You've Been Writing 'Thank You' Notes All Wrong

The problem with Thank You cards or follow-ups is that they happen after the event, when your motivation is low. Instead, do the bulk of the writing before the event, while the anticipation is high.

Stever Robbins
4-minute read
Episode #509

It’s summer, and we all know what time of the year summer is: wedding time, of course! So if you want to subsume yourself into a four-legged, four-eyed amalgamation of merged identity, this is your chance. Grab that girlfriend, boyfriend, intersex friend, or polyamorous family unit, pop the question, and soon you too can tie the knot at your very own wedding! 

And why not? They're a blast. You dress up in fancy clothes, attend an incredible feast, and gorge on delicious food. Then you and your newly minted shmoopie go home and enjoy all the free stuff you got from your friends. You can even go super classy and give every guest their own can of cheese spray. It will be the most memorable wedding ever.

Thank You Notes

The downside, however, is that you have to write thank you notes for all those nice presents. But let’s face it: when the wedding is over, you have a honeymoon to go on, and then a life to live...who wants to write thank you notes? Sheesh.

Write Before the Event

You’re less motivated because you already have the stuff. The Robotic Auto-vac is busily vacuuming up your dust bunnies, as well as your pet cat, Fluffy. We loved Fluffy, but hey, solve the cat hair problem at the source, right?

The voice-activated, internet-connected smoke alarm is industriously sending your location data back to the NSA. And the Turnip Twaddler is already twaddling its first few turnips. Why in the world would you take time out of this perfect life to write thank you notes? You wouldn’t. That’s why you write them before the wedding.

The concept is simple: Do any onerous task before the event, when your motivation is at its peak.

You know the guest list. You know who’s likely to bring you great swag. As part of the wedding preparations, set aside an afternoon and write out all your thank you notes. “Dear Aunt Thing, Shmoopie and I couldn’t be happier that you attended our most special day!” Leave a little blank space, and then sign your names with a big flourish.

Mail After the Event

Stamp and address the envelope. When you return from your ceremony, sit down with the stack of notes. For all of the wretched, ignoble people who didn’t give you squat, just seal their Thank You and drop it in the mail.

For everyone else, in the blank space you left, write in “We love the Auto-vac! Fluffy does too!” Then seal it and drop it in the mail.

In a matter of minutes, you will have powered through your Thank Yous and be free as a bird to head out to your honeymoon. Remember to post lots of pictures to make everyone else insanely jealous.


About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.