Thank you for the _____________. It is really great. I had fun playing with it (using it/reading it) this morning (today/yesterday).
Thanks (Love/Sincerely/or Something),
Your Name Here"
|Where I last publicly extolled the virtues of Thank You notes|
I hated those notes. I would sigh and trudge off to write them, knowing my grandparents a) knew I was thankful, b) could hear me say it to them, and c) had a giant drawer full of thank you notes from all the grandchildren (assuming that they didn't throw away the thank you notes.) Fast forward twenty some odd years, and here I am extolling the virtues of simple thank you notes to my students. Seriously, send the thank you note. I get it now. I am convinced. It is a small, brief gesture, but it's important. Now that email is so pedestrian and inescapably everyday, it stands out even more when you receive a hand written thank you. You can even go old school and pick out a card for the occasion instead of getting a pack of thank you cards.
Don't do the email thank you.* The email form letter defeats the point. Even the email 'quick thank you' isn't the same. It screams busy work... and sorry folks, text messages and FB comments don't count either. These many be necessary, but they aren't sufficient. An honest to God, hand written, card-style note. Stamped and mail or hand delivered. Seriously. Try it. Be the extra mile person. It'll work for you.
By the way, if you happen to be a student in our program [and you would know if that includes you]... a few community partners have commented on getting thank you notes from you. They notice, and they appreciated it. They tell me about it -- unsolicited. It makes you stand out. I've noticed more students sending thank you notes to us professors for writing letters of reference. I even received a hand made one from a student I haven't seen since she graduated a few years ago.
My colleague still has the Borealis Press card on her bulletin board that I sent as a thank you note when she was on the search committee that hired me five years ago. I remember buying five cards for the committee members and sitting on the floor in my apartment trying to figure out which committee member would get which card based on the day I spent with them.
Don't dismiss the thank you note. Pass it on.