The internet age is one that has lost its personal touch, if not its humanity. Little personalization is done. Everything is digitized, automated, and delivered but is done without compassion or style. Letters are addressed to “Dear Occupant”; “Please insert your name here.”

Seemingly, every letter received has a label created from a database by printer. Often misspelled and with wrong annotations, they are dispassionate and rude. Therefore, we toss them in the trash without opening them. Worse, yet, e-mails bombard us daily to such an extent that we filter them for spam such as mail from strangers, salespeople, and lost relatives; even with this editing, we still pound away at the delete key. Who wants all this junk mail?

Personal note cards are mail that always gets opened. The “retro power” of the handwritten note card with a real stamp is now truly amazing. When an envelope comes to your name and address written in cursive, don’t you open it first? This is the appeal of the handwritten note card, arguably a relic from the past, but an effective tool in our sterile internet age.

For many years, I have recommended that you go to the local printer and get stationery made on good paper with professionally printed letterhead. Note cards give a personal touch in our depersonalized world. Always handwrite the address on the envelope. Don’t use labels or printed envelopes and always use a real stamp. Make it look like a party invitation or, better yet, a love letter.

Say thanks. Congratulate. Don’t qualify or demean these acts of kindness and generosity with limiting words or thoughts. If you like someone or something, say it. For example, if you want to congratulate someone on a job well done, write that. Then back it up with evidence. Cite an example. Avoid using qualifying or demeaning words like “This is just a note to say thanks.” What do you mean “just a note?” Instead, say thanks and give a reason why.

Give compliments and avoid flattery. When you compliment someone or something, explain why and give an example. A compliment without evidence is just flattery. Flattery is not remembered and is not as believable. Compliments are remembered, if not cherished. Say it with a handwritten note card today.

John Bradley Jackson

© Copyright 2010

All rights reserved.

P. S.

Yet, digital printing and software may have actually solved the problem. A company called “Send Out Cards” has a compelling solution worth trying. They have a web based solution that mimics your own handwriting and sends out cards in your behalf with with a real stamp! And, I must emphasize it looks real! On top of everything else the process is easy and inexpensive. I am just stunned. You must check this out.

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