Gone are the days when pencil sharpeners were needed in every accounting office and when formal communications were printed on letterhead. Unfortunately, the hand written note has experienced a similar demise…or has it?
During the past six months, I read an article and heard a few people speak about the resurrection of the hand written note. In fact, I was inspired earlier this year to write Part 1 about the importance of this “relic tool” that will absolutely get you heard over the “noise” of everyone else.
I was recently at the Fortune Leadership Summit in Orlando, Florida. One of the speakers was Dave Kerpen, author of Likeable Social Media and Likeable Business. He commented that the hand written note was the original social media and encouraged everyone in the room to start writing hand written notes. He even distributed note cards and envelopes to the 500 people in the room and provided a few minutes to write.
Since the importance of the hand written note has been covered, I want to review the 8 critical steps to creating an amazing handwritten note card.
Step 1: Type your note in your favorite word processor. Yes, you read this correctly. Typing first allows you to decide what to say as well as edit, and spell check before you take the cap off your pen.
Step 2: Grab your favorite pen. I prefer black, but blue is acceptable. If you feel like jazzing it up with another color, save it for writing notes to your kids or your spouse.
Step 3: Copy the perfected note to your note card exactly as it appears on the screen. Don’t stray. I have strayed before and it causes problems with flow, wording and other issues later in the note. Don’t forget to add the date to the top.
Step 4: Write legibly. If the recipient struggles to decipher your writing, the bliss of receiving the note will be buried by the frustration from trying to decipher your penmanship.
Step 5: Don’t try to squeeze too much on the note card. Shorter is better. It is the act of writing and sending the card that matters most-more than the content, which is a close second.
Step 6: If you know the person well, write only your first name at the bottom and move on. If you don’t know the person well, still write your first name and include your business card with the note.
Step 7: Use a printer to address the envelope. Don’t forget to add a simple return address. I add mine to the flap on the back of the envelope.
Step 8: Repeat. You cannot over-do it.
Now you are ready. Send a note today. I have committed to sending at least one note each week. How about you? What do you do? I would love to hear any suggestions for improving this process.
Keep your eyes open. Inspiration can come from anywhere.
This post was inspired by Dave Kerpen of Likeable. Great speaker. Great author.