“Thank you.”

thank-you-notesTwo words not said enough, by bosses, by spouses, by friends, or by strangers on the street. Well, today we can change that.

Why today? Because it’s Thank You Thursday!

One of my favorite authors, Jon Gordon, wrote about Thank You Thursdays a while back and it is something I have put into practice almost every Thursday without fail.

Every Thursday, I write at least one handwritten thank you note. I usually also send at least one thank you email. That is a minimum of 104 out of the blue, well thought out, intentional “thank yous” every year, usually three to four times that many.

I absolutely believe in the power of the handwritten thank you note. I believe in making the time to write them. I believe in thinking about someone who deserves a “thank you” and thoughtfully writing him or her a note to express my appreciation.

I also believe in making things simple, especially when I am writing five or six in one sitting. Here is the formula I use and an example “thank you” note:

  • Greeting
  • First paragraph: One sentence. “Thank you for…”
  • Second paragraph: Two sentences. What it meant to me, how I will use their help, I couldn’t have done it without you, etc.
  • Third paragraph: One or two sentences. “Thank you again” and any closing remarks.
  • Closing and signature

Here is an example (names have been changed):

Hi Mark,

Thank you so much for the referral to .

I had a great talk with Joe and we are planning another call next week to finalize the contract. I look forward to working with such a great company.

Thank you again and please let me know when you will be in Chicago next. I would love to swing over and catch up over lunch.

All the Best,


Let’s start a Thank You Revolution!


Since I first published this post, I started the Thank You Revolution. You can learn more and join here. I also released my book, Two Powerful Words: Revolutionize Your Work, Your Relationships, and Your Life with the Power of Gratitude! The book is full of inspiring stories, practical tips, and helpful resources to get you started at writing thank you notes and keep you going. You can get your copy here.


How do you say “thank you” to your team, peers, friends, and family?

22 thoughts on “Thank You Revolution by Matt McWilliams | #ThankYouRevolution

  1. Bret Wortman says:

    Nothing says, “Hey, I not only appreciated what you did, but I appreciated it so much that I took the time to grab a piece of stationery and an actual ink-containing vessel and hand wrote a message to you because you rock that much” like a note. Email’s great, and I use it too, but handwritten and mailed notecards carry so much more emotional impact because they’re so rare.

    And they can be pinned up on bulletin boards and shown off and looked at again and again and again….

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      And they can be pinned up on bulletin boards and shown off and looked at again and again and again….”

      And they are. We still have (or at least did for well over a year) a note from Jack Galloway at Lampo congratulating us on our upcoming baby.

      At one company I worked at, I wrote at least one thank you note every month to someone else in the company (there were only 13 people). I believe when I left that at least 6 people had them on their desks. I would see them all the time. Kind of cool.

  2. Jon Stolpe says:

    Wow, what a great idea, Matt. I’m adding Thank You Thursday to my calendar right now.

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      That is awesome Jon! Your relationships will be infinitely better in less than a year!

      1. Jon Stolpe says:

        Just wrote the first note. Thanks again!

      2. Matt McWilliams says:


        A revolution begins…

        Well, it starts somewhere.

      3. Jon Stolpe says:

        The revolution continued yesterday! This morning, my Thank You Thursday recipient came up to me and was so appreciative. Let’s keep this thing going!

      4. Matt McWilliams says:

        I love it Jon! Keep it up.

        Admission: I totally failed yesterday on the handwritten ones. No worries. Friday is just as good and I have the perfect person who deserves one.

      5. Jon Stolpe says:

        I’m thinking that we should start a regular Twitter feature: #ThankYouThursday! It’s way better than #FollowFriday.

      6. Jon Stolpe says:

        That’s pretty wild. I have Jon Gordon’s book, The Seed, on my desk.

      7. Chance Smith says:

        I really like this. You guys just took a idea a made it not just a name for a task every week but action in stone. ….of course with Jon Gordon’s help.
        Liking the benefits of a Thank You is so much easier Matt! It’s a small and difficult task to stay on top of. Matt could you just send me some stationary cards on “Reminding You to Thank Me”!

        I think if I sent those out it would definitely be more thankful.
        Thank you Matt!

  3. Chance Smith says:

    Your One-on-One’s build momentum right in to this topic. The more you know about the team member the less you have to be creative with Thank You cards.

    Do you have a preference to mail the card, in person, or tack it to a board?

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      I’ve done:

      Mail it – to local people, team members, and of course distant people
      Post-it notes on computers or boards
      Under their office door
      Put on refrigerators at office for everyone to see – more of a Way to go than thank you but still
      Sent to their family
      Many more…get creative

  4. Mark Sieverkropp says:

    Man Matt, I’m glad I went back and read this post. I’m so appreciative of the letter that you wrote me 😉 I know you said the names were changed, but we all know you were talking to me! haha.

    What a great idea. I’m excited to start doing this! I read a quote the other day that goes right along with this.

    “The habit of saying thank you is the mark of an educated man or woman.” -Gordon B. Hinckley
    I LOVE that quote, and I have a feeling you will too!

  5. Jana Botkin says:

    Have any of you read “365 Thank Yous” by John Kralik? If you get stuck knowing what to say in a thank you note, you can borrow from him. Great little book, and all those thank yous changed his life. (or changed his attitude, which changed his life)

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      I have not Jana. I am all for stealing ideas in this. 🙂

      If nothing else, it might inspire someone to remember that person they forgot about or give someone an idea to write a special “thank you” to his or her spouse or children or co-worker. At least 20% of the thank you notes I write originate after reading something or hearing something that inspires me, such as hearing/reading other Thank You Revolution stories like the one @marksieverkropp:disqus shared with me yesterday.

      Great idea Jana. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Chip Dizárd says:

    Who needs Throwback Thursdays when you have Thank you Thursdays! Thanks for inspiring me and my students Matt.

  7. David Mike says:

    I looked up my defense attorney, Captain Jokinen on the internet last week, and thanked him for defending me. He remembered me and my case from Dec 1989. He also said, “You don’t get many thank you calls.” I am glad that I called him. I realized that I did not change his name in my story as all the other names are changed. He was cool with me using his real name. I know it was not a handwritten note but I wanted to share this here.

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      In that case, even more powerful than a note David. Well done!

  8. Patty Hansen Kepley says:

    Really glad this popped up in my feed again. My boss, Mark Williams, and I always marvel at how many people write him out thank you cards for sending them birthday and anniversary cards. There is still something great about a tangible card. He’s really great with sending out thank you cards to supporters as well. Great article

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      Mark Williams as in Mark Alan Williams?

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