A Professional Organizer’s Guide to Writing More Thank You Notes
I am a big fan of appreciation and thanking someone warmly for a gift or a kind act. I love receiving handwritten thank you notes (I don’t knock email notes either) because it means someone took the time to let me know they both received the gift and are favorably acknowledging the efforts made on their behalf. A personal piece of correspondence is the best kind of mail to get. It’s a treasure in the sea of junk mail, catalogs, and bills. I especially adore a thank you note that points out something spot-on about the item and/or something special about your relationship with that person – bonus points!
Apparently, I am not alone. An article in the New York Times, “You Should Send That Thank You Note You’ve Been Meaning to Write” from July 20, 2018, agreed that people like getting thank you notes. Seriously, who would not like getting a thank you? Two psychologists found so few people send thank you notes because, “many people miscalibrate the effect of an appreciative email. They underestimate the positive feelings it will bring.” The writer fears it may come across as being insincere or the recipient may feel uncomfortable. Thank you note recipients rated the note higher on a questionnaire of happiness rating then the sender had guessed.
So how can you get more ‘high-five,’ ‘thank you!’ or ‘you rock!’ out into your world? When it’s something out of your norm, physically setting out the items you will need and making it part of your routine makes it easier to get from “want to” to “did it”.
Setting myself up to write two thank you notes per week:
- Every Sunday night, I look at my whole week’s schedule and try to plan errands, meals, and projects around the week. Do it with a cup of tea or a glass of wine, if that helps! Who are the two people I would like to express gratitude toward? 1 hour of planning creates 3 hours of free time in your week.
- I pull out two pieces of stationery and two envelopes from my box of stationery on Sunday night. I love using the fold-over personalized correspondence notes from American Stationery and also purchase them as a nice gift for friends.
- I have a book of stamps near my computer on my desk, return address stamps in the drawer near my desk, and all the addresses on my computer. I will address the envelopes early in the week.
- By being all set up with the cards ready to go, I typically spend the 5 minutes writing each note on Monday. If it’s a crazy busy week, it may stretch out to Wednesday but 90% of the time they are done and in the mail by Monday or Tuesday.
Setting yourself up for success is the key element, as well as imagining the recipient reading your note with a smile. Happy sharing of gratitude!
Author: Denise Allan