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Why Are Handwritten Notes So Important?
From a purely physical perspective, handwritten notes are just paper — dried, compressed wood pulp — printed with colored patterns and marked with ink. Nothing special. Just temporary bits of flotsam that will eventually return to the soil that birthed them. But from an emotional perspective, a handwritten note can mean more than anything else in the universe.
Handwritten notes connect us to our past while remaining relevant in our digital world. The dried wood pulp serves as a vessel for our dearest thoughts, hopes, and dreams. The ink is a physical means of communicating something deeply personal. Handwritten notes are scattered across the globe, mailboxes filling with warm coffee-and-brandy sentiments, hopeful birthday wishes, effervescent thank yous, and all manner of other unique messages.
Handwritten notes are so important because they’re as quintessential to human communication as the spoken word. They’re a direct expression of your innermost thoughts, carried on a paper medium — from your hand to pen to paper to envelope to their hand — a conversation in slow motion with all the emotion of in-person interactions.
Let’s take a look at the reasons why handwritten notes are so important.
THEY’RE MEANINGFUL IN A WAY DIGITAL MESSAGES CAN’T MATCH
Take any handwritten note and compare it with any other written by a different person. You’ll see significant differences — penmanship, letter size, loop style, pacing, etc. No two people have the same handwriting — it’s as individual as our fingerprints.
Contrast that against an email or a chat message. Other than the content, every single one looks the same — digital text clumped into impersonal paragraphs. So if you’re hoping to send a personalized message that resonates with your reader, what’s more likely to be effective, an email or a handwritten note?
Handwritten messages are meaningful in ways digital communications can’t match because your handwriting is a piece of you that you can share with others.
THEY SLOW YOU DOWN SO YOU CAN FOCUS ON WHAT’S IMPORTANT
Emails and chat messages are often quick reactions to previous messages. They’re throwaway communications intended to convey information quickly. They’re fast but fleeting.
Handwritten notes force the writer to consider each word before they inscribe them permanently on paper. As opposed to a random assortment of thoughts you might find in an email, a handwritten note is a thoughtful expression of everything you want to say, and nothing extraneous. Corrections are difficult, and rewrites are impossible unless you throw away the card and start over. As a result, each sentence is crafted carefully, tuned to convey the right sentiment and meaning efficiently.
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THEY’RE GOOD FOR THE SENDER, TOO
Numerous studies have linked writing by hand with increased happiness and feelings of well-being. Technically, this includes any kind of expressive writing, but handwritten notes are particularly noteworthy because they’re accessible to everyone.
You may not have the time or inclination to keep a journal, and you might not feel you have the skill to engage in other kinds of creative writing. Handwritten notes, by contrast, are easy to generate and are expressive in a very direct way.
Expressive writing has been tied to stress reduction, improved mood, and enhanced feelings of gratitude. Additionally, practitioners regularly report improvements in focus, persuasion, critical thinking, and depression.
Not enough? There’s more! Spending time on handwritten notes helps keep aging minds sharp, aids in trauma recovery, improves retention, and helps organize your thinking. So if you don’t send handwritten notes for other people, do it for yourself. You’ve got a lot to gain!
THEY PROVIDE A LINK TO TRADITION
Humans love their rituals and traditions. Doing things that connect us to our past helps to provide roots for the future. Handwriting notes connects us to a tradition that goes back thousands of years, all the way to the development of the written word.
Ever since humans first created symbols to stand in for objects and concepts, we’ve been expressing ourselves on tablets, parchment, and paper. The first handwritten letter found in the historical record dates back to 500 BC, sent by the Persian Queen Atossa to her daughter Syrus, who just so happened to be the mother of the famous King Xerxes.
More than 2,500 years later, people are still sending handwritten notes, cards, letters, and other missives. Even with instant digital communications available, there’s something uniquely human, and wonderful, about penning your thoughts in ink.
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THEY INSPIRE CREATIVITY
Creating handwritten notes triggers a number of brain regions, lighting up activity across areas associated with creativity. The more of these regions you stimulate simultaneously, the greater your task engagement. Handwritten notes spark electrical activity through the executive, motor, visual, spatial, and linguistic brain areas. This creates interesting synergies that drive advances in creative thinking.
Handwriting a letter has a secondary benefit to your creative process. It engages you emotionally and intellectually in equal measure. Your creative focus is balanced between personal expression and language exploration. Your entire mind is engaged when composing a handwritten card.
And your recipient benefits, too! Your creative expression can serve as a jumping off point for their own creative expressions. That’s the thing about handwritten notes. They’re both inspired and inspirational, created by and consumed by curious human minds.
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HANDWRITTEN NOTES DON’T HAVE TO BE HANDWRITTEN
That last heading might be the most profound line in this article. Because while handwritten notes have been around for 2,500 years, we happen to be living at the first point in history when handwritten notes can be created sans hands.
Simply Noted has perfected the automated, handwritten note. We’ve built a fleet of cutting-edge handwriting robots that use real ballpoint pens and intelligent handwriting fonts capable of mimicking the subtle details of real handwriting. All you have to do is pick a card and upload your message, and our robots will write your card and drop it in the mail — at any time and any volume.
Does this devalue your handwritten notes? Absolutely not. You may not get the creativity and mood gains found handwriting your own cards, but your recipient will still enjoy all the emotion of a real handwritten card. They won’t realize you didn’t write the card yourself, particularly if we recreate your handwriting in a custom smart font.
Our handwriting results are just that good. Our cards have all the emotional appeal of a real handwritten card, but they can be created in the time it takes to send an email.