The Quest For The Paperless Office

When You Should Use Paper

Want to get attention? Scoff at paperlessness and send a handwritten note, urges Mary Mitchell, etiquette columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Business Etiquette. "Now, more than ever, handwritten notes have impact," says Mitchell. "Technology is cold; we're starved for real human contact, and a handwritten note draws positive attention."

Mull on that before you fire off a thank-you e-mail to the colleague who tipped you off to new marketing opportunities or the client who gave you a lucrative chunk of work. It may take a few seconds longer and will cost about $1 for paper and postage, but pull out a sheet of good stationery and put your pen to work. "That's a way to stand out," says Mitchell. Think about it: You probably have bunches of notes saved over the years that you've put in a folder. Recipients do that when the note hits their sweet spot. No need to overdo this. Notes can be short, just a few lines, but know that when you drop that envelope in the mailbox, you're making somebody's day.

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