Why and how to use handwritten notes in business

A thank-you note, crafted by your own hand, delivers meaning beyond its text. Using pen and paper for your writing encourages a freer flow of ideas. Consider these and other benefits.

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In these days of emails and text messaging, handwritten correspondence has almost disappeared.

Yet some stalwarts still advocate handwriting as a valuable tool for business communications. Most business professionals of a certain age still use handwritten notes for personal correspondence.

Not long ago, handwriting was one of the most popular means of communication. My mother demanded handwritten thank-you notes for presents she gave; maybe your mother did, too.

Nowadays, little is handwritten except perhaps a few items for a grocery list or a Post-it Note. Many young professionals don’t remember handwriting classes. Because millennials started typing so young, their handwriting is often illegible. (My mother’s was exquisite; she taught the Palmer method to second graders.)

“By letting it go to the wayside, we lose something—something very important,” says Laura Petrolino, chief client officer at Arment Dietrich. “Handwriting helps us develop the skills essential for all communication. Without it, our brains don’t create some of the processes which help us be good communicators, and all parts of communication suffer.”

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