Thank You Notes: Are They A Lost Art?

I admit that, in the past,  I have been terrible at writing thank you notes. I’m always so appreciative when someone gives me a gift or does something nice for me. I say thank you, but sending a handwritten acknowledgement carries a bit more sentiment. I am so thankful that Betty with Mainstay Editorial Services has written this blog post for us as a reminder that a written “thank you” can go a long way. Thank you Betty! Be looking for my Thank You Note in the mail.

Today, many people think thank you notes are a lost art. I disagree.

Who doesn’t love to get a handwritten note in the mail – something that isn’t a bill, an ad or a political flyer?

When I was growing up, my mom was a stickler for thank you notes. In the days following my birthday or Christmas, I had to sit down and write all of my thank yous. At the time, I hated doing them. How boring!! Now, I realize the value of them. I want to acknowledge a kind act bestowed upon me. I want the person behind the act to know I appreciate their thoughtfulness.

Over the years, I have developed a system to make writing thank yous a bit easier.

Get Organized to Write Your Thank You Notes.

Keep your thank you notes and other cards together and easily accessible.

I have a box in my office filled with cards. It has dividers for thank you notes, sympathy cards, get-well-soon cards and birthday cards. I keep my box stocked with cards, so I can grab what I need when I need it. Here’s a bonus tip: The dollar store has great, inexpensive cards. When I need to refill my box, I just pop in and get enough to fill up my box. That way, I am always ready.

Keep a few pens and stamps with your notecards.

I store these in my box. When I need to write a note, everything is already together. I don’t spend a lot of time finding a card, then looking for a pen and finally locating a stamp. With everything ready to go, I can quickly write my letter and send it off.

Of course being organized is only one step in writing your thank yous. Next, what the heck do you write about? This stumbling block often prevents people from even getting started on their notes.

How to Write Your Thank You Notes

  • Get creative with your letter. Use stationery you like – stationery that fits your personality or fits the occasion. And, you can use colorful ink. Thank you notes don’t have to be written in black or blue. After Christmas, write your letters using red or green pens.
  • While it is not necessary to send your thank you note immediately, you should send it within a month of receiving your gift. I try to write mine within a week. If I wait a month, there is a good chance I will simply forget to write it. If I have several notes to write, I set a goal to write five each day until I am done. Breaking the task into smaller chunks makes it less daunting.
  • Always, always handwrite your note. I know. Everyone is on a device these days, and it is so easy to type an email and hit send. However, handwriting your thank you note gives it a personal touch. Plus, the recipient will appreciate the time you took to write it.
  • Thank you notes don’t need to be long, but you do need to mention the specific gift. Also, be sure to include a sentence or two about how you plan to use the gift or why the gift is special.
  • Once you sign the note, you are not quite finished. For your final step, you should read through your note one last time. Check for and correct any spelling or grammar errors.

Taking the time to send a thank you note is a simple but heartfelt way to let someone know you appreciate their thoughtfulness. It is a little gesture that goes a long way in making someone feel good.

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