Do you have a weekly writing routine? This year we have been working to be more productive (A Greeting Card A Day) but also more intentional with our time and interactions with people. To help us with this mission, we have been using the Full Focus Planner.
As a part of our new focus (see what I did there); we have been using Sundays to reflect on the past week and to plan for the next week. When it comes to greeting cards, we have set a goal of sending at least 5 cards a week.
Today, I grabbed two Thank You notes for the two people who invited us to their home for a drink this past week. I used a general card for someone whom I hadn't seen in a while. I also checked my upcoming friends' birthdays on Facebook and selected two birthday cards.
Why should I have a weekly writing routine?
Routines help us to be intentional. Being intentional about the time we write will help us get into a habit of writing. When we plan to set time aside for a routine, we’re more likely to perform the routine regularly.
Routines help us to be intentional to whom we write. In today’s tech-laden society, we have plenty of ways to communicate with each other: emails, text messages, instant messages, social media, etc. Often times these forms of communication are a weird mix of personal and professional messages. In fact, it’s important to remember that we write every day (don’t allow the excuse, “I don’t know what to say” incorrectly inform your decision to not write a personal note in a greeting card.) The problem with relying on text messaging or emails or even Facebook to write a personal message is that the message can become lost in the overwhelming amount of digital messaging we have to parse every day.
Consider for a moment how many friends you have on your social platform of choice; many of us have upwards of several hundred friends if not thousands. Being intentional about the relationships you want to develop is an important part of the routine of writing hand-written notes.
A Writing Routine Helps Put Into Practice the Value of Writing a Note
Regardless of whether you write a digital message or an analog message, the receiver undoubtedly appreciates the sentiment. A handwritten note on nice paper with a personal message sent through the mail will stand out more than in the digital realm.
Think about what you received in the mail today. I received two ads for credit cards, a tax bill, and coupons. Most of this mail goes straight into the recycling bin; the tax bill gets filed and causes angst. Imagine if a personal card had been in that pile of otherwise inconsequential papers. I’d probably keep it around on my desk or refrigerator to remind me that someone loves me or is thinking about me.
Many people check the mail after they arrive home from work. Your handwritten note has the opportunity to change what the rest of someone’s day will be like. A note saying you’re thankful for a particular gesture or have been thinking about a person has the potential to make the rest of the evening positive.
In addition, a handwritten note can be saved in a way that digital correspondence just cannot be. Whether it’s in a box or a drawer, a personal note can be read over and over. It can remind a person of the wonderful people in their lives or experiences you’ve shared together. Think about finding a note from years past, when it brought a smile to your face or a tear to your eye—this is something that email simply does not have the ability to do, mostly because of the enormous number of emails we’ve received over the years.
If you didn’t already value the importance of a hand-written note, you probably would not be here reading this, but a having a scheduled routine will help you do the thing you already value, but may not “have the time” to do. We’ve all been guilty of intending to send more cards. Put a plan behind your intention and make it happen.
Subscribe to a stationery subscription box
Okay, we get it: it's difficult to remember to go to the stationery shop as often as you want. Then it seems like there's never a stamp around. That's where our greeting card subscription box comes in. I actually developed this for my partner Mark because had developed a habit of writing cards, addressing them and then never buying stamps to send them. We'd find old cards stashed away in the most random places, written as much as a year prior and never sent. So, we came up with the subscription box, where you get four cards with the stamps included for free. Read more about the subscription here.
We talk to people who hoard their cards in drawers or fancy boxes so they never have to scramble to find the perfect sentiment. Others like getting the four cards a month and set the intention of sending all of them before the next box arrives. Whatever you decide to do, we encourage you to write more cards! You won't regret it, and your friends and family will love you for it.
There is also the “WIIFMe” or What’s In It For Me?
I gain a selfish sense of accomplishment after I mail a thoughtful note. I also like to think of it as Cardma – perhaps I’ll receive a a future sentiment in my mailbox. It’s still better to send than to receive but this Sweet Child 0’ the 80’s is still learning.
What a lovely habit to do this weekly! While my note writing isn’t quite that regular, I do like to keep a few pre-stamped cards in my bag so I can write them while I have downtime, such as waiting for an appointment or a flight, and can drop them in the next post box I see.