Snail Mail: A Checklist for Handwritten Notes

There is something special about receiving a handwritten note in the mail. So special that I am embarrassed to share with you that aside from thank you notes and wedding cards I rarely send them out myself. Growing up my mom was very diligent in showing my siblings and I the way when it came to writing cards and letters to friends and family, so I can’t blame her for my falling off the correspondence wagon.

For me, the challenge isn’t rooted in the actual writing of the note, card or letter, but rather it is rooted in lack of preparedness when it comes to having an up-to-date calendar of important dates (i.e. birthdays, anniversaries, etc.) and stamps and stationary on-hand. As I approach the age of 30, I have begun to think I should start doing something about this bad-habit before another year of birthdays, anniversaries and card-worthy events passes by.

Adorable French Bulldog notecards by Amy Richards Illustration

Adorable French Bulldog notecards by Amy Richards Illustration – Click to view Etsy shop!

To get things started, I have pulled together a short checklist of things to do and keep-on hand to make it easier to get those cards written and in the mail.

Create and maintain a calendar that includes important dates (birthdays, graduations)
If you are a Gmail user, I highly recommend using Google Calendar!

Buy stamps and have them on-hand.
I’d like to blame my lack of available postage on paperless billing, but alas, that isn’t an excuse for not having a  single stamp to my name.

Purchase some all-purpose stationary or note cards.
Useful for those times when you want to send a friend or family member a note just because. They also do the trick when you don’t have time to pick up a more personalized card.

Get yourself some return labels.
After having purchased return labels to use on my sister’s bridal shower invitations I found that they not only save you tons of time but they are incredibly inexpensive (just $10 for 200 at Staples).

If you aren’t already, start noting down the addresses of friends and family members.
I don’t know about you, but I frequently am asking for addresses over and over again. It’s time I start keeping track in Google Contacts!

Are there any checklist items I have left off? If so, please share in the comments. 🙂


  1. Katherine October 8, 2015 / 4:10 pm

    Great suggestions! Leave a pack of “thank you” and “sympathy” note cards in your desk drawer at work! Write a quick note in a timely manner and just drop it off in your co-workers mailbox. No need for stamps!

  2. Vanessa October 9, 2015 / 6:27 pm

    My Mom still saves each card that she receives from the Murphy ladies 🙂
    Keeping cards on work is a great tip. I typically think of sending cards when I am in the office environment and there are no excuses when your stash is within arms reach!
    Another tip is to always keep an eye out when you come across unique cards. If you like one and it reminds you of someone special; buy it, keep it in a central location and it will be there when you are scrambling to find a card. I’ve found that I send more frequently when I buy it as to see it vs. waiting for the occasion. For example, I found a cute blank card that I knew my Mom would love, so I bought it in January and saved it for her Mother’s Day card! They don’t always have to be the Hallmark occasion specific. 🙂

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