Sometimes, notebook paper simply won't do. 

By Betsy Cribb
Credit: Getty Images

While emails and text messages may have become our primary means of communication these days, there's something we'll always love about old-fashioned snail mail. Thank you notes are always appropriate, and "thinking of you letters" forever a pleasant surprise. And while notes and letters are thoughtful (and appreciated!) no matter what kind of paper you've penned them on, pretty stationery can transform kind words into a keepsake. Here, the three types of stationery every woman needs on her desk.

1. The Folded Note

If you want to invest in just one kind of stationery, make it the folded note. The foldover cards work well for formal and casual occasions alike, making them a solid choice for sending condolences and thanks. While you can certainly find more whimsical, decorative options on the folded note front (and we love those for correspondence with close friends), we recommend first investing in simple notecards with muted colors and minimal illustrations. This way, they'll be appropriate for any potential recipient, from colleagues to family members. Plus, whenever you receive a wedding invitation with no RSVP card, you'll want to write a note of your own in response, and a folded note is ideal for getting the job done. Choose cards with complementary lined envelopes for a more formal touch: we like these from Crane & Co.

2. The Flat Card or Correspondence Card

The simpler flat card is better suited for shooting off a quick thank you note to Aunt Sue or a "just because" letter to an old friend. It's our favorite type of stationery, as it feels less fussy and more friendly than folded notes sometimes do. Plus, they're an ideal venue to go wild with fun color, charming monograms, and bright patterns (many flat cards come with patterns printed on the reverse for an extra pop of color). We love these so-Southern dogwood notes from Birmingham-based Southern Stationery.

3. The Memo

While we can't get enough of thick-thick-thick paper for our folded notes and correspondence cards, sometimes you need something that's more casual and lightweight for daily use. Enter the memo. We love the square sheets because they're easy to pack in a child's lunchbox (who doesn't love a handwritten note from mom?), appropriate for quick reminders for family members and babysitters, and are just the right size for grocery lists and honey dos. Our pick? These colorfully monogrammed memos, which come with an acrylic holder that's perfect for keeping them organized on your desk or kitchen counter.

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Of course, handwritten notes are sweet no matter what they're written on, like this one George H.W. Bush wrote to Barbara during World War II.