Category: Personal

How to Write a Simple Sincere Thank You Note

how to write thank you note

I work on lots of projects in a very large group. I am always collaborating with several people in order to get things done. One of the things that I have always done well is maintaining positive, productive work relationships. If I could boil my secret down to its most elementary terms it would be" "Please and Thank You". When you need someone else to do something, say please. Be respectful of their time and workload and let them know who much you appreciate their time.

When they take care of it, make sure that you say Thank You. This is even more important than the Please part. You don’t have to go crazy with flowery praise, just let them know that you appreciate their time and effort.

Today a colleague asked me to "help her write one of those nice thank you notes that I’m always sending." She received some valuable help on a project and wanted to let the people know how much it was appreciated.

Here is my secret

When I want to write a simple, effective thank you email to people I use a technique that I learned called Situation Behavior Impact (SBI).

What is SBI?

SBI is a way to deliver positive and "constructive" feedback to people in a concise, effective manner. Think of something good or bad that you need to address with someone. If you break it down into three pieces it is easy to deliver.

When did it happen?
What was taking place?
Who was there?

What did the other person do or say?

What positive or negative impact did the behavior have on the outcome?

Here is an example:
        SITUATION                                                 BEHAVIOR                        IMPACT
During the staff meeting this morning – your software recommendation – helped us find a great solution to our problem.

Change the Behavior and Impact statements and it works for negative situations too.
       SITUATION                                                 BEHAVIOR                        IMPACT
During the staff meeting this morning – your constant interruptions – kept us from covering the full agenda.

They might not like it, but they’ll understand it.

I have given and received good and bad feedback using this method and it usually works very well.

Making it Your Own

Here’s my secret: I usually use the SBI (Situation Behavior Impact) approach when I do my thank you notes.
I just add in my own casual style to make it feel more human.

For instance:

Here is the behavior:
I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated all of the help that you gave me on the "YOUR FAVOR HERE" the other day "EXACT DAY HERE".

Then I drop the Situation into the next part:  (Not "The Situation" from the Jersey Shore, just the regular one.)
Putting together the "YOUR TASK HERE" was pretty rough. Your support made a big difference.

Now here’s where I bring it on home:

I really appreciate the time and energy that you put in.

Count the exclamation points. One – Two – Three. Any less than that makes you an ungrateful taker. Any more and you’re a butt kissing phony.

Here it is all together:

I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated all of the help that you gave me on the "YOUR FAVOR HERE" the other day "EXACT DAY HERE".
Putting together the "YOUR TASK HERE" was pretty rough. Your support made a big difference.
I really appreciate the time and energy that you put in.


That’s it. Three simple sentences make a huge difference. Now, the next time you need a favor, you’ll have someone who is much more willing to help.

By the way: Today, when you took the time to read my article, it made me very happy. Thanks!!!

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100th Article on

A Look at the Past, Present, and Future

I was looking at some information in my site’s dashboard the other day and noticed that I was at my 99th post. Well, that would make this my lucky 100th article. I started on May 16th, 2007 while I was away at a Training & Development convention. That makes 21 months, which equals 4.7 articles per month or 1.1 per week.

100 Articles on

My Favorite Articles

Every now and then I crank out a decent article. Here are a few that I really liked.

Easy Way to Download TV Shows from the Internet

How to Download TV Shows from the Internet (Part 2)

10 Worst TV Spin-Offs of All Time

10 Best TV Spin-Offs of All Time

Reusing an Old PC as a Server Part 1

Reusing an Old PC as a Server (Part 2)

Awesome Adobe Acrobat Alternatives that Will Make Love to your Computer

See How to Upgrade Your Career in a Recession Using Technology

How to Set Up A Testing Server on Your PC

What was I thinking?

Sometimes I think I’m onto something and well, I’m really not. Here are some of my more questionable calls.

What’s the Point to Unlocking the iPhone?

How to Survive a Zombie Attack this Halloween

Driving in a Winter Wonderland – Christmas Lights Overload

The Best Horror Punk Lyrics Ever!!!

What have I learned?

I’ve learned a lot over the last two years. First and foremost, I’m a lousy proofreader. If I ever have a budget to hire anyone, it will surely be a proofreader. I need to take my time to right a thorough article, even if it means getting it out a little slower. Probably the most important thing I learned is that I need to write something useful. People don’t have time to waste, so I need to provide useful tips, reviews, or opinions.

A couple of other things that I learned is that I have to hustle, hustle, hustle. That involves two things: reading a lot and meeting a lot of people. I’m pretty good at the reading part, but I don’t get out to events enough. Gotta work on that.

Where am I going?

I plan to do more tutorials and productivity articles. I’m also going to do product reviews of whatever gadgets come into my life (given this ginormous budget). If you have anything that you would like to read about or see how to do, please write it in the comments or email me. You can find my information on the Contact page.

So, thanks for reading and if you really like it, tell a friend.

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My Trip to the Wine Library

Wine, Food, and a Marketing Lesson

I’m a huge fan of Gary Vaynerchuk’s WineLibrary.TV podcast. The podcast’s goal is “Changing the Wine World” and it’s doing just that. He started the podcast as a way of plugging his store (Wine Library) and he’s turned into an A-list internet podcaster and marketer. I love Gary’s passion and energy for whatever he does. Weather it’s his wine or his beloved New York Jets he does everything at top speed. I like learning about the wine, but I love studying how he approaches his business.


I was watching the podcast on Saturday morning when Gary announced that they were having a huge sale at the store that afternoon. He also mentioned that they were filming a new episode during the event and that fans were welcome to stop by and watch. Perfect, I had company coming over for dinner, so I needed some wine and snacks.

I looked up the directions and headed out. I new it was somewhere in New Jersey, but it ended up being only 20 minutes from my house (586 Morris Avenue | Springfield, NJ 07081).


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The Best Souvenir Ever

Lego Man + Promotional Marketing = Awesome!

lego-1 My daughter recently went on a road trip with her mother to Minnesota to visit some of their family. What’s a teenage girl in Minnesota to do (especially during winter)?

Yep, you guessed it, Mall of America.

My daughter and I have had a hobby of picking up little trinkets wherever we each travel.

At the mall, she was looking for a good souvenir for me. When she stumbled into the Lego Store and found the ultimate souvenir. Or so she thought. She picked me up a Lego scuba diver man on a key chain. It reminder her of one of the Lego sets that we played with when she was little. Then, she saw that you can buy bricks with custom text printed on them.

She picked on up for me with the engraved into it. I love that kid.

The site now has a new mascot.

Get Your Own

Find a Lego store near you.

Get your own custom engraved Lego bricks and figures.

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Weekend Trip to Manchester, Vermont

The Good, the Bad, and the Hippies

Red Covered Bridge in Bennington, VT My wife and I have been a little stressed out lately and decided that we needed a weekend away to unwind. We chose a 4 day weekend in a Bed and Breakfast in Manchester, VT. Sounds lovely and peaceful, right? Think again. Run down, bug infested, ill appointed lodgings along with innkeepers with no customer service led to a craptacular disappointment.

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