The most important thing about writing a Thank You Note is to find a way to put your heart on the page.  You want to make a connection with the person you’re writing to.

If you’re writing to thank someone for a gift they gave you, then be sure to mention the gift itself – hopefully in a positive tone – just to prove you know what it is and you aren’t confusing the gift giver with someone else.  Then maybe write a sentence or two about how the gift is making an impact on your life, or why you like it.  Then you could mention the importance of his or her friendship.

If you’re writing to thank someone for something other than a material gift, describe just what the other person has done for you and show your understand of that person’s effort.  You can recognize that people are doing things because they care and praise that care for what it is – a rare remnant of human goodness.  Try to show an understanding of their special nature and effort.  This helps shift your focus to the giver (the person who did something for you).

Even in business, a handwritten note still plays an important role.  It doesn’t take a lot more time or effort than writing an email.  But a handwritten note just feels like sincere gratitude.  It conveys your physical presence to the receiver.  You are right there in their hand, not far away at the other end of a machine.  Even when it’s just business, people feel the sincerity, and they respond.

The best thank you notes will stir in the recipients’ hearts the knowledge that their gesture was truly appreciated, and even inspire the desire to give again, knowing that they will be thanked and appreciated.