Motivation Monday: How to Write the Perfect Thank You Note

write thank you note

I believe hand written thank you notes are a must. Whether it’s an interview, a gift, or simply a note to show your appreciation for a delightful evening, there’s something to be said about taking the time to write a generous word or two. Whether or not you were raised to do this, getting in the habit of mailing your thank yous in hand written form is a wonderful, heart-felt idea.

The truth—we live in a highly digital world where the pace of communication is instant and endless. People are constantly communicating, sometimes highly detailed and complex emotions, via email and text which is why receiving a note in your mailbox is such a lovely surprise and gift. According to Emily Post, it’s best to send a thank you note within two to three months of receipt of the gift…or the sooner the better.  Here are a few other things you should know when sending a hand-written thank you letter:

Creating the Quintessential Thank You Note

  • Use a quality writing instrument. Forgo all the random pens and pencils sitting at the bottom of your purse—instead, consider a lavish felt point pen or an extravagant fountain pen when sending thanks.
  • Select the right paper.  There are ample paper choices out there but choosing a card or piece of stationery that has some weight to it is a very nice touch. My husband Jose and I happen to be big fans of Papyrus. Their cards are of the utmost quality and just so darn special–check them out for yourself! If you’re looking to send thank yous without emptying your wallet, remember that you can always make your own with some handmade glitter colorful construction paper.  I find the blog over at Paper Source always has fun and creative ways to send a handwritten thank you.
  • Crafting the letter. Whether you forgot an occasion, or want to send a note of congrats or thanks, it’s never too late. It’s always nice to begin by referencing what you are giving thanks for and how it will be appreciated or used.  If the letter is going to someone I know well I like to reference a memory we share or a character quality of theirs that I truly am grateful for or miss being around.  If the letter is going to a colleague I always like to offer my continued support on any current or future projects they have coming up. If you’re unsure, feel free to type it out on your computer first or use scratch paper until you get it right.  Reminding them I am in their corner makes me feel good and let’s them know I can be counted on to be a reliable force in their lives.

When to send

  • Gift: A gift should always be acknowledged in a hand-written note. The only exception is if a close family member or friend gives you a gift in-person and you thank them on the spot, then a thank you note isn’t necessary—although it is a nice touch!
  • Hostess Gift & House-guest: If you are a house-guest, I recommend dropping a note in the mail to say thank you to your host for opening up their home to you. If you were invited to a delectable dinner party, I suggest bringing a small hostess gift to the evening as well as being sure to show your appreciation before you leave by saying thank you.
  • A few other examples of when to put pen to paper: Thank those you spoke with during job interviews;  Got a raise or promotion? Show your boss that you appreciate his or her effort on your behalf; A close friend’s family member passed away and you’re not sure what to say, but you can offer heartfelt sympathy in writing!

Do you send thank you notes? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!


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  1. I love sending thank you notes. At Christmas and for Birthdays, especially, I think that it’s amazing how many people don’t even acknowledge gifts, let alone send a card. Of course, I think a love of stationary helps – I adore beautiful paper, pens and envelopes!

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