, or….
The kit can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish. Here are some ideas for a kit:
- stationary (simple, fancy, fun, vintage, etc)
- card sets with envelopes. Like this one which offers something for everyone, or this fun and cute one)
- and yes, stamps (in case you need to mail the cards)
- if you have return address labels, keep them with this kit
- stickers to add fun touches depending on the recipient
- other small somethings you can enclose within an envelope to add surprise elements
Note: keep a few different types of stationary, cards, and stickers to suit the recipient to add another step of personalization.
- Set aside some time on your calendar each week/fortnight/month to send notes to people regardless of need. That way, if no reason occurs to write a note, you will come up with one, like ‘thinking of you’ or ‘just to say hi’!
- Write down a list of people you would love to send notes to, and surprise them. I am sure yours will be the only handwritten letters they will have received (and will receive) in a long time
- Check out the Read When.. series from Old Fashioned Love Notes. Each book is a series of prompts to write notes to loved ones over time and hand the book to them on a special occasion.
Sidenote: If you would love to receive a handwritten note from yours truly (though I cannot say when I might get to you), please let me know. You can put your mailing address in the comments (and I will remove the pertinent information before I approve comments anyways).
Books That Help
I loved these books on the handwritten note. Pick the one that speaks to you.
The Art of the Handwritten Note: A Guide to Reclaiming Civilized Communication by Margaret Shepherd
Description: For those who enjoy writing notes, or those who value doing so but find themselves intimidated by the task, acclaimed calligrapher Margaret Shepherd has created both an epistolary tribute and rescue manual. Just as you cherish receiving personal mail, you can take pleasure in crafting correspondence. Love, gratitude, condolences, congratulations—for every emotion and occasion, a snippet of heartfelt prose is included, sure to loosen the most stymied letter writer.
My quick thoughts: It is everything it says and more. A book that you will cherish just like the handwritten notes it talks about.
Heartspoken: How to Write Notes that Connect, Comfort, Encourage, and Inspire by Elizabeth Cottrell
In the hands of author Elizabeth H. Cottrell, the handwritten note is set free from old-fashioned irrelevance to become a superpower tool for connecting with others. Heartspoken: How to Write Notes that Connect, Comfort, Encourage, and Inspire will guide you to uncovering your own unique note-writing voice and give you the confidence to use it.
My Quick Thoughts: I picked this more recently and Cottrell uses stories and examples to show the power of the handwritten note.
Last but not least, and once again (in a way)
A Handwritten Note to Wish All Who Celebrate
Image info: This simple, elegant drawing to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit is by the Hong Kong artist Kan Tai Keung. Notice how he uses the year 23 to form the rabbit. When I checked to find out more about this artist, turns out he is also the designer for Hong Kong’s 2023 Year of the Rabbit stamp program.
And Now, the End of This Post
Dear reader, when did you last pen a handwritten note or letter to someone? Or when do you plan to next? What are your thoughts on handwriting notes – for adding that personal touch, or for learning? Do let me know.