25 Thank you note writing tips

These thank-you note writing tips may help you improve your thank-you notes! The tips will be organized into sections for writing, timing, cards and envelopes, and inspiration. Instructions on how to write a thank-you note are on the cheat sheet, 5 easy steps to writing a thank-you note, or in the book.

Writing Tips

1. Specifically, mention the gift and include a detail about it which is the #1 tip for a great thank-you note. This shows your appreciation and lets the person know that you know what they gave you. When you receive multiple gifts from the same person at the same time, mention each gift in the thank-you note.

2. Handwrite the note to make your thank you note stand out. People are more likely to remember handwritten notes. Email is easy, but most people will appreciate the extra time and effort you took to handwrite the note. And people also like to get something other than bills in the mailbox! If handwriting isn’t for you, check out this list of ways to express your gratitude.

3. Be yourself when writing the thank you note. Only use words that you would use in your own life. If you copy an example that uses adjectives you’d never say, the recipient may sense this when reading it. They may think you copied the note from somewhere!

4. Use a thesaurus or search for synonym lists on Pinterest to find words other than “good”, “great”, etc. that you would say in real life. In other words, use tools to be creative but still follow tip #3. 


5. Check your grammar. A tool like Grammarly makes this easy. If you are handwriting a note, you can still type it into Grammarly before writing it into a note card. Checking grammar is important for job interview thank-you notes. Links to Grammarly are affiliate links.

Grammarly Writing Support

6. If you struggle to have legible handwriting, try writing slower. Don’t let poor handwriting be an excuse for not writing a note.

7. Do not write with a cheap pen that leaves behind ink blobs. No one wants to see ink blobs or smears in a thank you note!

8. Review these guidelines to determine if you should start over or keep going when you make a mistake in a handwritten note.

9. When stumped for the words to write in your note, think about what you’d like to see in a thank you note written to you. Include something similar when writing your thank you note. And check out these sentence completion exercises.

10. Spell the recipient’s name correctly. For example, is there one or two L’s in their spelling of Michelle?

11. Remember to sign your name!

Note Timing

12. Send the note promptly, as soon after receiving the gift as possible. Within a week is an good timeline. However, in general, it is never too late to send a thank-you note! Waiting longer, may make it feel more awkward. But some people are known to keep graduation party invitations on their refrigerator until they receive a thank-you note!

13. Make thank-you note writing a habit by sending the note within two or three days of receiving a gift every time you receive a gift. My favorite book on habits is Better Than Before (Amazon affiliate link).

14. Sending a thank-you note late is better than not at all!

15. Keep a box of thank-you notes on hand. That way you will be ready when you need to write a note.

16. Be organized and have a plan when you have many notes to write at one time. Follow this guide to write 100 notes without feeling overwhelmed.

17. If your birthday is close to a holiday where gifts are given, you can write one thank-you note for the birthday gifts and holiday gifts to those that gave you a gift for both!

Cards and Envelopes

18. Handwrite their address on the envelope. Address labels may be used for the return address label. A handwritten address usually indicates to the receiver that this is not a bill or junk mail. Handwriting the recipient’s address on the envelope increases the likelihood of it being opened.

19. Use a quality thank you note card. This means a note card where you cannot see through the envelope or the card. My recommendations are on the Resources page. Amazon sells many note cards such as those pictured below. I cannot vouch for the quality of them, so be sure to read reviews!

20. Use stickers for an informal thank-you note to give the envelopes some personality! I love cat stickers​

21. Follow these 7 tips when choosing the design of a note card. A card with thank you on the front and blank on the inside will usually work fine (if you want to keep things simple). ​

22. If you do not know the address of a person, for a thank-you note ask them for it. There are seven more address finding tips here.

23. Mailing a card with non-standard envelope size? It may cost extra postage. Know your dimensions! Here is this link to check for those in the United States: https://www.usps.com/business/prices.htm


24. “Meaning to send a thank-you note but then not doing it is exactly the same as never thinking to send one — that person is still receiving zero thank you notes.” ― Kelly Williams Brown, Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps. Note: I have not read this book, but I love the quote and that there is a cat on the front cover of the book! Link is an affiliate link.

25. Think of thank-you note writing as a way to bless others! People like to be appreciated.

Infographics and guides