Swapnote, also known as Nintendo Letter Box elsewhere, is the free messaging service for the Nintendo 3DS, available exclusively via the Nintendo eShop. I'll spare the details of its functionality and the like, since I will assume that anyone who reads this thread already knows everything there is to know about the application.
I have made this thread as an outlet for those here at GoNintendo who wish to discuss Swapnote, be it their own thoughts, questions or advice, or, what I personally am most interested in, new special stationery.
I'm sure that you're all aware that over time, Nintendo or its partners send out special messages that typically come with a unique stationery that you can save and use for your own purposes, regardless of whether you got the message or not. There are a lot out there, and not only do I strive to collect them all, I intend to document each and every one of them as they come, for as long as they do.
The following spoiler contains makeshift names, approximate release dates, and image rips of all known special stationery for Swapnote. I give credit to those at GBAtemp for the images.
Last updated: 7/14/13
The Legend of Zelda #2 (6/11/13)
Pokémon X/Pokémon Y #2 (6/11/13)/Pocket Monsters X/Pocket Monsters Y #2 (6/12/13)
Pokémon X/Pokémon Y #1 (6/11/13)/Pocket Monsters X/Pocket Monsters Y #1 (6/12/13)
Animal Crossing: New Leaf #3 (6/9/13)
Animal Crossing: New Leaf #2 (6/3/13)
Monster Hunter 4 (5/31/13)
Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move (5/17/13)
Animal Crossing: New Leaf #1 (5/17/13)
Issho ni Photo: Super Mario (5/2/13)
LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins #2 (4/22/13)
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity #3 (4/18/13)
Dillon's Rolling Western: The Last Ranger #2 (NA) (4/18/13)/The Rolling Western: Saigo no Yōjinbō #2 (JP) (4/27/13)
Dillon's Rolling Western: The Last Ranger #1 (NA) (4/18/13)/The Rolling Western: Saigo no Yōjinbō #1 (JP) (4/27/13)
LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins #1 (4/17/13)
Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon #2 (4/17/13)/Luigi's Mansion 2 #2 (4/25/13)
Swapnote Update (4/11/13)
Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon #1 (3/15/13)/Luigi Mansion 2 #1 (3/15/13)/Luigi's Mansion 2 (3/15/13)
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity #2 (3/15/13)
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity #1 (3/15/13)
Fire Emblem Awakening #1 (2/15/13)
Valentine's Day #2 (2/14/13)
Denpa Ningen no RPG 2 #4 (2/10/13)
Kobito Zukan: Kobito Kansatsu Set (2/6/13)
Tobidase Dōbutsu no Mori (2/2/13)
Pokédex 3D Pro (1/19/13)
Denpa Ningen no RPG 2 #3 (1/10/13)
Denpa Ningen no RPG 2 #2 (12/14/12)
Nintendo Direct #2 (NA) (12/5/12)
New Super Mario Bros. 2 #3 (NA) (11/27/12)
Denpa Ningen no RPG 2 #1 (11/22/12)
Fallblox (11/16/12)/Crashmo (11/22/12)
Pokémon Black Version 2/Pokémon White Version 2 #3 (11/2/12)
Pokémon Black Version 2/Pokémon White Version 2 #2 (11/2/12)
Pokémon Black Version 2/Pokémon White Version 2 #1 (11/2/12)
Fire Emblem Kakusei (10/30/12)/Fire Emblem Awakening #2 (4/17/13)/Fire Emblem: Awakening (4/28/13)
Paper Mario: Sticker Star (10/25/12)
Bravely Default: Flying Fairy (10/10/12)
Super Mario 3D Land (10/10/12)
Nintendo Direct #2 (EU) (9/11/12)
Nintendo Direct #2 (JP) (8/28/12)
New Super Mario Bros. 2 #2 (NA) (8/14/12)
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games (7/25/12)
Marine Day (7/21/12)
Mario Tennis Open #2 (7/12/12)
Monster Hunter 3G #3 (6/23/12)
New Super Mario Bros. 2 (JP) (6/22/12)
New Super Mario Bros. 2 #1 (NA) (6/22/12)
Nintendo All-Access @ E3 2012 (6/4/12)
Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry no Wonderland 3D #2 (6/2/12)
Mario Tennis Open #1 (5/21/12)
Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry no Wonderland 3D #1 (5/12/12)
Art Academy (5/2/12)/Egokoro Kyōshitsu (5/2/12)
I Fight Dragons (4/23/12)
Monster Hunter 3G #2 (4/23/12)
Nintendo Direct #1 (EU) (4/21/12)
Nintendogs + Cats (2/22/12)
Monster Hunter 3G #1 (2/22/12)
GameCenter CX (2/22/12)
The Legend of Zelda #1 (2/22/12)
Nintendo Direct #1 (JP) (2/21/12)
Nintendo Direct #1 (NA) (2/21/12)
Valentine's Day #1 (2/14/12)
New Year's Day (1/1/12)
It is worth mentioning that it is not possible to have multiple different region versions of the exact same stationery stored on the same Nintendo 3DS at the same time. While you can receive and save the version that doesn't match your region for later use, it will always be overwritten by the one that does match your region if you ever receive it by anyone. After that, your foreign stationery will no longer be able to be saved to your collection unless you delete the proper one.
