The Etiquette of the Handwritten Note

Last week we hosted an event for the Junior League of Dallas. Firstly, these are wonderful women who make a big impact on the community. We love being a supporter of the Junior League and respect the values, mission and members of the League.


Click to view more photos from this event

The topic at hand during this event was the Handwritten Note, a Celebrated Tradition. The history and the etiquette of the handwritten thank you note are rich with tradition. I am reminded again and again of the importance of a good, handwritten thank you note. It’s impact, presence and statement is undeniable, especially in the digital and fast-paced world of today.

Here are a few points to note on Being Brilliantly Courteous

1. Always have personalized stationery, correspondence cards or fold-overs on hand.
If your collection runs low, reorder early so that you are never caught without a brilliant note to send in response to a gracious gift or kind gesture.

2. Be prompt. Don’t let the moment slip away, or it losses it’s pizazz.
Send the thank you note as soon as you untie the bow, but by etiquette standards you have a window of up to a week to send the thank you note.

3. Be sincere when you write your thank you notes.
Write from your heart and try to capture the essence of the moment you opened the gift or experienced the gesture. Your gratitude will surely shine through when you speak the truth.

4. Choose the right note card style.

Traditional note card styles, based on Emily Post’s “Etiquette Book”:

  • Notepapers
    • Correspondence Cards and Fold-over notes
    • Correspondence cards are normally 4.5 x 6.5 inches
    • Fold-over notes are 3.5 x 5, this is the US Postal Services minimum requirement.
  • Informals
    • 3.5” x 5”
    • Only white or ecru
    • Sometimes with raised frame
    • These are used for writing more formal notes, for issuing invitations and for enclosures
  • Men
    • Standard stationery for men – Monarch Sheet
    • Monarch Sheet is 7.25” x 10.5” inches
  • Women
    • 6” x 8” inches
    • Single page that is folded once to go in the envelope
    • The “Letter Sheet” is the most formal for women
    • It is a double sheet that is folded along the left side and opens like a book
  • Family Stationery
    • Stationery that is suitable for all members of the family has the address, not the name, printed in plain letters at the top.

5. Our rule of thumb for when to write a thank you note.
When you have a received a gift or someone has gone out of their way to do something special for you.