Do you write thank you notes?

Do you write them by hand or do you type them?

If you receive a hand written note do you hold the sender in a level of higher esteem? Do you feel it says something about the sender?

There is a lot to be said for a good old fashioned hand written note.

Sure, there is something to be said for emailed notes too, but notes that have been sent by email are so much more impersonal and impermanent.


If I had my choice I prefer a hand written note. There is a certain amount of cachet, sincerity and commitment to a hand written note.

Not surprisingly, most hand written notes are short. This is by design and it’s also just a factor of the medium. Shorter can be better.

What can you say in 140 characters?

Actually. A Lot!

It takes focus, creativity and attention to detail to say more with less.

“I’m sorry I wrote such a long letter. I did not have the time to write a short one.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

The Pen is Mightier than the Sword

While it might seem like more can be done with a swish of a sword. I submit that it is far more powerful to slay someone with words. Too often those in power seek to use force when diplomacy would serve them better. Words can make it possible to turn a naysayer into an advocate.

Good Wordsmithing can make this a reality

A well thought out and smartly written note is the secret weapon of true leaders. Leaders often have a knack for the short note. Come to think of it – I’m not sure what comes first … the ability to lead or the ability to write concise notes.

The U. S. Constitution doesn’t guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.
~ Benjamin Franklin

Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.
~ Napoleon Bonaparte

A hand written note can be especially powerful:

“We know that he has, more than any other man, the gift of compressing the largest amount of words into the smallest amount of thought.”
~ Winston Churchill writing about politician Ramsay MacDonald

I’m not advocating for the search for a better put down. I’m suggesting that more can be done with words. I’m suggesting that people place a higher value on the written word. Especially when that written word took time and effort to put pen to paper.

Finally, I’m suggesting that you take the time to hand write notes. Whether they are thank you notes or just notes to say hello or commemorate a special event or occasion. People will remember. I know I do.

What do you think?

  • Do hand written notes have a place in modern society?
  • How often do you send out hand written notes?
  • Do you notice when you receive a hand written note?
Jeff  is a veteran in the Enterprise Content Management industry. Over the past 20 years he has worked with customers and partners to design, develop and deploy solutions around the world. Jeff is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances at Winshuttle. He has worked for Microsoft, FileNet (IBM), K2, Captaris, Open Text, Kofax and Kodak. He speaks and blogs about ECM and the Intersection between Social, Mobile and Cloud Computing.