In a world of extremely rapid change, we have seen plenty of things vanish, from rotary phones to electric typewriters to 8-track music cartridges.But there is one old-time tradition that seems to be holding on: the thank-you note. To some it may seem laughably archaic to hand-write a note, drop it in snail mail and hope the recipient gets it a few days later. One study by staffing firm Accountemps found that only 24 percent of job applicants bother to send thank-you notes these days.But here is the rub: 80 percent of human resources managers surveyed felt those messages were useful in evaluating potential hires. Devotees of the thank-you note are numerous and cultish – and swear that it helps careers and finances, as well as personal relationships. A hand-crafted personal touch is not just thoughtful, it actively sets you apart from others.Manhattan´s Christina Cookman knows all about the subtle power of a thank-you note. The performance and executive coach sends a whopping 200 of them each year. “The business case for them is that they only take five minutes of your time, and 50 cents,” Cookman said. “I can´t imagine that anyone who gets a handwritten thoughtful note is ever disappointed by that. So even if the payoff is not direct, you are at the very least strengthening a relationship.”Music manager Clayton Durant got a joint partnership out of thank-you notes. Durant, the head of artist management and branding firm CAD Management, struck a joint deal to work with Ashley Rose, famed Roc Nation songwriter and head of indie music label The Code. How exactly did that come about? Old-fashioned thank-you cards, sent after the label had worked on one of his artist´s records.“When I asked Ashley why she felt comfortable having our startup be her first joint venture, she mentioned the thank-you cards we sent to each of her producers, writers and staff,” Durant said. Expressing GratitudeThe biggest payoff, ironically, may be the effect thank-you cards have on the sender. In 2016, Indiana University professors Joel Wong and Joshua Brown published a study of college students who had sought counseling for common feelings like anxiety and depression.Those who were counseled to write letters of gratitude reported better mental health both one month and three months later. Those differences continued to increase over time. As researchers concluded, “If you have never written a gratitude letter before, we encourage you to try it.”Published in Daily Times, February 21st 2019.