December 7, 2017 | Alyson Stanfield

21 Snappy Things to Write on a Note Card Besides Happy Birthday

Jamie was my BFF in middle school. Though we were inseparable at the time, we drifted apart in high school and thereafter.

Over the past ten years, we rediscovered our friendship and have been trying it on as maturing adults.

Something lovely has happened recently: we’ve started writing letters. By hand. The kind you have to put a stamp on and drag your butt to a mailbox to send.

Notes from artist Sandra Mucha.

I see it as a way to use up my embarrassingly large stockpile of note cards and stationery. But it’s more than that. It’s nostalgic. It reminds me of the notes we used to write, carefully fold, and pass to each other in the hallways between classes.

I feel a little sorry for those who are wed to digital texts and social platforms – and the kids who will never know the joy that those paper notes can bring.

And there is something joyful about handwriting on paper.

I’ve always encouraged clients to distinguish themselves by sending handwritten cards (with their art on them) in the mail. The message you share is sincere and introduces people to or reminds them of your art.

Here are 21 reasons (as if you needed them) to send a card to a friend or potential friend.

Thank You So Much

This is a gimme. Of course you send handwritten thank-you cards to collectors and people who have been generous with you.

Lynn Goldstein Note Cards
Notes from Artist Lynn Goldstein.

But who else can you send gratitude to? Perhaps …

1. Your blog has been such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing it with us.

2. I loved the podcast episode you did on <insert topic>. Ever since I listened to it, I …

3. Thank you for sharing my art with your Facebook followers. It means the world to me!

Let’s Celebrate This Quirky Holiday

Christmas, Hanukkah, and Valentine’s Day are big occasions for sending cards, so why not differentiate yourself and send a note on an unexpected holiday.

4. April 30 is Honesty Day. I have to be honest: I miss you.

5. My calendar says that August is Left-Handers Day, so I’m sending a note of appreciation to my favorite Lefty … You!

Joan Marie Note Card
Note from artist Joan Marie.

6. ?yaD sdrawkcaB si 13 yraunaJ taht wonk uoy diD

Hi, I’m Your New Neighbor

I’ve lived in neighborhoods where nobody speaks to one another and those where everyone knows everyone else. I've found the latter is much more enjoyable. Consider these if you have someone new on your street.

7. Welcome to the neighborhood! I live 4 houses down and would love to have you over for coffee when you get settled.

Karen Doyle Note Card
Note from artist Karen Doyle.

8. Welcome! Since you’re new here, I’ve enclosed a list of my favorite nearby resources. Please don’t hesitate to ask if you need anything.

9. Welcome to the block! I hope you can use this coupon I picked up for my favorite local restaurant.

You Are On My Mind

Think of all the times during your week when you recall a fond memory of someone. Next time, use these as opportunities to reconnect with an old friend.

10. I had mint chocolate chip ice cream the other day and was thinking about the time when …

11. I am reading <insert book title>. On page 46, the heroine <insert action>. It made me think of the time when …

12. Lionel Richie just came on the radio and I couldn’t help thinking of you.

Job Well Done

Next time you’re tempted to type Congratulations on Facebook, reach for your paper and pen instead.

13. Your first grandchild – congratulations! Though I’m pretty sure you’re far too young to be a grandfather.

14. Wow! I heard you won that award thingy. That’s so cool!

15. I saw you finished that 5k race you had been working toward. Nice job!

I Recommend

When you discover a new resource, share it with those who will appreciate it.

Note from artist Dora Ficher.

16. Hey, have you seen the new show at the museum? I really think you’d like it because <insert reason>.

17. I know you’re a sucker for macaroni & cheese. The new restaurant on 13th Street has the best homemade mac & cheese with green chiles.

18. Enclosed is an article I thought you’d enjoy based on our conversation about <insert topic>.

It’s Our Anniversary

Facebook has a way to remind you of memories, but you can take it a step further and send a real-life note card in the real-life mail.

19. It’s been two years since you purchased <insert name of piece> from me. I hope it still brings you joy.

Note from artist Nancy Murty.

20. I can’t believe it’s been three years since we met at that workshop. From the looks of your website, your art has flourished.

21. Thirty years ago we started college together and here we are … still friends. I am so grateful we met.

Your Turn

How do you use handwritten notes to spread joy and build relationships?

20 comments add a comment
  • Bonnie May

    I too am an artist that paints cards …… I also sent thank you’s via text and/or emails. Sometimes a phone call ……. I do sent card for standard occasions, but you’ve opened my eyes to a whole new bevy of occasions to send to friends. Thank you! :) Bon

  • I’m all about the thank you note. I’ve been writing them for years and am never ever sorry I made the effort. Plus, I love, love, love getting them. When I get one, I read it and then put it in my ‘thank you note box’. I get the box out when I need to remind myself that I am OK. There’s nothing like seeing that box full of evidence that I have done nice things for all those people.

  • Timely reminder, thanks Alyson. I started doing this following Fan busting formula. It’s been a double blessing: First, remembering to be grateful for things and, second, the responses I’ve had from the written cards.
    Cathy

  • Catherine Etherton

    l love this post!
    I love snail mail, giving and receiving. I recently went through the cards and notes I received post stroke, they’ve sustained me through many challenges.
    And this caught me in the midst of my first printing project in a couple of years – sharing my art via beautiful note cards.
    Thanks for the nudge!

  • Debra Disman

    Lovely post about something we can all use a reminder about. Beautiful video testimonial…so clear and articulate. Bravo.

  • I always include a handwritten thank you note with painting purchases and with give away prices but for most people I don’t know their address! It’s awkward asking people for their address…

    • I understand your reluctance. I’ve discovered that when I ask, if I tell people that I’d like to send them a thank you, they are always more than willing to share their address. You can say, ‘I would love to have your address so I can send you a thank you note. Would you feel comfortable giving me that information?’

    • Tanja: It’s funny … we used to feel that way about email addies.

  • Michele

    One year I sent all my known buyers and local support network a Valentines Card…one of those little ones you buy in a big package. I just wanted to do something different to acknowledge their support. It was fun to do.

  • Terry McCray

    When I was a principal I sent cards to teachers, parents and woohoos to students. I have boxes of cards I collected for all sorts of occasions. Time to get those out and start sending them.

  • Best notes for my next birthday card. love all these quotes. enough for my 20 birthday cards :)

  • Love this as I enjoy sending and receiving hand painted cards with a personalized note. Will continue to send for a couple new occasions you shared.

  • Thank you for this post, Alyson. You have inspired me to do more with thank you cards of my art. First step: order more!

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