There are certain practices out there that have gotten a little lost in time. For instance calling someone’s home telephone and asking, “Hello, can I speak with ….?“. Nowadays we directly dial up someone’s cell number, or to make things even faster, shoot them a text. Sending snail mail also has seemed to dwindle, which is so disappointing! There is something about the physical act of receiving a letter in the mail (as opposed to an email or a post on your facebook wall) that makes you feel appreciated and remembered in this world. I’m a big believer in the thank you note. Yes of course I send thank you notes after job interviews, that’s not what I’m discussing here today. Today I want to how important it is to take the time to sit down and show someone gratitude for an act of kindness or gift they bestowed upon you.
- Write a Quick Rough Draft. When you sit down to write your thank you card, I encourage you to scribble out a rough draft first. I often find that at the start of a note I have no idea what I hope to say, and I end up sounding a bit generic (i.e. “Thank you so much for the lovely…..“). By the end of my card (when I’m running out of space) I typically think of 4 or 5 more individualized things I’d love to include. Write a quick rough draft so that your note sounds authentic and personal. Try to avoid starting with run of the mill sentences about the gift or the act.
- Keep a Variety of Cards on Hand. The worst thing is when you have to send a thank you note out, and you are on the clock, which results in rushing to the store and paying $8 for ugly cards you don’t even like. The whole POINT of thank you cards is that they are pretty and slightly indulgent and make you feel happy looking at them. I’m always scoring the clearance shelves at Target, Marshall’s and HomeGoods for cute budget friendly card packs that I fall in love with. Most of the cards at HomeGoods/Marshall’s are about $4 or $5 for a stack. And they are so cute! When you find cards you can’t resist – buy them! I keep at least 5 different types in a box at home so that I always have the appropriate card on hand for any need.
- Write in Your Voice. This may sound obvious, but write your notes as you would sound speaking! The worst type of thank you note is one that is stiff and formal. Refer to inside jokes. Be light hearted. Read your card out loud to make sure it sounds like something you would say.
- Better Late Than Never. Best of intentions. We all know that days slip by and things get away from us once in a while. Make it a priority to send thank you notes right away! Me – I always plan to write the card that day or the very next day. But if you are ever in a situation where it slips your mind or you forget, don’t feel bad! Send the card anyway. Better late than never.