Handwriting is becoming a lost art in business, as many professionals forego writing by hand to use an extensive collection of digital resources during work time.

There may be days and weeks where you never need to use pen and paper, whether you work at an off-site location or in your company office. Even though that may be the case in your current position and lifestyle, you will see that writing notes by hand to colleagues adds a level of communication that should not be underestimated.

Of course, you can always send a quick text or email, but writing has several advantages by creating a more personal connection in today’s digital environment.

Benefit #1: Colleagues Appreciate a Hand-Written Note

A hand-written note, card or other communication shows that you are considerate about others and that you took your time to connect with them.

When you are writing, you are mindful of exactly what you are trying to say, and to say it in a meaningful way. It is more than just a quick question or response. It is a form of self-expression and personal communication that is an important skill in the business workplace. Here are a few suitable times for sending a written business communication:

3 Opportunities to Send a Handwritten Note

1. A Note of Appreciation

This is a thoughtful way to acknowledge a kindness said or done for you. Perhaps an associate helped you with an important project, business meeting or a looming deadline. This is when a simple handwritten ‘Thanks for your help’ goes a long way in expressing gratitude to another. You also feel good in knowing that you showed respect for their time, input, or consideration which adds value to your business relationship. Everyone likes to feel appreciated!

You may also have clients who have assisted you in some way, perhaps recommending you to a business connection or posting a positive review of your work on a social marketplace. Acknowledging these endorsements with a hand-written note is most important in these situations. Clients do remember these meaningful details, although you may not realize it at the time.

There are many professional note cards available on the market today. You can pick up a variety of personal styles to have available when needed. Perhaps you like to order note cards from a favorite local business stationery resource. There are also these online companies below that have a variety of business note cards and stationery as well:

www.crane.com/business/business-stationery
www.vistaprint.com

2. Business Invitation

You may belong to one of the many networking groups or service clubs available for business professionals today. This is a perfect opportunity for you to give an informal invitation to a colleague to accompany you to one of these business venues. It creates good will and an occasion to learn more about your co-worker and build a professional relationship.

You are also building your business network and valuable contacts at networking venues or service clubs. Some are specialized as to industry and others may be general to your area, and all can be a good experience for you professionally.

It is also a nice icebreaker for someone new to the company or to the area to learn more about their environment and be invited to an event. It may feel uncomfortable at first to genuinely reach out to welcome a newcomer, but everyone likes to feel included.

Many clubs today do community service to add support and value to their local communities. It is a wonderful way to invite others to join in and become involved also. Even an event flyer with your handwritten note is an easy way to invite a colleague to join in. I know of many professionals who grow personally in service and commitment to their towns and cities by being involved in these types of organizations and events.

3. Thank You Note

Several times during your professional lifetime, you may be sending out your resume and applying for jobs. Make a point to send a handwritten thank you immediately after the interview (whether you are hired or not). The interviewer may remember this sincere gesture and then keep you in mind for future openings.

There are times you might add your direct superior or business colleague as a personal reference for a business requirement (always gaining their approval first). An immediate thank you after the interview is recognizing how much you appreciate their time and input on your behalf, especially for an important business request.

Do keep clients in mind also for opportunities to send a thank you note to, as promoting genuine goodwill can be a personal strength in your career journey. People may not remember what you said, but they always remember how you made them feel. Taking the time to personally write the thank you note is always important.

Benefit #2: You Stand Out in The Crowd

Nice handwriting shows confidence, your individuality, self-expression, and can enhance your professional image. Your handwriting is distinctively you.

Handwriting is a lifelong communication skill and can be especially noticed because it is not often used today in our highly digitized business environment. There are times when you may have to jot a quick note instead of texting, so be mindful of how you write so that it is both neat and legible.

Writing your signature is also an important aspect of your individuality. . You may have to sign a form, letter, contract or document, or fill out an application, and your signature should be legible. It is YOUR name, YOUR identity, and you are proud to show who you are.

Take time writing your signature so it is readable, confident, and representative of who you are. Your signature also says a lot about you and reflects your personality.

You can practice writing your name to be distinctive and characteristic of your self-confidence. Just slowing down and taking the time to write makes a noticeable difference in visual appearance. Take your time and don’t rush.

You can find instruction and resources to help improve your handwriting at www.rooneywriting.com along with Rooney Writing step by step video instruction on YouTube. Check out the videos for a refresher on handwriting skills to get you back into good handwriting mode, if needed.

Benefit #3: Group Presentations at the Workplace

Businessman discussing ideas with team
Business team working together

If you are a fan of brainstorming, mind-mapping, or working on white boards in the office to sort through ideas, then you realize how important legible handwriting is.

You become the go-to person in a work group to write and coordinate the ideas, plans, goals etc. You are showing personal attention to each contributor, as you coordinate words and thoughts so that accurate notes are taken. Then the notes are posted to the master worksheet or white board, after the team’s input. This helps you become a better listener and communicator as well.

Although you might not realize this at the time, you may become the leader. You become the main resource person to coordinate and plan business projects in your department. You also have confidence within your group and your presentations, which can then expand to your business communication capabilities.

The days of rushed notes during classes is past, along with those days when only you had to read what you wrote. Now you may find that you need to write and share your information on the spot.

When you are note-taking with pen and paper, you can edit as you go along. This is when you highlight, add notes to the side, cross -out, etc. Although you can also do this electronically, handwriting provides an edited copy for your notes as a history and opportunity for further review. You can also create boxes, shapes, symbols quickly and easily. You may find it convenient to have a creative and tangible copy of the record of the work, especially when working within a business cohort.

To recap these benefits, they are just the beginning of how you can impact your business environment with kindness, goodwill and warm professional courtesy.

The busy digital world that surrounds us is open to the personal touch. Do plan on sending some handwritten notes to clients, colleagues, and professional friends soon, as these are easy ideas to start with:

  • A note of appreciation
  • A professional invitation
  • A personal thank you note

It only takes a pen, notecard and a few minutes of your time to write a genuine message.

I understand that it may have been some time since you had to think much about writing by hand. Here are a few simple ways to get comfortable and relaxed with writing:

  • Spend some time journaling or just writing
  • Practice your signature and let it reflect your personality and professional image
  • Write a letter to a relative or faraway friend who would love to hear how you are doing
  • Download 5 Action Steps to Improve Handwriting

Relating with people is an important skill, and all forms of communication have their place in a professional environment. When you use handwriting rather than texting or sending emails, you have created another avenue for you to personally connect with others. You will definitely notice the benefits in your relationships.