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Sending Handwritten Notes

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 2 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Sending Handwritten Notes At Work Using

These days the practice of using handwritten notes to convey information to work colleagues or business associates seems to have been superseded by e-mail. And, whilst e-mail does provide a highly efficient service and one which most of us have adopted these days, there is still something to be said for the handwritten note and, given that it has become somewhat of a dying practice, there is still a place for it in the modern computerised business world and it can still be used as a very effective tool in certain circumstances which can often mean the difference in standing out from the crowd, especially given its rarity these days.

The Myth and How it Can be Played to Your Advantage

It wasn’t all that long ago when communicating using pen and paper was the norm but today with e-mail so prevalent, many people tend to assume that to receive a handwritten note often demonstrates more of a personal touch and that the sender has gone to additional time and trouble to send it. Maybe this ‘myth’ has been perpetuated over time because many of the new generation of people who need to communicate with colleagues and clients have known nothing else except e-mail. However, the reality is that writing a handwritten note needn’t take any longer than typing an e-mail and used on the right occasions, it can actually make a very positive impression upon the recipient.

When to Use a Handwritten Note

Any form of communication means you need to be noticed but in the following instances, to send a handwritten note will leave a far better impression than sending an e-mail. You might, therefore, wish to consider sending a handwritten note when;

  • You receive a gift
  • You respond to an invitation
  • You are expressing condolences or offering congratulations
  • You have been treated to a business lunch or dinner
  • You have been invited to the home of a client, customer or business associate
  • You need to apologise


If you are prepared beforehand, the idea of sending a handwritten note will not seem to be as daunting or as time consuming as you may think. Therefore, you should keep the right sort of stationery featuring your company logo close at hand alongside pens, corresponding envelopes and stamps. Quite often, you can actually prepare your note before the event has even taken place. For example, if you have been invited to a dinner to celebrate a client’s retirement, you can always write your note, address it and put a stamp on it so that when you return to the office, all you need to do is post it.

Brevity and Handwriting

Firstly, it is a ‘note’ we are talking about here, not a letter. You should keep your message brief and to the point. You’ve no need to write at length or else the sentiment behind the note will end up being lost on the recipient as they’ll have to wade through paragraph after paragraph which rather negates the impression you are trying to convey. Also, don’t rush your handwriting. Contrary to popular belief, most of us can write quite legibly if we take the time to do so. It’s a bit of a false excuse to adopt the policy of sending e-mails instead of the odd handwritten note because you think you’re handwriting is awful. Most handwriting is awful if it’s rushed but it shouldn’t take long to write 3 or 4 lines carefully considering the quality of your handwriting and ensuring that it’s legible.

In general, keep it timely. Your handwritten note will be received even more favourably if you post it within a day or so of the event or issue taking place. E-mail is not a substitute for a handwritten note in certain circumstances such as those highlighted above and a handwritten note often leaves a very positive impression far longer than any e-mail could ever do.

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