The topic of thank-you notes has come up a couple of times in the last week, so I'm taking this as a sign from the universe that it's time to channel my granny, Memory Lee Aldridge Lester, and do a quick post on the dern things.
There is no question that you should send a thank-you note when someone does something nice for you. The question arises frequently, however, about what format that note should take. Most baby boomers and above had to write thank-you notes as children and some of us tend to prefer the hand-written variety. We like the effort it shows. But this is the modern world, and for some the old pen and paper seem like the even older (and generally outmoded) chisel and tablet. Today, electronic everything is ubiquitous. Email thank-you notes are more the norm.
Etiquette purists would say that it's the thought that counts, whether you actually write the note or type it. And I embrace that view. But as I'm always saying here, know your audience and its preferences.
A hand-written note still carries weight with any age group, but it definitely sends a positive message to folks on the far side of 40. So if you're writing to someone in that age group, why not do both? I just got a hand-written note from an event coordinator who'd already thanked me via email immediately after the panel. Did I mind? No! I was impressed she did both. As for thank-yous for the younger set, I think their comfort level with email thank-yous is much higher, so type away!
Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to pull out my Crane's and send a few thank-yous.
Find more on manners here.