Writing thank you notes have become an obsolete practice. To the most recent two generations, thank you notes went out with the stone age. The best we can hope for from the majority of young people is a “thx” in a text or in a tweet. But for those who are interested in starting this archaic, but most needful activity, this hub is for you. Because of the effect of this digital age on our culture, where the diminutive composition has become the norm, many don’t really know what a thank you note looks like. Here you will find some tips, advice, and samples to school you on how to express gratitude in the written word. When in doubt, for adults, ink is best. For young children, it may be safest to use a pencil if they are still learning to write. Ink just looks nicer. If you want to be creative and artistic when writing a personal thank you note, different colors of ink are a nice touch, especially if you hand make your card. Handwritten notes are best because they are more personal and reflect time and thought.

However, typewritten is acceptable as well. Not everyone has legible handwriting or printing. Some are hindered by disabilities or other challenges that would hinder the process of writing a note by hand. If you are going to type your note you will not likely be able to type on a card. However, you can type a message and slip it into a note card. Although the message in a thank you note is the most important part of it, the medium one chooses can go along way in enhancing that message, e.g. a colorful or elegant sheet of stationery, card. The GenX-er’s and Millenial’s don’t generally know what stationery is, so for that purpose, I offer a definition and image. Stationery, in the broader definition, is writing materials, such as paper, pens, pencils, ink, and envelopes. In the context of this hub, stationery is paper of certain size with accompanying envelopes. Often times stationery is colored, monogrammed (the writer’s initials), or with images on them. They come in varying sizes but are most often smaller than a standard sheet of notebook or computer paper. They are also known as note paper or letterhead.

Many choose to say thank you with a card. If you want to convey that you’re not interested in putting any time or thought into the note, then buy a card with a thank you sentiment already in it, sign it without any personal note, and send it. The best choice of cards would be a card that is blank inside. This allows you to write what you would like to say, not what Hallmark thinks you should say. These kinds of cards can come in a package (usually 10-12 note cards) with the words THANKS or THANK YOU on the cover and blank inside to write your own message. They are very small cards, decorative, and come with envelopes. I always have a stash of these cards in my desk and I use them often. If you want to send a very special thank you, buying a blank card off the shelf with a beautiful or humorous image is a good way to go.

The image could be of something the recipient likes, such as animals, hearts, flowers, angels etc. These are usually larger than the packaged cards. I recently bought three cards from a friend who is a photographer and makes them into cards. If you are the creative, artsy type, hand making cards are the best of all. What can be more personal and meaningful than to receive an artistic, handmade card. I received a handmade card from a friend I stayed with, thanking me for being her guest (never received one of those before). In the meantime, my thank you card was en route to her mailbox. It was such a treat to receive her handmade card as I knew she put a lot of time and consideration into it. If you have the resources, cards are a good choice for a thank you note. The colors and images make it a brighter thank you to the recipient. Why bother with putting a date on your note? The reason is that the recipient will remember the occasion when he looks at it in the future.

I keep what I call a “warm fuzzy file.” It consists of notes of thanks, birthday cards, drawings and photos with sentimental value. They are encouraging and heartwarming. I am always disappointed when there is no date to remind me of the occasion if it’s not coming to me. Dating for personal than you notes can be written in any form you choose. Now it is time to get started with the message. The greeting need not be fancy. Most people will begin their note with “Dear Rebecca.” That is standard and appropriate in every situation. The opening is the most important part of the message. You want to get right to the point, which is to express your gratitude and recognize their thoughtfulness, kindness, and/or generosity. I am so thrilled with the quilt you sent and I so appreciate your taking all the time and care that went into making it.

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