the art of the thank you note

[[welcome to a new friday feature: good ideas. each friday i'll feature helpful tips on something related to paper.]]

[gwen's photo]

after reading through tons of new years resolutions posted in the blogosphere, i was delighted to see that some people have actually resolved to send more hand-written notes in 2010. hooray! as a major advocate of snail mail and hand-written cards, i am all for this idea.

one great way to start out is by sending thank you notes. proper etiquette recommends sending thank you notes for gifts received as soon as possible, so if you're just climbing out of the holiday haze you still have time to write and send holiday thank yous.

typically the holiday collection is pretty manageable, compared to other events; i remember coming home from my honeymoon and being completely overwhelmed by the list of wedding thank you notes i needed to write. but, we took it a piece at a time, and thank you note-writing became our favorite sunday afternoon activity until we finished up in a few weeks' time.

if you need some extra inspiration when it comes to thank you notes, here are a few fun ideas:
  • do put together a "thank you note writing station," as demonstrated by blogger extraordinaire gwen bell. make it easy to find all your supplies -- stamps, envelopes, pens, address stickers, the works -- in one place.
  • do make sure you have stamps on hand. nothing causes a procrastinated thank you note like not having stamps. get in the habit of asking for them at the grocery store, or buy in bulk at costco. i keep a book in my wallet at all times so i always know where they are. and be sure to buy the "forever" stamps so you don't have to worry about prices going up.
  • don't pre-write notes or stick to a form letter. a heartfelt note means so much more! see here for more do's and don'ts of thank you notes.
  • don't think your stationery is too pretty to send! maybe it's just me, but sometimes my cards are just too beautiful to use. ha! everyone needs a pick-me-up -- share your beautiful stationery with someone else :)
i LOVE sending thank you cards. my mom bred the habit in me young, so luckily it's always been part of my life. i send them after job interviews, friends' dinner parties and when someone has done something particularly kind for me.

also, my husband said he started to fall in love with me when, shortly after we began dating, i sent his mother a thank you card for having me over for dinner. so...i'm just sayin'....you never know where a good thank you note will get you :)


  1. Yup, I love writing Thank You Notes. It shows thought and consideration and gratitude. Good on ya for sending one to your future Mum-in-law!

  2. I too have actually seen people's resolutions (incl. men's style bloggers!) include writing more handwritten notes. Fabulous tips, and I love the story at the end. :)

    xo, Becs