In the age of smartphones, text messaging and social media, it is rare to receive a handwritten letter or note in the mail, which makes them even more meaningful for both the sender and recipient.
As you pen the words, you remember the positive feeling that made you want to express thanks in writing. Then, you pass that feeling along to the person you’d like to thank. According to an article in TIME, research has shown that being grateful is good for your health, and expressing your gratitude through written letters, specifically, has mood-enhancing effects.
Ready to start sending thank-you notes regularly? Here are some tips to help get you started.
Recognize Both Big and Small Gestures
If you want to make writing notes a habit, first figure out who should receive a thank-you note. Did you meet someone new last week? Reconnect with an old friend? Receive excellent service from a vendor or customer service representative? All of these are good reasons to put pen to paper.
Every thank-you note doesn’t have to be in response to a major gesture. If somebody did something small that made you feel good, respond by sending them a handwritten note and share your appreciation.
After you’ve decided that you would like to begin sending thank-you notes, it’s important to get organized. To prevent yourself from procrastinating and feeling burdened by the task, especially as the number of people you’d like to thank increases, designate a specific time each week for writing your notes and stick to your schedule. While you will often likely only need a few minutes to pen one or two notes, during certain times of year, or following special occasions, you may have more people you’ll need to thank.
The best time to send a thank-you note is soon after the person’s thoughtful gesture, and sticking to your schedule will help make this possible. But, if something comes up and a week or two passes, don’t let that stop you from sending your note.
If you keep a list of names you want to send notes to, and review it on the day you set aside to write your notes, you can minimize the chance of forgetting to send them in a timely fashion.
Send to Any Address You Have (Even Work)
Though you may prefer to send a personal note to someone’s home, don’t worry if the only address you have is a place of employment. Receiving a handwritten note that showcases someone’s gratitude for their time or gesture can often brighten a person’s day, and now they can share their appreciation with colleagues.
If you can’t find any address for the person, don’t give up on sending the card. Asking for their address via phone or email will not make receiving the card any less special. It is truly the thought that counts.
Invest in Pre-printed Notecards
Another way to reduce the time it takes you to write your notes is investing in pre-printed notecards with your name, for personal cards; or company logo, for a professional presentation. However, you should be careful not to make the cards too detailed. Leave the inside of the card blank so you can personalize the message.