Perfect Thank You Note Formula

There are at least two rituals I keep to this day, that I can attribute directly to my mom.

The first is making my bed every morning. The second (and the focus of this post) is writing thank you notes.

A few days after every birthday or holiday my mom would sit us down at the dining room table with a stack of blank thank you notes and we would go to work, Jimmy Fallon style.

Being too young to write didn’t even give us a pass. In our younger days, we would dictate the message and she would write it in her fancy, perfect script.

I can’t say I particularly enjoyed it as a child, but the practice has stuck with me. Now that I’m older, it just seems like the decent thing to do! If someone does something kind for me, I want to recognize it.

But here’s the kicker – it’s a HUGE struggle for me to write. (Ironic coming from a blogger, isn’t it?) Even composing a simple text message can take me an embarrassingly long time because I want to come up with the “perfect” words. (Oh, perfectionism, we meet again.)  So thank you notes were also challenging.

Until…a friend shared with me the following (BRILLIANT) formula for writing a thoughtful, personal thank you note.

The Thank You Note Formula

The perfect thank you note need only be three sentences long:

Sentence 1 – A Compliment

You can never go wrong complimenting someone. This sentence should start with “you,” not “We or Thank you.”

Sentence 2 – The Thank You

Thank them for what you’re thanking them for. This sentence can start with “Thank you.”

Sentence 3 – Action Sentence

This can start with “I” or “We.”


Dear Sophie,

Your willing attitude makes you such a joy to teach!

Thank you for being a part of my studio this year.

I can’t wait to see how far you go next year!


This formula changed my thank-you-note-writing life.

It gives me just enough structure to write a thoughtful and personal message without looking like one of those fill-in-the-blank thank you notes that they sell at party stores.

I use this formula any time I want to thank someone or express appreciation. With Thanksgiving and winter holidays upon us, I’ll be using it quite a lot in my business. This is a great time of year to just say “thank you” to the students and families that support our studios.

Bonus points if you mail the note to your students. What kid doesn’t LOVE getting mail?!

Who can you thank this season?

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