Article | Inspiration

Personality, Permanence and Meaning: What Handwritten Notes Do That Email, Text and Apps Cannot

Rhonda Basler
L two women one clutching card to her chest
L two women one clutching card to her chest

In the average day, I receive more than 120 business emails, about 40 text messages and “snaps” from Snapchat—and I won’t even begin to count other apps, personal emails and social media messages.

But, even with working at Hallmark, I get less than one handwritten note a week.

However, what’s amazing about that fact is how the power of a handwritten note still ranks above other communication methods today. And what’s even more interesting is that it is true today more than at any other time in the history of writing systems.

There is something truly uplifting, after all, about the thought of someone taking the time to send one a handwritten note. It's an action which not only speaks of thoughtfulness and compassion but also of elegance and class. … What's more, we're living through troubled times, which means that the twin virtues of kindness and care have never been more important. You should be sending more handwritten note cards.

Teo van den Broeke, Style and Grooming Director

Why Handwritten Notes Mean So Much

They cost something. From both professional and personal standpoints, handwritten notes require an outlay of cash. That’s true no matter if it’s a simple piece of a paper, notecard or greeting card, enclosed in an envelope with a stamp. A handwritten note can’t happen without a financial commitment, unlike digital communications. And that’s the difference, something that both the recipient and sender know, it means more if the message is worth the financial investment.

They say something important. It’s always special when a person takes the time to actually write a note, especially knowing there’s no backspace or autocorrect. Some of the most important messages in our lives arrive in a handwritten form—happy birthday, congratulations, sorry for your loss, Happy Hanukkah, thank you and way to go. The list goes on and on. When a message needs to be heard, our history dictates that we put it in writing.

They have permanence and personality. If you’ve ever had a close loved one pass away, then you understand the power of having a handwritten message to cherish. A typed note or text message just doesn’t carry the same weight. Similar to the spoken word, handwriting conveys personality and emotion. The size of the lettering, an added smiley face drawing, the specific style and substance of the individual loops and dots and how they cross their T’s all indicate what the person is like as an individual. In fact, handwriting can identify more than 5,000 personality traits.

Clients tell me that when they are feeling down, being able to re-read the sentiments in cards helps them feel better and as though they are not alone. The fact that you took the time to buy a card or sit down to write a note makes them feel that you really care.

Dr. Marilyn A. Mendoza, Author and Psychiatry Instructor

The Language of True Connection

Handwritten notes provide a level of intimacy unlike anything in e-communications. They establish a connection by demonstrating care and willingness to take the time to write.

It’s said that handwritten communication is the spoken word in text form. For example, little drawings included in the text add emotion and show how the person felt when the message was written. 😉 😊 The card sender can provide a powerful experience in a written message.

Expressions of gratitude enhance a person’s outlook on life, decrease stress and improve coping skills. Thank you notes rank as one of the most popular ways to show gratitude. In practice, it presents a powerful reason why handwriting is the language of true connection between the writer and the reader.

At first, I was amazed by how strongly people responded to getting these personalized notes of appreciation. But it quickly became clear that sending handwritten notes created the ultimate win-win: Writing thank-you notes made me feel good, and it made recipients feel good, too.

Christopher Bergland, Author of “Handwritten Thank-You Notes Have Surprising Consequences”

Handwritten Cards Work for Business Relationships Too

Don’t limit the connections made through handwritten message to your personal relationships. From a business perspective, companies can utilize the power of a handwritten note to express gratitude and recognition of their employees and customers.


Handwritten notes and cards serve as trust builders in relationships. In a Harvard Business Review article, the writer said, “Ideal for an RFP, follow-up to an interview, or a special thanks to team members, old-fashioned notes still have a place in business. They’re useful for getting someone’s attention, gaining a competitive advantage, and connecting on an emotional level.”

Wouldn’t we all like a tool to get someone’s attention, gain a competitive advantage and connect on an emotional level with our customers and employees?

A Challenge:  Think of an employee who did something special, noteworthy or brave. Surprise them with a handwritten note letting them know that you noticed and how much you appreciate them and all they do. It  will not only put a spring in the employee’s step, but it will make you feel great too.

Need help getting started?  That’s what our greeting cards for business are designed to do. 

Would you like to send thousands or millions of cards to your employees or customers?  We can help with that too by creating a font from your handwriting.