National Handwriting Day, a celebration of the power of putting pen to paper, is Jan. 23. It purposely falls on the birthday of John Hancock, the first to sign the Declaration of Independence.

In honor of the day celebrating the importance of handwriting, Elizabeth Edwards of Arzberger Stationers, a destination for finely crafted social and corporate stationery for more than 85 years, shared her thoughts on modern note writing.

The new note: “The trend over the last 10 to 15 years is a move from folded notecards to flat cards.”

On Point: “I like a fine tip felt pen like a Sharpie or a gel pen. I don’t like a ballpoint pen.”

50 & Over Observation: “A lot depends on the client, but I would say in general this group has more sophisticated taste. Rather than bright colors and patterned envelope liners, in general they choose pastels, neutrals. and prefer tissue liners. They want proper, clean, simple stationery. They have more of a focus on penmanship— they make an effort to have pretty cursive handwriting. i feel that’s lost now. I try to work on mine.”

Clever Tip: This age group is out and about and they have a lot of notes to write. They want to have stationery for professional notes, and notes to friends. I recommend they use a neutral colored ink (gray, taupe, charcoal or navy), but mix up the colors of the tissue liners for the envelopes. I suggest three. Maybe a navy, plus a gray that can be used for sympathy notes, and then a marble liner with different colors for something more fun. That gives them flexibility without having to spend more money.”

Proper Form:  “You only address a note to Mrs. if you’re going to use the husband’s name. For example, a note coming just to me should be addressed to Elizabeth Edwards, not Mrs. Elizabeth Edwards. And it’s redundant to say Please RSVP on an invitation because (the French word for) please is already part of RSVP. Other common mistakes i see are envelopes sealed to the top — there should be a space at the top so it can be neatly opened; and stationery is the correct spelling, not stationary.

Final Word: “It’s a joy to receive a handwritten note. And it’s a wonderful act of gratitude to write one. When I finish writing a note I feel happy.”