Do you want to write a thank you note, but aren’t sure what to say or how to say it? Consider these six steps that will make it a lot easier to convey your thoughts and show appreciation.
I’m a big believer in thank you notes, and sharing gratitude and appreciation to someone who has helped us or given us something. I often hear from people that they want to write a note, but aren’t sure what to say, or how to say it. To help with that process, I’ve created a list of six easy steps that anyone can follow to craft a thank you note for any circumstance.
Life can be so easy, and often times we put aside writing thank you notes for events or other occasions because of the time considerations. I’ve never known someone regret the thank you note they wrote, and most often it benefits us too, as we are able to express our gratitude and grow from it. It only takes a few minutes, and it can improve our own happiness as well.
It could also be that it’s hard coming up with the words, or knowing exactly what to say. A thank you note doesn’t have to be fancy, and it doesn’t even need a lot of words. Just a genuine expression of thanks for a gift, act of service, professional courtesy, thoughtfulness, etc. When you aren’t sure what to say or how to say it, use these simple steps as a guide.
Table of contents
What to write – 6 easy steps
Greet the giver by name.
Thank the giver for the gift or act of service. it’s okay if it’s simple–this is a sincere expression of appreciation.
Talk about use
Say something nice about the item, then talk about how you’re going to use it. if it was an act of service, describe its impact, and what it meant to you.
Talk about what they mean to you personally. if you don’t know them well, say what you know, or something along the lines of “I’m thinking of you, and hope you’re doing well. If it’s professional, such as a career interview, you can talk about something you discussed, or how you’re looking forward to meeting them again.
You can never say thank you enough! End with “thank you again”, or “I really appreciated it”.
Love, sincerely, truly, all the best, etc., then sign your name.
Ways to send
Times have changed, even since I first posted this in 2013, as technology continues to advance. Now texting and email are much more prevalent and accepted for communicating thanks, both in the personal and professional world. But that makes a handwritten note even that more treasured.
A handwritten note may be considered now as more formal, which could prevent someone from doing so. But it’s really just a note, written in your own hand. It will never be unappreciated, because the the person receiving the note will recognize the effort made on their behalf.
This technologically savvy world we live in has provided us with super fast ways to type out our thoughts and send them to someone else. But when it comes to saying thank you, nothing beats a hand-written thank you note. I’m talking about a good, old fashioned, lick the envelope, put a stamp on the front and drop it in the mailbox kind of note. Isn’t it the BEST feeling when you check the mail, and find a letter addressed to you that’s not junk mail or a bill? Something meant just for you?
When you take the time to write out a note, you’re telling someone that they are worth the extra effort, and that you care about them enough to do so. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just a simple expression of your appreciation.
Even when job interview etiquette dictates that an e-mail thank you was acceptable, a written note is the extra mile. Who knows? It might be just the thing that helps you get the job! When you get married or have a baby, and receive lovely gifts, send written notes–they will tell each person how much you appreciate their thoughtfulness.
Email or text
The most important thing is to write a note of thanks, and the mode of communication is secondary. If you aren’t able to send a note by mail, you can certainly use these same guidelines to send via email or text.
If you don’t have the physical address, an email is the next best thing–be sure to mention that you wanted to thank them with a handwritten note, but you weren’t able to.
There are times when an email or text would be completely sufficient, and not every single occasion would require a handwritten note. Small acts of kindness you’d like to acknowledge–someone grabbing your mail, dropping off your child after a sports practice, picking up something for you at the store–an email or text would work well.
Another bar for email or text would be if the next time you’re going to communicate with the person is through email or text–which could likely be in a work situation. After lunch with clients or customers, when someone sent you something that you needed, or went out of their way to help are all examples.
Tip: When you’re making a batch of cookies, double it, and freeze some for later. If you want to attach your note to a treat, then you’ll have something on hand when you need it.
You can never go wrong writing a note of thanks. Giving thanks and showing gratitude is important, and it affects greater happiness and well being in both the giver and recipient.
No, it doesn’t–there is no required length. A simple note to acknowledge your gratitude can be as long or as short as you like.
I’ve created a printable pdf of the six easy steps for easy reference. Print on to white card stock, or full sheet white labels to make a sticker.
More thank you ideas
Sometimes I want to attach a small gift as a thank you for someone that performed an act of kindness for me. Here are few ideas that are perfect for giving.
*Originally posted 2013. Updated 2023.