The magic of handwritten letters

Online correspondence, whether it’s via email, social networks or instant messaging, has become our main way of communicating. We’re so busy these days that typing a quick note on Facebook is much easier than calling and writing everyone individually. Right?

Right, but not quite – because there’s more to communicating than convenience. While I like the efficiency of Facebook, email, and IM, I also appreciate the act of writing a message on paper, with an actual pen (wow!).

When I was a child I loved writing letters on my special stationery. I would make my handwriting extra neat so the words would look good next to my flowery note paper designs (my handwriting has gone to pot by the way). I also enjoyed personalizing my notes for each recipient. I wasn’t in a hurry when I wrote handwritten letters because I enjoyed the process. The ultimate reward? Receiving letters back from friends and family – oh the thrill of those handwritten envelopes in my mailbox!

When I began working at Shutterfly I realized how much I missed that experience, especially when I discovered Shutterfly’s beautiful cards and stationery. Who can resist writing a letter when you see something like this?

Lately I’ve started taking up the pen again, and it feels great. I write to friends and family on a regular basis. I’ve even whipped my handwriting into shape! Everyone loves receiving my envelopes, and they write back too, which is always fun and special.

If you miss the days of handwritten correspondence, but need a little inspiration, take a look at the below tip for writing thank you notes. These little notes are actually a lot fun to write, and are greatly appreciated by the receivers. Give it a shot!

What’s your favorite occasion for handwritten notes? Just because? Holidays? Special occasions? Let me know by commenting on this article.

Steps to writing a great thank you note

1. Address the giver
2. Give your thanks
3. Say something positive about the gift or how you will use it
4. Talk about an enjoyable experience you shared or will share with the giver
5. Repeat your thanks

Example note

Dear Evelyn,

How thoughtful of you to remember that pastel blue is my favorite color. The scarf is beautiful, and all the more special because it came from you. I’ll be sure to wear it next time we get together for coffee. Thanks again.




  1. Earl J says

    As I write this, I’m looking at my supply of Shutterfly note cards on the shelf below my CD’s. I’m with you on this — speed and efficiency has limits. Take the short time needed to send a personalized note, and remember the extra, positive impact if that note includes a photo you have taken personally.

  2. kbum says

    I have to agree with you on this! I love hand written notes. I love to get them and send them. I/We send a lot of thank yous, as my kids aren’t old enough to write the whole thing…I help a little. BUT…..I DO make them do it, which is what counts. I am trying to teach them the art of hand writing in the digital age they are going to grow up in. I’m winning… far. 😉

  3. Joey says

    This is a really great idea Rachel. I always wrote handwritten letters – my grandma loved them and it is fun to get letters back. I love Shutterfly’s stationary. I still send out letters, and I met an older woman on the plane recently and she used to be a teacher – she was such a sweet thing. I’m sure i’ll write to her. Its so fun writing elderly people and people our age and the young kids. We all love getting fun mail!!

  4. says

    It is so nice to get something written by hand. I can see the future of it being hip thing to do; that hand written note. You can still use Shutterfly with the pretty stationary…ok and a photo too!

  5. TonetteB says

    Thanks for the tips! I love getting hand written notes as much as I like sending them. The Shutterfly designs are so much fun and I love adding to my collection! When I am thinking of someone, want to thank them, or just want to say hello I whip out my drawer and pick some out to send. It always cheers someone up and brightens there day to receive a handwritten note card I created from Shutterfly. Today it was gloomy here and I started thinking about how important my Shutterfly friends are and decided to send them out some Shutterfly cards I created. I am lucky to have received a handwritten note from you that you created through Shutterfly and it really made my week so much brighter! Thanks so much! :)

  6. BarbaraJ says

    A personal note, to say you care is so important and will last in our hearts for a long time. Great article, and thank you for reminding me I need to do this more often. barbj

  7. Tiffany M says

    Awesome! I just ordered a bunch of new Shutterfly stationary for the newest member of our family that is coming. I remember writing a ton of thank you’s with our first child so now I’m planning ahead with #2. I also agree with handwritten notes… they are special and rare these days!

  8. Ronya says

    So true…I know how much I enjoy receiving handwritten notes…no matter the occasion. A handwritten note feels more personal. With the technology of today things can be done quickly via the computer and Internet. When someone sends a handwritten note, I feel special because they spent a little of their valuable time on me. :O) My favorite occasion to send a handwritten note is letting someone know I’m thinking of them.

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