This past Friday, my wife and I enjoyed a movie night. For the most part, this means I have little or no input and we watch a romantic comedy filmed at some point in the 1990’s or early 2000’s. Despite my obvious displeasure with the choice, I nearly always end up feeling entertained and manage to declare movie night a resounding success (it usually helps ease the pain when pairing movie night with a bottle of wine).

This Friday, “You’ve Got Mail” was the movie of choice. Throughout the movie, Joe Fox, played by Tom Hanks, repeated the famous line from “The Godfather” – “It’s not personal, it’s business.” We can also blame Donald Trump for this same quote.

Besides the obvious pitfall – using this excuse as a way to part from responsibility for personal actions and treat people poorly  – it reminded me of something else…stationery. Despite losing all credibility at this point, I will move forward…

Business is truly personal. At the same time, one personal element of how we conduct business is through stationery. Although we live in an era of instant communication, there is significant value in sending handwritten thank you notes. For me, a thank you note is an opportunity to put forth your own personal style. A thank you note becomes a reflection of your personal brand – something that you simply can’t achieve through email, texting, tweeting or posting. By sending a simple thank you, we can express our gratitude, make someone’s day and also make our mark.

So what is my personal style? I’m enamored with the Glen Plaid Thank You Notes by Fresh Press. A Glen Plaid pattern typically involves two dark stripes and two light stripes, both alternating over four light stripes to form a crossing pattern. It’s classic and timeless (sans Pee Wee Herman)…far from a stodgy pinstripe but much more character than a plain charcoal suit. I try to avoid using standard company thank you notes because, like a Glen Plaid suit, the thank you notes will stand out in a crowd over plain white cards with the company logo.

A thank you note is a great start, but you can truly make an impact with something that resembles your own personality and style. Why? Because as Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) stated, “It’s only business if it’s not personal to you.”