Tips for Writing Great Thank You Notes

thank you notes__1455558069_108.89.137.58Ah, the dreaded thank you notes!  Whether you just had a major event – wedding, birth of a child, birthday – or you simply need to thank someone for a kind deed, most people hate writing thank you notes.  It can be tedious, especially when you have many to write, however your thank you notes can really brighten the day of the recipients and even give you an emotional boost as well.

According to Psychology Today, writing thank you notes contributes to feelings of happiness for the sender for up to one month.  That’s pretty amazing!  And just think how great the recipient will feel.  If you struggle with writing thank you notes, we’re sharing a few pointers to make yours memorable, special and, dare we say, enjoyable to read and write.

Tip #1:  Hand write your notes when possible. 

In our age of technology, hand writing anything is somewhat rare.  If life permits, select some lovely stationary and take the time to hand write your thank you notes.  Yes, it takes longer, but it also is more meaningful to the recipients so your effort goes further.  Try to write as neatly as possible.  After all, there is no point in writing something that no one can read.  If your handwriting is atrocious or if you simply don’t have the time, go electronic.  A thank you note is better than no thank you note at all.  Do try to find an online card service that offers a selection of beautiful cards with space to type a personal message.

Tip #2:  Say thanks for the specific gift and how you plan to use it.

Sharing details about why you like the gift and how you’re going to use it makes the recipient feel that they have done a good job in selecting something you really enjoy.  As much as you aren’t sure how to fill the page of your thank you letter, the giver may have been just as uneasy about what to get you as a gift.  For example, if you received candle stick holders, write about how they are the perfect centerpiece for your dining room table or how you can’t wait to use them for an upcoming romantic dinner.  If someone has given you money, don’t reference the amount.  Rather, thank them for their generosity and tell them how you plan to spend it.

Tip #3:  Write thank you notes for acts of kindness, not just gifts.

When you thank people for how they make your life better, they feel wanted and appreciated.  Writing thank you notes to friends for being there for you, teachers for taking amazing care of your kids, and co-workers who go above and beyond their jobs are all highly worthwhile.  In fact, you may improve your relationships with many people in your life when you can express specifically how much and why you are grateful for them.

Tip #4:  Be creative and humorous with your thank you notes.

Thank you notes should be fun to read and write.  Let your personality shine through.  Even formal thank you notes don’t have to be stiff and forced.  For close friends and family, add your personal sarcasm and wit to your notes or reference inside jokes.  Or consider other creative ideas such as sending pictures of you using the gift or a picture of yourself holding a thank you sign.  If you send an electronic card, attach a photo or video.  Add an appropriate quote to your thank you note or send a sweet treat along with the note to show your appreciation.

Tip #5:  A great way to give thanks is to give back.

If someone has done you a favor, be sure to return the favor in the future.  It’s not about keeping score, but more about being a good friend, neighbor, co-worker or family member.  Great relationships can be built on doing nice things for one another.  Also, remember that praising someone to their superiors can boost their career or status in the workplace.  Always take time to send a note to supervisors if you receive excellent customer service.  This good karma will surely pay off in the long run.

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