Writing Personal Notes: Should They Be Hand-Written?

Is It A Good Idea To Hand-Write A Personal Note?

If your penmanship is legible, do it. And if you’re artistic or if you can do calligraphy, by all means take the time to do it by hand.

But if your handwriting looks like a fifth-grader’s scrawl, Whatyousay.com thinks it’s a bad idea to hand-write your notes.  We recently received such a note from an advertising executive.  She probably thought she would impress us by taking the time to write the note by hand.  But it looked so juvenile that it had the opposite effect.

There are exceptions to this rule.  If you’re famous or rich, you can get away with scrawling. Your cast-offs will be something that people treasure. It may even add to your mystique.

But if you’re a mere mortal, or even if you are rich and famous, you should concentrate on what you say in your note. “It’s the thought that counts” is more than a cliche.  A message that touches the heart will be treasured even if its scrawled.

“Many people simply buy pre-written greeting cards for these occasions (i.e.,graduations, weddings, promotions,etc.) Although this practice has become acceptable in our society, it pales in comparison to a personal message that is written by you.”
–Margaret McCarthy, author of “Letter Writing Made Easy”

Whatyousay.com agrees with Margaret McCarthy. But your choice need not be either-or . You can hand-write a short note on a pre-written card, or you can compose your message on a computer, print it, and enclose your note inside the folded pre-written card. (This is the option whatyousay.com recommends for those with abominably poor penmanship, or for  elderly individuals whose handwriting may have become shaky.)

Adding a personal touch to a pre-written card is easy to do.  Consider the alternative. Every year this office receives beautiful cards that are not personalized in any way. Some have signatures, and, astonishingly, some cards don’t even have that.  Just a printed name at the bottom of the card. We wonder why anyone spends money sending them.  We toss them.

What about computerized cards?  Whatyousay.com has mixed feelings.  Some computerized cards are truly clever, memorable, and beautiful.  There are two shortcomings.  Many–not all–Internet cards do not provide you with the opportunity to add a personal note. And some people are afraid to open these cards because they are afraid of viruses.

Whatever form your personal message takes, remember this: the words of your note as well as its appearance should convey this message, “I care about you.”

There is a joker in this deck of cards. It’s the Iran card. If Israel attacks Iran, and if war breaks out in the Middle East, $4.00-a-gallon gasoline will become just a memory.

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