The Art of the Thank You Note Shouldn’t Be Lost

 via getty images

via getty images

Long before Jimmy Fallon started writing them on his show, thank you notes have been a thing.  A very important custom that is too often ignored or forgotten.  The importance of thank you notes was hammered into me at a very young age.  I have memories of my mother standing over me as I painstakingly wrote out thank you notes in a childish hand on personalized stationery.

Recent findings link gratitude to increased optimism and stress reduction.  Studies also show that gratitude can lead to a better night’s sleep, something we all could use more of.  These kind of results aren’t just limited to “Gratitude Lists,” they also extend to things like thank you notes.

Don’t underestimate the power of the hand-written note in this digital world.  It’s important to recognize and acknowledge the effort someone has made and a text message just doesn’t cut it.  A digitized “thank you” can easily get lost in our over-full inboxes (both text and email.)  A handwritten thank you note makes you stand out and seem more polished.  A note gives physical evidence of your gratitude and shows that the note writer really appreciates something.  Think about it -- how exciting is it to receive a piece of snail mail that isn’t a bill or a Capital One credit card offer?  There’s something amazing about the feel of nice stationery or a card in your hand.

“t’s never wrong to send a thank you note.
— Emily Post
Ok, so when do you write a thank you note?
  • When someone goes out of their way to do you a favor

  • When you are a guest at someone’s home, be it for a dinner party or a weekend

  • When somebody invites you to a party or similar event

  • And, of course, when someone gives you a gift

When it comes time to write a thank you note I’ll often write a draft -- that way I can convey how I feel with the right verbiage.  Also, nothing looks worse than crossed out words or sentences on a pretty piece of paper.  It may seem like a time-consuming extra step but it’s worth it.

Next, what should you say?
  1. Say thank you for the gift, invitation, favor, time, etc

  2. Say something about what you are thanking the person for, like “I had such a great time at your party and met so many interesting people.”

  3. Say something about the person, like, “you are such an amazing hostess”

  4. Then sign it with your first name -- first + last names or a business signature are a little impersonal.  Feel free to add “xoxo,” “cheers,” etc but avoid statements like “best,” or “warm regards,” again, it seems too business-like.

Here are some great resources for both personalized stationery and "Thank You" cards ::

Sugar Paper LA has great boxed Thank You notes, like this "Merci" card. 


Kate Spade's paper products are always on the cheeky side, and this Thank You card is no exception.


Snow + Graham has lots of boxed Thank You cards to choose from, including this pretty letterpress card.


Crane + Co. offers classic personalized stationery designs and has been around since 1700!


Iomoi has lots of options for personalized stationery design including elephants, monkeys, camels and more traditional monograms.


I'm a HUGE fan of letterpress.  I love the weight of the paper and the dimension that the letterpress process produces.  Aloha Letterpress has lots of options to choose from when designing your personalized stationery.


I still write thank you notes on personalized stationery, although {thankfully} my penmanship is much improved.

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