5 stationery items everyone should have

In this day and age, communication is almost solely done online or by phone. When's the last time you sent anything other than a formal invitation via snail mail? Or opened your mailbox to find more personal correspondence than bills or coupons? But while sending handwritten letters, cards and notes may be less common, it's still a thoughtful and personal way to connect with others – especially with long-distance friends and family members. If you love the personalized touch of handwritten communication, here are five stationery must-haves you should stock up on:

1. Personalized stationery
Having a collection of different types of personalized stationery will ensure you're prepared for any situation that arises. You'll be able to write everything from sympathy or thank you notes to long-form letters, for example. Stationery comes in several different styles, including various sizes of vertical and horizontal folded, and vertical and horizontal flat cards. Plus, if you keep your design clean, simple and unique, personalized stationery is a great tool for business correspondence.

2. A favorite pen
Any handwritten letter, of course, requires having a favorite pen on hand. Whether you prefer ball point or fountain, blue or black ink, click top or capped, the pen you use can truly make a difference in your enjoyment of writing a note by hand. Plus, it can even affect your handwriting! If you're picky about pens, keep your home or office desk stocked with plenty of your favorite brands so you'll always have at least one ready to use.

3. A return address stamp
Return address labels are extremely easy to use, but a return address stamp can look a little more like traditional, handwritten ink with the same level of convenience. If you're especially into stylish stationery and envelopes, you can even invest in a custom embosser with your name and address. You can use it to emboss envelopes' flaps with your return address, as well as to add your contact information to plain pieces of paper you want to add some flair to.

4. Thank you cards
Plain personalized stationery can be used to send thank you notes, but you can also keep thank you cards on hand. Cards that expressly say thank you in a pre-printed message can be used for any number of situations, from thanking someone for a gift, to expressing appreciation after someone has given you a networking opportunity to conveying gratitude after a job interview. Remember that the printed "thank you" should, of course, always be paired with a handwritten personal message from you. 

5. A personal notebook
While a personal notebook won't be used for handwritten correspondence, it's another stationery essential that everyone can benefit from having. A small decorative notebook can be used as a planner, calendar, address book or in many other ways to improve your office organization (whether you use it at home or at work). Find a notebook that's small enough to carry with you in a purse or briefcase so you'll always have something on hand to jot down notes or important information.