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Do It

Write a Thank-You Note

Stef McDonald


With so many of us communicating with via email and text message, the hand-written thank-you note has become a bit of a rarity. But good manners go a long way. Put pen to paper to express your thanks the old-fashioned way—for the birthday gift, the dinner invitation, the favor, or the simple gesture of kindness that made your day. Use your handwriting and full sentences (and recycled paper!). Bonus: Your expression of gratitude will make your recipient feel even more appreciated.



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  • Miss Ru

    I try to focus on doing this more often. It feels good, and the recipient feels good that youve taken the thing most precious - time, and in the slowest way - post, to giving them that thanks. Win win all round!

    • Stef McDonald

      Yes, I really like the focus on the aspect of time and care. It's easy to quickly send an email, but it's more personal and meaningful to take the effort and time required to write and deliver a note.

  • flooc

    I try to impart this with the young people at my work. I explain while an emailed Thank You is no less sincere, an actual thank you note/card simply punctuates the thought behind the thank you because writing with a pen and note card requires effort to do than a quickie email.

  • Gisela Hausmann Author

    I do it all the time and have my kids taught the same. Most people are really happy even about a postcard because everybody gets nothing but bills. :)

  • esunde802

    before they could even hold a pen, my kids were sending thank you notes with inked feet and hands. now, at 13 & 9, they have (hopefully) internalized that it's what you do to express appreciation to folks who do something nice for you. i try to never miss an opportunity to say thank you. even when i pay contractors through my company, i write my appreciation along with the check. heck, i even write thank you notes with a plate of brownies for my mechanic. it's the pay it forward model and it always comes back to you.

    • Stef McDonald

      Great lesson. I was taught the same thing and it's a lesson that stays with you for life.

  • Patrick Farrell

    My wife taught me to write again. She's got beautiful handwriting and I could scarcely read my own scratch. She purchased a fountain pen for me on my birthday and patiently taught me to clean up my writing. I was 40 at the time (5 years ago). I write notes, journal and generally enjoy penmanship now like I never before. Writing is a dying art. Pick up a pen and get after it! People always comment about how nice it is to receive a handwritten note... always. It's not too late.

  • Jonathan Jacobs

    This is my favorite thing to do. Had a great conversation with an HR specialist today and it truly is ALL ABOUT the little things.

  • Lizzie Bellotto

    This is so good:) yay a pen and paper revolution to share love and appreciation generating goo vibes!!!

  • julie petroski

    great idea. or why not write a love letter? or monthly love letters for strangers at

  • Steve Cohen

    I always let people know how much I appreciate their efforts, whether it's a friend or a retailer.

  • umyr

    I think it's a fabulous idea! It will add more emotional touches in the words. Thanks for an awesome idea... sorry i can't attach a paper here :p

  • Mia Pokriefka

    I love this 'To Do'. Who doesn't love being appreciated? Great way to make someone else's minute/hour/day/week + yours. Research (I think his name is Tal Ben-Shahar, Harvard professor) has shown that expressing your gratitude, whether written or verbal, will led to increased, long term happiness. WOOT WOOT. Added bonus: the earth will be happy you used recycled paper :) Thanks for to go find my pen!

    • Valerie C

      Agreed! I used to pen thank you notes, but got a little too lazy and stopped. Thanks for the reminder to start truly showing my gratitude to people who deserve it!