In our day and age of cell phones, email, and social media, it’s easy to overlook the art of writing handwritten notes to communicate with the people we love. We’ve expounded upon the value of continuing to put pen to paper as we send correspondence to family and friends several times, so instead of harping on the topic once again, we thought we’d share some specific instances in which it is easier to send a handwritten note than you think.

Check out our ideas below and let us know if you have any tips to share!

1. When You Receive a Gift of Stationery

We love giving (and receiving!) pretty paper products to family and friends — journals, cards, notebooks, and office supplies make perfect gifts. But it’s easy to let all of that pretty paper stack up on our desks, allowing months to pass before we ever get around to sending anything in the mail. Instead of filing away pretty notecards for a special occasion, dig out a pen and write a for-no-reason, thinking-of-you note to your sister or mom or college roommate on the stationery that they gave you as a gift. You’ll brighten their day (and their mailbox!) with the sweet unexpected gesture and you’ll make more room in your office for even more pretty stationery and cards (go on, girl, treat yourself).

handwriting notes

2. When You Get Free Postcards or Paper Samples

Often times postcards and notecards are given out as promotions or thank you gifts from companies where we shop and dine. Earlier this year I was visiting Boulder with my girlfriends from college and we caught up over pizza and wine at a darling restaurant on the city’s main strip. After we paid our bill, our waiter left us with pretty postcards with the restaurant’s information on them, telling us that if we filled them out and left them on the table they would pop them in the mail for us the next day. We all eagerly jotted a quick note to our husbands (who were holding down the forts in our respective hometowns) and headed out to our next destination. It would have been easy to pass up the opportunity, feigning busyness or anxiousness to move on to the next place, but it was such a treat for my husband to rifle through the mail several days later and find a special postcard from me. It brightened his day and mine, too, and it served as a reminder of the small joys we can bring to others by taking a moment to put pen to paper.

Likewise, a friend and I always exchange delectable treats from a New York-based bakery for our birthdays each year. Within the package of delicious desserts they include a promotional postcard, which I always use to send my BFF a thank you note for the goodies. It helps ensure that I’m prompt in my gratitude and it’s a fun way to keep the postage-based correspondence going.

3. When You’re Waiting in Line

Unless you’re someone who has a personal assistant, you’re going to spend a chunk of your life waiting in line — at the post office, at the car wash, at the grocery store, at the doctor’s office, at the DMV. We tend to mindlessly scroll through our social media feeds in an attempt to fight boredom. Instead of whiling away online, consider keeping a few blank notecards in your purse so you can use your time spent waiting in a fun and creative way by writing a note to someone special. Use apps or your phone’s address book to store mailing info for family and friends so you can drop them a note in the mailbox at a moment’s notice.

 … consider keeping a few blank notecards in your purse so you can use your time spent waiting in a fun and creative way …

4. When You’re Shopping for Souvenirs

It’s easy to get carried away shopping for treasures and trinkets to bring home for loved ones when we’re on a fun trip; after all, there’s nothing more thoughtful than picking out something special for a family member or friend while you’re enjoying your own vacation. But instead of blowing our budgets on pricy one-of-a-kind gifts, opt for picking up unique cards in local shops and writing a quick note to drop off at the post office in the city you’re visiting. It’s such a special gesture because it reminds loved ones that you’re thinking of them while you’re gone and it’s a unique way to bring a piece of culture right to their front doorstep.

When do you typically handwrite a note?

Images via Monica Outcalt



  1. I write a hand written note every single day! in fact, i started a little small biz to encourage people to do the same. i want to make it especially easy by having the prettiest watercolor cards. it works for me 🙂

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