The importance of paper-based communication in a digital world

Being a digital marketing consultant, it can often be quite easy to forget that the world was once dominated by paper-based communication – and in many places, it still is.

As our global society moves increasingly to digital-first formats, the art of writing letters, sending postcards or simply sending a thank you note is becoming out of fashion – and some of the most vibrant aspects of communications are being lost in the process.

But while the trend towards digital makes communication cheaper and faster than ever before, this brings about an advantage for those who do take the time to send paper-based communications.

For example, using an online printing service such as HelloPrint, you can get yourself a pack of high-quality business cards. Handing over an embossed, beautifully designed business card makes much more of an impression than fumbling for your phone and jotting down an email address ever will.

A firm handshake and a quality business card will go further in developing new business relationships than a cold email ever will.

The Montfort team recently got new business cards after we updated our brand. It wasn’t just the new business clients and partners that were impressed with the cards – our team felt a new sense of ownership and responsibility to represent our company as best they could.

And for current clients, taking your thoughts to pen and paper works much better than an email and cuts through the noise in a busy digital world.

Imagine receiving a handwritten thank-you card from one of your suppliers or partners, delivered in the post? For many people who only receive bills and bad news for the post, a simple card or thank you note really will make you stand out and improve your image in the eyes of your partners and suppliers.

Another benefit of using paper is for productivity purposes. There are a deluge of task tracking and to-do list apps out there, but if you want to improve your productivity and understanding of complex topics than having a simple pen and paper system works best.

According to a study by Princeton University and UCLA, students who write their notes by hand learn more than those who type notes on their laptops. Students who used laptops cranked out more words than hand-writers did, but the hand-writers ended up with a stronger conceptual understanding across the board.

If you’re a busy executive, then the Bullet Journal is an increasingly-popular productivity tool that helps you to keep track of your workload and plan out your days.

Using analogue tools has had the extra benefit of encouraging you to spend time off away from digital screens, reflecting on the day just passed and planning for the next day. This process and the simplicity of the Bullet Journal system have helped many people get things done without being overwhelmed by digital productivity apps.

Maybe it’s time you gave more paper-based communications a try?

Let us know in the comments if you have other tips, ideas or inspiration as to why paper-based communication has an advantage in this digital age.

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