Note-A-Day Tips & Thought Starters
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In honor of our our February dare to write a note-a-day, I’m thrilled to welcome a friend here today from a company that knows more than a little about writing great notes — Hallmark Cards!! Sarah has been a writer at Hallmark for 10+ years, and now is part of the team behind the super-cool new Think Make Share blog. (Which also has a stellar Instagram account you should follow.) Just like everyone I know at Hallmark, Sarah is a big believer in taking the time to tell people what they mean to hear, especially in writing. So I’m excited to be partnering with Hallmark today and have her here to share with us some tips on how to do that well! I “dare” you to read what she has to say… :)
How’s the note-a-day dare going? Now that we’re half-way through February, we’ve probably all worked through our no-brainer note list. We’ve sent the easy ones to family and friends we see regularly. We’ve Facebook messaged that old high school buddy we’ve been meaning to check in with and texted a thumbs-up to a co-worker after they gave a good presentation. But what now?
Ten years ago, I wouldn’t have a clue what to tell you. But then Hallmark hired me to part of their super-emotionally-smart writing team, and I’ve been getting schooled on how to express (all the) feelings ever since. So here are some tips, thought-starters, and card-spiration (yes, I made that word up) to get you to February’s note-writing finish line.
Tips on writing notes
- Be yourself. Don’t worry about getting flowery, formal or extra funny. A note straight from your own heart—and in your own handwriting—means the most. (And if you want some extra ammo in the writing department, well, you know where to find us. Just don’t forget to add your own thoughts to the card or gift, too.)
- As my co-worker and partner-in-note-writing-crime Jennifer reminded us on National Compliment Day, the best notes are both sincere and specific. Tell ’em the truth and tell ’em why.
- If you feel nervous about sending a note to a stranger or someone you haven’t talked to in a long time, just think about how excited you’d be if you got a nice message out-of-the-blue. And then send that note.
10 note-sending thought starters
- Do you find yourself repeating a phrase from a parent, a friend, or a co-worker? Text them to let them know they’ve infiltrated your everyday-speak.
- What’s one of your best childhood memories? Teenaged memories? Early adulthood memories? Write a quick note to the people involved in those special times.
- What’s your favorite dish at your favorite local restaurant? Go out to eat and bring a nice card to leave for the chef.
- What errands do you have to run this week? Bring along postcards to leave for the staff at your normal spots (grocery store, hardware store, vet, post office, etc.)
- Do you have a teacher or mentor from your past whose lessons are impacting your life now? Send them a big thank-you for what they taught you.
- Who introduced you to your favorite band, book, or movie? Take a second to tell them how they changed your life with one recommendation.
- Speaking of that band, book, or movie: There’s no shame in sending fan mail, and The Internets has made it much easier to connect with our favorite creators. Let one of your artistic heroes know why you like their work (and be specific to stand out from the adoring crowd).
- You can always leave your note-writing to fate. Put some well-wishes in a cool envelope addressed to “You, yes you.” Leave it in a busy public place, then hide and wait to see who picks it up.
- Write a card to a friend or family member’s pet. Include treats. Sneak in a few compliments to the pet-parent, too. Bonus points if you write it as if it’s from your own pet and sign it with an ink-stamped paw print.
- Write a note to your future self. It can be the near-future (6 months) or far (6 years). Put it somewhere you’re sure to find it later!
A few of our current favorites
All of these products can be found at your local Gold Crown Store. We shopped the stationery section (the sassy glasses notepaper, the “hello my friends” bird notes, and the abstract pattern with the red envelope at the bottom), the Blanks section (the glasses-wearing cat and the girl holding up the rock), the Life is Good© collection (the “Wind in your hair“… cut-out card), Hallmark’s new Studio Ink line (“F!”) and the amazingly detailed Signature line (the white-board-that-doubles-as-a-card, the feathers card, and the travel icons card).
If you choose Hallmark for your note-shopping, let us know what you picked!
This post is in partnership with Hallmark Cards and the Think Make Share blog.