The Anatomy of a Good Thank You Note

I once read somewhere that when you want something for yourself, you should start praying for the same thing for someone else instead. That selflessness will bring favor down on the both of you. Not sure if that’s how it works, but I see where they were going with it.

In an effort to cultivate more joy in my life, I’ve been working on being grateful rather than complaining. It’s amazing how being as shade free as possible, makes room for joy even when circumstances aren’t pristine. Joy is contagious in that, when you have it you want everyone around you to be happy too. One way to spread joy is by making room to show your appreciation at every corner.

How to Write a Thank You Note
How to Write a Thank You Note

Let’s be honest: there’s no better feeling than knowing you’re appreciated. Whether it be for a specific act, or your intrinsic qualities, it’s nice when people give you shine where shine is due. A thank you note can be just the thing to help spread this kind of cheer. Busy schedules and tunnel vision makes it easy to take others for granted. Don’t be the person that takes without looking back. Thank you notes work with the movers that spent extra time wrapping your lamps to your best friend who babysat your dog while you were on vacation. And I’m sharing the foolproof formula that will make you the poster child for love and light.

A Specific Thank You for The Act

Once you get your greetings out of the way, start with specific thanks for the act. It’s why you’re here.

Phrases to try:

Thank you for...

Your help last week meant…

Thank you!

I am so grateful for...

Assign Meaning to Your Thanks

After the thank you, explain why it matters. You never know what a person is going through, so sharing why a kind act touched you can be eye-opening. This is an opportunity to get transparent and maybe even a little vulnerable. Talk about impact in 1-2 sentences.


I wouldn’t have been able to get through my first move without you. The way you directed the movers was so boss.  

I’ve always wanted a ___ and never had the opportunity to grab one. Now I’ll have a ____ to ____ with.

It was the best thing that happened to me this week. I definitely left with a pep in my step.  

You welcomed me with open arms and I felt like I belonged there. It meant more than you know.

Personal Round-Up

Here’s how you bring your thank you note to a close. Add in personal details for the cherry on top. Keep it short and bring it to a close with another thank you. Too much gratitude is never enough. 

Too much gratitude is never enough. 


You could say things like:

I’m going to channel your organization skills as I unpack this new apartment. Thanks for making a stressful day more manageable.

I wanted to make sure you knew how much ___ meant to me. Thanks again!

If you ever need anything don’t hesitate to reach out. Seriously, thank you.

How to Write a Thank You Note

Pro Tips

Handwrite if you can. In the case where I write an email, I try to include a nice graphic or funny gif at the top to make it more personal. Of course, only use these things where it applies. Your boss might not find that #LHH gif as funny as your bestie.

Keep it short and sweet, literally. 3-4  sentences will always suffice. If you’re a rambler try buying smaller cards so you won’t have the space. The key is to pack a punch with your kind words and then keep it moving.

The number one thing to remember when writing a thank you note is to put your heart into it. You can’t fake passion or genuineness.

How to Write a Thank You Note