NOTE: This article originally appeared on my Facebook Group page: “Revive the Art of Personal Note Writing!”

There are many times when etiquette and custom and sentimentality call for a handwritten note if at all possible. There is something so much more personal…more intimate…more special about going to the trouble to write something by hand, especially thank you notes and sympathy notes. The receivers of handwritten notes say they love just holding them, re-reading them, visualizing the act of the sender sitting down, thinking of them, and writing to them. We're treading on sacred ground here.

But for every rule, there are exceptions, especially when the “rule” is keeping you from communicating altogether! Maybe you just have a mental block and you don't ever get around to all those steps: find paper, find matching envelope, find writing implement, find paper again because you put it down somewhere while you were looking for a writing implement…you get the picture. And stamps? Surely you jest… The computer's right here and I can zap off an email in no time. I would always maintain that an electronic communication is better than no communication at all.

Perhaps you have arthritis, a tremor, illegible handwriting, or an injury or other mobility impairment. Certainly, these are reasons for finding other ways to communicate, and your loved ones will understand. With programs such as Skype and the various audio and video software and sites available today, you can see and talk to people in real time or personalize a recorded message with a computer and send it instantly.  is a fascinating service that offers wonderful and time-saving options for mailed cards and notes that are very personalized, even to the point of appearing to be in your own handwriting.

Just don't let yourself get distracted from the real purpose of any personal communication: to let someone know you care. Any way you can figure out how to do that is time well spent.


Photo credit: “Love Torn” by Alex P., Allegan, MI, USA (via Stock.xchng)
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