When was the last time you wrote something by hand that wasn’t a) a doodle during a meeting, or b) your weekly shopping list? If you’re reading this you probably went through school doing all your studies, homework and exams with paper and pen - a time when handwriting skills were honed throughout your education. Today it’s very different.
Keyboards are becoming the modus operandi for giving form to thoughts and messages; email and WhatsApp have become the primary way we communicate when we’re not in the same room as the person we want to talk to. So is there any need for handwriting skills at all? Absolutely. In this blog we’re going to state the case for old fashioned writing skills and why handwritten notes will always be important.
Hand written notes are more thoughtfelt, tangible and personal.
Firstly, let’s talk about why handwritten notes are so much better than digital letters. OK, email has given us the ability to communicate in greater volume, but at a price. Communication has lost it’s value - it’s now no longer special to hear from someone. But ironically, we get frustrated when we don’t hear back from somebody we’ve emailed a few hours before.
Online businesses using personalisation
Handwritten notes, on the other hand (pun intended), are personal, thought-felt and tangible. They carry a sincerity that an email can never achieve. Probably one of the reasons why YuppieChef kickstarted the trend to include a handwritten thank you note with orders. A handwritten note is also special because of how it looks, as well as for its message.
Handwritten notes have a very real and important place in business today.
It’s not only Yuppie Chef that has understood how effective hand written notes can be. An ex General Electric Chairman and the former CEO of Campbell’s Soup both took the time to write their employees handwritten notes. This article by American Express also highlights some of the other champions of handwritten notes – business people who use the notes as an opportunity to reach out to prospective clients, clients and vendors in a memorable way. Another article on Inc even proposes that sending handwritten notes can make you money.
Maybe it’s because your clients will favour your business over the one that doesn’t value them enough to take the time and effort to write a note, or because that handwritten note on a branded letterhead will constantly be in eye shot. Or maybe even because the time you didn’t spend on email, while writing the note, preserved enough sanity and energy for you to be more productive.
There are ways to send handwritten notes that don’t require you to lift a pen.
For those who have illegible handwriting, express themselves better vocally or who are just too busy, there are ways to send handwritten notes that don’t involve you having to pick up a pen. Handiemail, although not currently taking on any more work, is a business that’ll handwrite a note or letter to your specifications on beautiful stationery and then mail it for you.
Then there’s Bond, who’ll do the same except the notes are not really handwritten, as much as they could pass for handwritten notes. Instead, software and a robot are endowed with writing skills to emulate handwriting. Granted, the technology is impressive, but no matter how you look at it – it’s not the real deal. Another way to cheat is with an app called Handwrytten, which also uses a robot to “hand write” cards and letters. Check out the robot in action in this video.
South Africa still values a personal touch
Unfortunately (or fortunately if you think that nothing should replace real hand written notes), all these services are in the USA. It seems that until someone starts a handwriting service or makes an app that distributes fake handwritten notes across the country, we South Africans will simply have to take pen to paper ourselves, the good ol’ fashioned way.
For all your handwriting needs, stationery suppliers OfficeBox are the people to call. We deliver the next-day anywhere in the country – sign up for a 30 day free trial of our service to see just how easy keeping stocked up with stationery can be.
Image Credit: connotar.com