Working in a culture of digital communication can be frustrating. The switch from paper to flat screen displays has made sending messages fast, easy, and almost free. What is lacking in digital business communication, however, is often thoughtfulness and professionalism. Email and text messages are what we use for personal communication so we can easily slide into the trap of leaving out salutations and sign-offs and falling into bad habits. My personal pet peeve is a thoughtless, short reply to an email that warrants a longer, thoughtful one. This and other email faux pas usually look unprofessional; they can be downright offensive. Old school communications like face to face conversations, phone calls, and letters send two messages in one: whatever they contain, and that whoever initiated them took time and put thought into sending them.

My grandmother, frustrated at sending out birthday and Christmas cards every year and getting fewer and fewer thank you cards in return, sat her whole family down at a reunion and gave us a lecture, along with a warning: no thank you cards, no birthday or Christmas checks. Although I was pretty good about sending back a thank you every time, I went out and bought a box of fancy thank you cards on nice stationary the next day, resolved never to let another holiday slip by without sending her one.

Custom stationary for yourself or your company isn’t obsolete. While they may have gone out of style with the advent of so many ways to send a message with bytes, real physical notes on stationary are sincere and professional ways to make yourself heard. Employers and managers want to see their employees trying harder, making an effort to stand out. If you are equipped with gear that increases your perception as a hard working professional you will get noticed.

Stationary doesn’t need the old fashioned embossed letterhead or stuffy designs you might be used to. Companies and employers value creativity and individuality highly, and infusing your personality into your own stationary is a fun advertisement for yourself.