Dear Handwritten Notes, Never Leave Us

Jillian Knox Finley

I stopped journaling when I got an iPhone. The notes section of my smartphone offered up a one-stop shop for everything from long-form personal essays (often drafted and redrafted over subway rides) to abbreviated grocery lists and favorited song lyrics. Anything worth documenting got a digital catalog. Time was, I journaled such musings by hand throughout multiple Moleskin notebooks. My handwriting in these pocket-sized tomes was often barely legible or scribbled into margins. My drafts were besotted with multiple strike-outs and littered with blurred lines of faded ink. Such was not the case for their digital counterparts.

The notes on my iPhone were streamlined, organized. They were time stamped. I didn't miss much miss writing things by hand, or so I thought. A lone piece of snail mail changed all that.

Truth be told, there were a handful of inciting incidents to reignite my passion for handwritten notes. The most singular, however, was a postcard I received in the mail from a friend traveling abroad. He didn't tell me he sent it. It just showed up unannounced on my doorstep one fall morning. The only thing he inscribed on the back was—Don't you just love postcards?

That was all it took. I started writing things down by hand again. I sent more letters. Turns out, the process of taking things old school makes an entirely separate impression on your brain—and your social circle. We're in love with handwritten notes, and science is here to back us up. Welcome to our impassioned case for analog correspondence. You got a pen?

Do you write by hand? Tell us what you think of our affinity for the habit in the comments below. 

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