Even P Diddy writes personalised note cards...this is why.

In a world that is increasingly digitised, it can be easy to forget the power of a handwritten note or letter. While an email or text might be the quickest way to communicate, there is something special about taking the time to sit down and write out your thoughts. Whether it’s a thank you note, a sympathy card, or just a friendly hello, sending a card shows that you care enough to put in the extra effort.

Of course, there are also times when an email is the better option. If you need to communicate something quickly, or share a large amount of information, an email will get the job done more efficiently than a card. And if you’re not great at expressing your emotions in writing, an email can help you avoid any awkwardness. 

However, there will always be some occasions when an email just won’t do and you need to send a card.   Here are a few guidelines about just such times:

For example, if you are trying to apologise for something, or have made a terrible mistake, then personalised notecards will carry more weight than an impersonal email, which is never the best way to say sorry.  That’s because something that you’ve taken the time to write by hand will show that you are truly remorseful and willing to put in the effort to make things right.

In addition, sympathy cards and get well soon cards are almost always better received in physical form.  When you want to offer condolences, in times of loss, a sympathy card can provide much-needed support and comfort. In this instance it is almost always easier to express emotions in written form, than verbal.  Similarly, when you want to send well wishes, if someone you know is going through a tough time, let them know that you are thinking of them with a get well soon card. A little bit of positivity can go a long way and sometimes, a few kind words are all it takes to let someone know that you are there for them.

The same goes for thank you notes.  A quick email might be easy, but headed notepaper shows that you are truly grateful. It’s a clear, tangible demonstration of your appreciation; a thoughtful way to thank someone who has taken the time and effort to do something for you, or give something to you, that you appreciate them. So, whether it’s a family member who sent you a gift, a colleague who helped you with a project, or a friend who lent you a helping hand, take the time to write out a thank you card.

Years ago, sending a thank-you note through the post was very important.  However, the tradition has dwindled somewhat over the past 30 years.  It is why if you send a card today it is viewed as extra special.  So, the next time you need to communicate something important, skip the email and reach for a pen instead.

Don’t believe that this personal touch doesn’t matter anymore?  Let’s take a look at some famous hand-written thank you notes, that prove our point. 

Here are some examples sent to Saturday Night Live Producer, Lorne Michaels, from celebrities who have appeared on, and auditioned for the show.  The fact that Michaels keeps them proves that making an effort to write a note by hand will always be more appreciated than sending an email or leaving a thank you message on the phone. 

Comedian Jimmy Fallon thanks Michaels for his audition:

A note card from Jimmy Fallon to the producer of Saturday night live

Ian Phillips/Business Insider

Rap artist, P. Diddy (Sean Combes), sent this fabulous note – we particularly love the drawing of himself he has on his personalised note cards, because, as we always say, when it comes to creating personal stationery, anything goes!

a postcard showing P Diddy on the left with a hand written note on the rightIan Phillips/Business Insider

Oprah’s note to Michaels couldn’t be in more contrast to P. Diddy’s.  It’s written on a plain, simple white notecard.

Oprah Winfrey's handwritten note card to Lorne MichaelsIan Phillips/Business Insider

Whilst you might imagine that the leader of the free world would not have the time to hand write a thank you note, you would be wrong.  Even President’s know the value of sitting down and making time for that personal touch, as this thank-you note to the author of ‘Life of Pi’, Yann Martel, shows:

Headed notepaper from the white house used by Barack Obama to write a thank you note to Yann Martel, author of "The Life of Pie"

And….if you’ve ever received a handwritten note where someone has put a slash through their name, and wondered why….wonder no longer.  A name, or address, struck through personalised stationery may seem slightly archaic, but it is a sign that you are a close friend.  This is because doing this is a quick and easy way to make the note seem more informal.

as note card from Tom Ford with his printed name crossed out which is a term of familiarity 

Diana, Princess of Wales's headed paper with the crest and Kensington Palace crossed out which indicates a closeness with the receiver
Letter from Princess Diana to her interior designer friend Dudley Poplak.
Dominic Winter/Shutterstock

A final note to add.  You’ve taken the time to handwrite a letter, take the time to handwrite the address on the envelope.  Slapping on a pre-printed label is the opposite of making an effort and somewhat detracts from your efforts!