April 24, 2024
Folded Note Options from Embossed Graphics

Etiquette 101: Where to Start Writing on a Folded Note

Sometimes it can be puzzling where to start writing on a folded note. Outside, inside, top, bottom? So many choices! There are four panels, and it can be confusing for a reader to follow writing that hops from one side to the next. Arrows and numbers can help, but if you know the etiquette, you can get it right without confusing your reader.

Here’s the definitive guide to writing on a folded note. (Some people call these notecards or foldover notes.)

Folded Note and Envelope from Embossed Graphics

Traditionally, if you simply have a blank sheet of paper folded in half, begin on the front side, at the top of the fold. You continue writing at the top inside edge of the paper until you finish, as shown below.

How to write on a blank foldover note
If you are using a blank sheet of paper folded in half, begin at the top of the outside fold, then continue at the top edge of the inside.

However, most people use a folded note with a design on the front, and if that’s the case, you should start writing on the inside of the note. Why mess up a pretty design on your stationery? It’s the first thing your correspondent sees when they take it out of the envelope. You want to make the best impression you can.

A selection of embossed folded notes from Embossed Graphics

So, you have two options for starting your writing. Whichever you choose depends on long of a message you want to convey.

Option #1: If you just want to write a few words, then begin writing under the fold. The idea is to say what you need to say, including your signature, in one single panel.

Where to start writing a folded note

Option #2: If you have more than half a page to write, then begin at the top edge of the paper. If you need the fourth (back) panel, you can use it to finish your note. Starting at the top edge lets the reader skim the paper without having to flip it multiple times.

Where to start writing a long message on a folded note.
You can end a longer message at the bottom inside panel or the back outside panel.

Looking to update your stationery wardrobe? Check out our best-selling folded notes. Or, see our new releases section for the latest new designs. (Friendly note: New stationery is mixed in with other new items, so you may need to scroll a bit to find new stationery designs.)

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12 thoughts on “Etiquette 101: Where to Start Writing on a Folded Note

  1. But, what if you are using a card that opens like a book? Do you begin on the right or left side? And where do you go from there?
    I just found your blog, and I am enjoying it, and learning. Thank you.

    1. Hi Jan,
      Such a good question! The same rules apply to a card that opens like a book: Number these panels in your mind as you open the “Book”: Cover = 1; Inside Left = 2; Inside Right = 3; Back = 4. If you have more than half a page to write, then begin at the top of the inside left panel (2) and continue to the inside right panel (3). If you need the back panel (4), you can use it to finish your note. If, on the other hand, you just have a brief few sentences to write, start on the inside right panel (3) and sign it at the bottom. Thanks for reading! Welcome!

    1. Such a good question, Jodi! We call a single-sided notecard a correspondence card. Typically, you write on the front (the side with the personalization). But if it’s a long message, you can start on the front and then move to the back. Thanks for reading, and happy writing!

  2. Thank you, Thank you! I asked Google this question wondering if there would be an answer and there you were. So helpful and organized in your post. And now I know it is a “folded note”!

  3. I’m trying to design a simple thank-you card with a non-profit’s logo.

    Should the logo go on the front of the half-fold card or inside? Where inside? If I put a “Thank You” on the outside, it seems too busy with the logo.

    1. Hi Patricia, thank you for your question! You have lots of options, but probably the most common is that if you are using a folded note, you can place the logo in the center of the front panel. And then you can either have your printer print “Thank You” on the inside (third panel) or leave the inside panel blank and then you can use the notes for any/all uses, thank you and more. Unfortunately, EG does not print on the inside of our stationery, so you would have to use someone else to create your stationery. Does that help?

  4. The folded note has a thin gold border around the top folded note card. When opened the top and bottom are lank . Do I write on the closed to of card which is blank except for the border

    1. Hi Denise
      Thank you for your question! Yes, open the card, and write inside that blank space under the fold, or at the top of the card, if it’s a long message. If I’m understanding you correctly, the gold border is around the front panel of the card…perhaps there is a name or monogram inside the gold border? I would not write inside that gold bordered area, unless it’s a really long letter, and in that case, you may want to insert a folded blank sheet of paper, upon which you can continue your message…or consider purchasing letter sheets, which are wonderful for longer missives. On the other hand, if the gold border is INSIDE the folded note, then you would likely start writing at the top, right under the border. I hope this makes sense.

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