Etiquette at work

The best stationery for saying thank you

Numerous times I have extolled the virtues of the thank-you note. It sets you apart from the competition. It brings you to the front of the mind of the recipients. And it does so repeatedly, as they are reminded of you each time they see that note.

What, you may wonder, is an appropriate piece of paper on which to write a thank-you note, and, for that matter, what constitutes the kind of stationery a business person should have on hand. In other words, what should be in your stationery drawer?

Corporate letterhead. That’s the formal, 8½-by-11-inch paper with a corporate logo and the company name and address on it. Typically, business letterhead is a high quality sheet of paper, often 24-pound weight to make it feel more substantial in the recipient’s hands. You should also have second sheets, which have nothing printed on them, for letters of more than one page.


Executive sheets. These are smaller — 7¼ inches by 10½ inches. Sometimes referred to as monarch sheets, they are used for more personal business correspondence. Typically, they will be printed with an individual’s name and the business address but not the company name or logo . If used as formal letterhead, remember to order second sheets as well.

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Envelopes. Envelopes that match corporate or executive letterhead have the logo or name and address of the company printed on the face side.

Correspondence cards. These are small, single piece note cards 4½ inches by 6½ inches in size. Your name is the only item printed on these cards. Alternatively, correspondence stationery can be a 9-by-6½-inch sheet folded in half. Your name and address should be printed on matching envelopes.

Business cards. The typical business card is 3½ inches by 2 inches, although you will see people offer nontraditional size cards in the hopes that the card will be more memorable. Often, these cards do not fit in standard size cardholders or wallet slots. The card should contain contact information including name, position, company name, address, and phone number. You can also include cell and fax numbers, e-mail address, website URL, and social networking addresses.

If your name is nongender specific (for instance Adrian or Kelly or Sandy) use a courtesy title (Mr. Adrian Jones or Ms. Kelly Smith) to remove any confusion.

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