How to write a thank you

The art of writing a thank you note has been lost to most – left to children and those in the job market.  I think a lot of this boils down to most do not know how to write a thank you or feel comfortable writing a note thinking it has to be some crazy, long-winded letter to make it seem sincere.  It’s hard mostly because it’s simple and you are making it too complicated.

Today I had a big project that 6 of my co-workers were pulled in to help.  Without them this project would have taken me an eternity!  I truly don’t  know how I would have done it without them.  So tomorrow they get thank you’s…a candy & a card.  Just a small token of appreciation that let’s them know when they help me out I take notice of their efforts.



Invest in some pretty paper.  A thank you note, or any note always looks so much better on pretty paper.  If you want some of my favs you can go back to my Snail Mail post for some of my favorites. I used some note cards I bought at Papyrus this time.

Pretty handwriting is important.  You don’t have to have perfect penmanship but you should make sure it’s readable.  I personally think that formal notes and letters should be written in cursive.  However if your cursive looks more like a doctor’s signature on a prescription pad, I HIGHLY recommend you print.

Okay – now you have a note card and you are ready to write pretty and your mind goes blank…you sit staring at the blank page trying to decide where to start.  Well let me make it easy for you.  It can be broken down into 6 easy steps to writing a thank you!  Seriously…just you wait for step one…it’s a doozy!

  1. Step one: “Dear _______”  Yep…just the opening line.  The formality of this line will depend on your relationship with who you are writing.  With your best friend, you might skip “Dear” and just go with their name only.  If you are writing to a co-worker or someone who interviewed you, I would DEFINITELY go with Dear.
  2. “Thank you for…”  Say thank you for whatever you received or what was done for you.  This makes people know that you acknowledge what they did for you, it makes the note seem more sincere.
  3. Now you will comment on the gift.  Compliment how pretty the necklace or gift.  If someone gave their time and energy to a project rather than a physical thing compliment them on what they brought to the project – their work ethic, attention to detail, or personality.
  4. If you were given a gift in person, mention that it was good to see them.  Whether you saw them when you received the gift or not, mention that you are looking forward to seeing/working with them again in the future.  If grandma sends you a birthday card with money, imagine how heartbroken she would be if you didn’t say you hoped to see her soon!
  5. Say thank you again…yes I realize you did that in Step 2 but you are really grateful for their gift (of a material item, time or money) and you should tell them just one more time that you appreciate it.
  6. FINAL STEP! Wrap it up.  Again depending on your relationship it maybe a “Sincerely”, “Best”, “Affectionately yours”, or some other closing line and your name.  But find something that fits the situation & person and roll with it.

Now put that pretty paper in a pretty envelope and mail it off.  If you plan on giving the card in person, I prefer to go with cards like the ones below that sticker seals so they seem a little more formal since they won’t be going through the mail.  Just adds a little polish.