Whenever there is a graduation, wedding, birthday, or event where gifts are involved, thank you notes are essential. I also believe that thank you notes are common courtesy any time someone does something for you. For example, if someone writes you a letter of recommendation, a thank you note is a requirement. However, thank you notes, actual handwritten thank you notes are really uncommon. They should be common, though, because I feel like a handwritten thank you note is appreciative, takes a little time, and feels like a more genuine thank you.
My tips for great thank you notes are:
Pick a Good Stationary | My favorite places to find stationary/ thank you cards are Papyrus, Kate Spade, or Rifle Paper Co. I typically go for a cleaner thank you note if I’m using them for professional purposes, but if it’s a thank you note for a friend, I’ll pick something a little more fun and reflective of my personality.
Keep it Short and Sweet | There’s nothing worse than a super exhaustive thank you note. Thank yous don’t have to be super long and drawn out. Keeping it short but sweet is key. I usually put something like “thank you so much for… I really appreciate it!” and if there’s money I say what I’ll be using it for, such as “I will be putting your gift toward beginning my next chapter in Virginia!” I may also add a personal touch if it’s someone I’m close to, such as “thank you also for your support throughout the years/ this journey.” If someone gives me an item, I’ll say I’m looking forward to using it or something. For Starbucks gift cards, I often say “I’m excited to put this toward the countless coffees I’ll undoubtedly need when law school starts!” But in the end, keep it simple but also just personal enough that it doesn’t feel generic.
Try to Send Thank Yous Within a Reasonable Time | A month may even be pushing it, but I generally say that thank yous should be written within a month. After a month, the thank you feels like an after thought. If you got married, you have about a year to send thank yous! Depending on the situation, the timeline may be longer or shorter. But you should try to send thank yous as quickly as possible. For graduations, I recommend trying to write thank yous as cards come in, rather than waiting until you have a huge stack!
Don’t Overthink Your Handwriting | I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so I always criticize my handwriting when I hand write thank you notes. Now, just know that the person receiving the card won’t be judging your handwriting, rather they will just appreciate that you thanked them!
How do you go about thanking people?