When it’s time to send a personal note to someone, do you prefer to go for handwritten or typed? Does it even make a difference? Many would argue yes. If you’re deciding which format would work the best for your situation, keep reading.
Are handwritten notes better than typed?
There are pros and cons to either method, and ultimately, the format that you choose should depend on the scenario.
When you’re giving thanks or expressing appreciation, handwritten notes can feel more authentic and personal. They have more of a human feel that doesn’t always come across with typed words. On the other hand, if the purpose of your writing is to convey information, sticking with a typed note is often a safer bet because doing so eliminates the risk of the recipient misreading crucial information. If your recipient misreads your "3 PM" as "8 PM," they could end up missing the party altogether!
In the same vein, the length of the note should be taken into consideration. For longer notes that involve multiple paragraphs, it can more practical to type the note as there is a greater chance that something could be misread. If you’re sending out a large number of notes for an announcement or invitation, it may be more practical to type the notes out to save time. Plus, after writing too many notes by hand in a row, your handwriting is bound to lose its precision as the process goes on, and a typed note you can read beats out a handwritten one you can’t!
5 memorable handwritten note scripts.
1. Thank you for the gift.
When sending a thank you card for a gift, open by expressing gratitude for the specific item after your greeting. This shows the gift giver that you truly took note of what they gave. In the second line, express why what they gave was special or briefly acknowledge how you intend to use the gift. End with a sentence or two that is directly related to the addressee, and let your relationship with that person inform your closing. For family members or very close friends, "Love" may be the most appropriate closing. When addressing someone you know less intimately, "Warmly" may be a better fit.
Thank you so much for the beautiful picture frame you sent for graduation! It’s so nice to have something this precious to remind me of that exciting day. I’m looking forward to telling you all about post-grad life at Christmas.
2. Interview follow-up.
If you have any interest in working for a company at all following an interview, send a thank you note! While email thank you’s can be more formal and used to fill in information you feel you missed providing during an interview, a handwritten note can be sent as the icing on top of an interview that you feel went well. Let your interviewer know you enjoyed meeting them, and reiterate your interest in the position. Give a specific reason or two about why you want to work with them, briefly describing what you’re looking forward to and how it relates to your personal experience or predilections. Close out by thanking them for their time, and using a formal closing.
Dear Ms. ___,
It was truly a pleasure to meet you yesterday and to learn more about the Director of Exhibitions position at Museum X. Speaking with you further confirmed my belief that working at Museum X would be an ideal fit for me. I was particularly drawn to the opportunity to collaborate with other offices because I have always enjoyed working cross-functionally. Please let me know if you have any other questions about my experience, and thank you for meeting with me. I look forward to hearing from you.
3. Reference letter thank you.
Any one who has ever written a reference letter for someone knows that even for the best candidate, it can be majorly time consuming! If someone takes the time to write a reference for you, a personal note of appreciate can go a long way. Let them know that you appreciate their letter, and remind them of the specifics. Acknowledge that you recognize their labor. If available, give them an update on the status. If the outcome is negative, thank them anyway, and briefly let them know what your next step will be. Don’t feel like you need to go in too deeply — if they have more questions they will follow up and ask.
Dear Professor ___,
Thank you so much for your thoughtful recommendation letter for the graduate program at Example University. Knowing that you dedicated time from your busy schedule to fulfill my request means the world. I received my acceptance letter today, and I’m over the moon about it! I have no doubt that your support helped them make the decision.
All the best,
4. Customer loyalty appreciation.
Sending loyal customers appreciation notes is a great way to assure that they continue to visit your business in the future. Address them by name, and mention how long they have been a customer to personalize the message. Reiterate your thanks and gratitude, and let them know that you hope to continue to provide great service. Use an upbeat closing, and find a signature that’s slightly more personalized than only using your company’s name.
Thank you for continuing to be a loyal Company X customer for an entire year! We are grateful for you support and hope that you will continue to come to us for your home furnishing needs. We look forward to helping you find exactly what you need in the future.
Have a great day,
Your friends at Company X
Perhaps one of the happiest occasions to send a handwritten note is a note of congratulations. Acknowledge what you’re congratulating the recipient for in the first line, then let them know how the news impacted you. Be genuine and let them know that you’re proud of/happy for them, and further encourage them moving forward.
Congratulations on being promoted to District Manager of Sales! I was so excited when I saw the news. You’ve always given 110%, and you’re one of the hardest working people I know. I have no doubt that you’ll continue to thrive in your new role.
Wishing you the best,
Do you have a preference when it comes to receiving notes or a practice that you use when it comes to sending notes? Let us know in the comments!
Kayla Heisler is an essayist and Pushcart Prize-nominated poet. She is an MFA candidate at Columbia University, and her work appears in New York's Best Emerging Poets 2017 anthology.