You're all welcome to make any stationery swap arrangements with other members here. I kindly ask that no one begs me for any of them, however. Nothing personal.
If you ever find that this list is outdated, do not hesitate to post here and let me know. In that case, I'll see to it that the list is updated as soon as possible.
Need help trying to get special stationery? Refer to my guide (spoilered for size):
There are two ways to obtain these special stationery, both of which require wireless communication. It is not possible to unlock them by yourself and use Play Coins to purchase them.
The ability to use different stationery, special or not, isn't available once you start using Swapnote, and it must be unlocked. Once you have a specific number of notes saved (a collective pool of every note you have, including your own notes and any replies), you will receive a note from Nikki that will let you save special stationery. I don't know of the exact number required for receiving this note or which note this is (there are three that involve stationery, but none of them specifically mention the existence of special stationery), but once you do obtain this ability, any special stationery accompanied with all future notes will be saved to your 3DS.
To optimize the opportunities of receiving special stationery, you want to go to Settings and have the following options enabled (Yes):
- SpotPass Activated - So that you can receive any notes through SpotPass, which may or may not contain special stationery.
- StreetPass Activated - So that you can receive any notes through StreetPass, which may or may not contain special stationery.
- Special Notes Received - So that you can receive special notes from Nintendo and its partners via SpotPass, which always contain special stationery.
Lastly, while I can't confirm this for sure, I believe that additional stationery is saved to your SD card. In your System Settings, Swapnote is saved under two different entries: one for the application itself and another for "extra data", which I think may include saved notes and special stationery. That said, if the extra data really does expand and consume more memory whenever you're saving that kind of data, I have the idea that if your SD card is completely full, it will become impossible to save anything more. As a precaution, make sure your SD card is not full to ensure your ability to save special stationery.
Receiving Special Stationery
The main way is by receiving special notes that are sent by Nintendo or its partners during the time of their distribution. In order to receive these special notes, an important step to do is that you must go to Settings and enable the Special Notes Received option with Yes. With this, you will automatically receive special notes whenever they're given out, which typically will offer new stationery that you can not obtain otherwise. Enabling the option will not retroactively have the special notes sent prior to your setting activation be sent to you, so you shouldn't expect anything to happen until a new special note is sent out.
Now, let's say a special note is sent out. How will you know? Well, if you did everything correctly and have everything necessary enabled, you will receive a SpotPass notification on your Home Menu (alternatively, while you're already in the application, tap SpotPass Delivery Check for a manual search of note deliveries). Let the note and any others download. You won't know if it's a special note until you open it and you see a gold border around it when displaying the preview. After reading the contents of the special note, what should happen immediately after exiting the note is that the application will pause for about five seconds with the message that it's saving the stationery. Once the note is saved, you can use it as many times as you'd like.
It's worth noting that not every special note is sent to everyone because they're for specific audiences (the Bravely Default: Flying Fairy special stationery, for example, was issued in a special note that was only distributed in Japan), so if you want those particular stationery that accompany them, you will want to receive a note containing that stationery from a friend.
This other method of receiving special stationery is especially handy for getting the ones that you weren't able to get through special notes, and it's really easy. Just have a friend send you a message with the special stationery that you want, and it will be saved to your collection just as it would if it came from a special note. It does not matter if the special stationery originally came from a region that doesn't match yours, it's yours to keep.
StreetPass will ultimately become your last resort if you can't get Internet on your 3DS. It works entirely the same as getting a special note or a regular note from an online friend. As long as you can find people who have those special stationery and they have the according note queued for StreetPass, you can theoretically obtain every special stationery without ever having to go online.
Using Your Special Stationery
Now that you have your special stationery saved, you'll eventually want to try it out when writing a note. To do this, tap Write a Note, and in the options, choose Change Stationery. It is here that all of your stationery, including special stationery, appear. Slide through the gallery all the way to the right, which is where all special stationery would be stored. If you see the special stationery there, then that you means you've successfully downloaded it and are able to use it.