By Jiji Lee

The Power of Stationery


Celebrating paper for National Stationery Week.

The notebooks, notepads, and cards in our lives may seem like regular, everyday items, but these tools have transformative powers.

That’s right. By sending a thoughtful card to a friend, we forge a connection. By brainstorming and writing in our journals, we express ourselves and, in turn, learn how to communicate better with others. By putting our thoughts down on paper, we can turn ideas into action, and action into success. 

Stationery is something we use everyday. So it’s no surprise that these simple, but essential tools can empower our lives on a daily basis. 

Let’s celebrate how stationery makes our lives so much easier and better, and recognize all the different ways that it can inspire and support us. 

Stationery gives us the power to...

Connect with others

Sending someone a personalized, handwritten card is more than just a nice gesture, it’s an entire experience.

Think about it. Do you remember the last time you got a card in the mail? Finding a thick cardstock envelope tucked in between all the junk mail and catalogs. And the genuine feeling of surprise that followed. And then the act of opening the card itself. The tearing of the envelope, seeing the beautiful design on the cover, and the swell of emotion you felt as you read the handwritten message inside. Yup, a nice card can do all that!

While sending an email or a text message is definitely quick and effective, nothing beats getting an actual card in the email. A handwritten thank you card that expresses how awesome you are or a get well soon card that lifts your spirits --these are thoughtful messages that stay with you, long after you’ve read them.

Express yourself

For a lot of people, expressing yourself can be really hard work!

Words get jumbled. Emotions feel abstract. It’s hard to articulate what exactly it is that we want to say, and we feel nervous and judged. 

That’s why notebooks and journals can be such saviors.

Notebooks and journals provide a safe refuge for all of our thoughts and emotions. 

Notebooks are patient with us, as we struggle to untangle words.

Notebooks refrain from judgement as we pour our souls into them, releasing a cascade of emotions and confessing our truths.  

Notebooks provide support as we confront our stresses and insecurities, which we can then examine objectively, thus minimizing the thoughts weighing on your mind. 

And our notebooks are where we turn to when we get a spark of inspiration.  We brainstorm. Scribble down notes. Form a kernel of an idea. Whether it’s thinking up new ideas for your business or brainstorming creative projects or sketching designs for a new product, your big dreams start with jotting something down on paper.

Plan and organize

If there is one great thing about notepads, it’s that they can make order out of chaos. 

Let’s face it, our lives are messy. Between our work deadlines and family obligations and personal pursuits, we barely have time to get everything done, let alone organize ourselves.

But a notepad can help shape our overly complicated lives and give our schedules some much-needed structure. 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, do a “brain dump” in your notepad and write down every single task, thought, and responsibility that’s weighing on your mind. 

If you have an endless stream of deadlines, tasks, and errands, create a to-do list. Rank items in terms of importance or urgency. Suddenly, your endless stream becomes streamlined. Cross out each task as you complete them and move onto the next one.

Notepads are the tool we turn to when we need to plan, organize, and focus our days. 

Hold your history in your hands

How many digital files have you created that you never looked at again? With paper, you have a tangible, physical record of your journey. From a meaningful thank you card to an annual planner, your stationery tells the story of your life.

This has both practical and emotional value.

When it's time for your annual review, your planner is a living document of all you have achieved. You can flip through and easily see what you have done (even months ago, which is easy to forget). You can see goals set, accomplished, altered, and evolved.

Over the years, each planner is a reminder of how you have grown and what you have done. Old journals and cards document the things that were most important to you and can take you back to the past in an instant. There is something so deeply special about holding your own words, or the words of someone close to you, in your own hands.

Be productive 

If you want to achieve goals, notepads and notebooks are essential.

Goals seem massive and intimidating at first. But through thoughtful planning in our notebook, we can chisel away at our goal, one small piece at a time.

By regularly checking in with our goals, we can motivate ourselves to keep going and move forward.

By tracking our progress with our goals, we have a visual idea of how far we’ve come and what to anticipate next.

Goal-setting can be challenging. Our progress can seem like it’s always fluctuating, and our enthusiasm and energy can waver, but if you have a dedicated tool that you can check in with and support you along the way, then this endeavor feels more attainable, and the finish line feels within reach. 

While our lives may always have a million things going on and our lives may be far from perfect, it’s still nice to know that a card or notebook can help us feel more connected with our purpose, ourselves, and more importantly, with others.