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Business Communication  - How to Write a Clear Business Memo

Business communication  -, how to write a clear business memo, business communication how to write a clear business memo.

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Business Communication: How to Write a Clear Business Memo

Lesson 10: how to write a clear business memo.


How to write a clear business memo

write business memo

When you need to update your colleagues on important information or make an announcement at your workplace, a business memo can be an ideal way to address a specific audience in a formal context.

Watch the video below to learn how to write a business memo.

The basics of a business memo

While business memos and emails may look similar at first, a memo has some key differences. Memos are usually more formal than emails and are often used when you need to give your message a more official look. They can also be printed and distributed wherever this message would have the most impact.

Memos can be addressed to a single person or a group, so tailor your message to reflect the concerns of your audience. As with any business document, always remain professional and polite, even if you have to address a negative topic. An official memo is no place to single someone out in a critical way, so focus on facts and constructive plans for the future.

Writing a business memo

Business memos usually begin with a header section that lists recipients and other details in the following format:

Most business memos skip the greeting (such as “Greetings, Ms. Lawson”) and immediately go into the body text. Whenever you start a paragraph in a memo, always put the main point of that paragraph first, as this makes your writing direct and easy to follow.

Generally, memos don’t include a farewell (such as “Sincerely, Tonya”), but it may be appropriate depending on your message or your company’s style. If you do include a farewell, make it brief.

As discussed in the Business Writing Essentials lesson, revision is vital for any quality document. Read over your writing to cut unnecessary material, clarify your main points, and proofread for grammar and factual errors. And before you submit your memo to your audience, consider getting feedback from a colleague to ensure your message is effective and professional.

Examples of business memos

Let’s explore a few business memos to see this lesson in action. We'll start with an example of a poorly written memo.

write business memo

The example above is not acceptable. The body is unclear and rambling, there’s no subject line, and the main point of each paragraph is difficult to find. The message itself is also incredibly unprofessional, especially because it calls out a single person in a negative way.

Now let’s look at a stronger example.

write business memo

This is much better! The body is concise and clear, and the main point is the first sentence in each paragraph. There’s also a strong subject line, and the message stays professional despite sharing negative news.

Whether you’re detailing a new policy change or updating staff on a new procedure, business memos are a powerful way to distribute information among your colleagues. As you practice and study, your memos will become more efficient and polished.



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Writing Business Memos


A business memo is a short document used to transmit information within an organization. Memos are characterized by being brief, direct, and easy to navigate. They are less formal than letters but should maintain a professional, succinct style. Often, the purpose of a business memo is twofold: to identify a problem and propose a solution. Other times, memos may provide or request factual information. 

Business memos are designed to accommodate busy readers who want to find the information they need from the memo quickly and easily. In writing a business memo, you should structure your memo to accommodate three kinds of readers:

Bear in mind that these readers may have different purposes in reading the memo. Often, readers need to make policy and action decisions based on the recommendations. Others may want to obtain specific information (evidence) needed to understand and justify policy and action decisions. Readers may also want to get a sense of your professional ability and judgment.

In determining the purpose and audience of your memo, ask yourself: Who is the intended recipient of this memo? What do I want the recipient to do after reading the memo? What information will the recipient be looking for in the memo? These kinds of questions will help guide your content, structure, and style choices. 


As stated above, an effective business memo is brief, direct, and easy to navigate. The following five writing strategies help readers to navigate business memos easily and quickly:


Though the format for a memo may vary from one organization to another, the standard heading consists of a series of clearly labeled lines that convey key information about the memo’s contents and its distribution. The following are standard elements of a memo header:

Date:                                                               The date on which the memo is distributed

To:                                                                   The person(s) to whom it is primarily addressed

(sometimes with job title)

cc:                                                                    Name(s) of anyone else who receives a copy

From:                                                               Name of the writer, usually followed by his/her

handwritten initials (sometimes with job title)

Subject: or Re:                                                 Concise statement of the memo’s topic

How to Write a Memo [Template & Examples]

Caroline Forsey

Published: November 17, 2022

Free Business Memo Templates

write business memo

Templates to announce an organizational change, update, or solution.

Thank you for downloading the offer.

A memo (also known as a memorandum, or "reminder") is used for internal communications regarding procedures or official business within an organization.

Person writing a memo to their department

Unlike an email, a memo is a message you send to a large group of employees, like your entire department or everyone at the company. You might need to write a memo to inform staff of upcoming events or broadcast internal changes.

→ Download Now: 4 Free Memo Templates [Free Resource]

If you need to inform your employees of official internal business, we’ll show you how to write a memo to better communicate your message. But before we break it down, let’s talk about the many purposes of memos.

What is a memorandum?

A memorandum, or memo, is a document shared with a group of people to disperse information on a task, project, event, or other. The purpose of a memo is to bring immediate attention to that information in a quick and brief manner.

Memorandums are shared to inform readers about new information and have applications for different communities and businesses.

write business memo

Four free templates to communicate these major business updates.

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

Communities can use memos to tell people within it about public safety guidelines, promote various events, raise awareness on subjects that affect their lives.

Businesses can use memos to relay information involving newly updated policy, changes in procedure, or persuade employees to take an action, such as attend an upcoming meeting, convention, or a celebration for organizational milestones.

Next, we'll walk you through writing a memo of your own.

How to Write a Memo

4 Free Memo Templates

Fill out this form to get your templates..

You can put together a memo in a few short steps. All memos should include the following:

1. Write a heading.

No matter what kind of memo you’re writing, you’ll need to include a heading. This section should include who the memo is for (whether an individual or department), the date, who the memo is from, and a subject line.

Your subject line should be, short, attention-grabbing, and give readers a general idea of what the memo is about.

2. Write an introduction.

Your introduction should summarize the purpose of your memo in two to three sentences. It should highlight the issue or problem and the solution you decided to move forward with.

3. Provide background on the issue.

In this section, explain the reasoning behind the memo. For example, it could be changes in the budget, a company restructuring, or a new rollout of procedures. This explanation should provide justification for the changes being implemented.

How to write a memo infographic with steps

4. Outline action items and timeline (Optional).

Depending on the purpose of your memo, you may have action items for employees to complete or provide a timeline of when changes will take place. For example, they may need to complete a task or provide information by a certain deadline. This section should include the following:

If no action is needed on the employee’s behalf, you can leave this section out.

5. Include a closing statement.

Your closing statement will include any information you’d like to reinforce. Are there any specific contacts readers should reach out to for questions? If so, include them here.

6. Review and proofread before sending.

This step may seem like a no-brainer but it's important to review your document before sending it out. Memos are meant to inform readers of upcoming changes and relay important information. You don't want to risk causing confusion with a typo or misstatement.

To begin making your own business memos, here's an easy-to-follow business memo template with examples of how to use them to serve different needs as guidance.

Business Memo Template

I'm writing to inform you that [reason for writing memo].

As our company continues to grow … [evidence or reason to support your opening paragraph].

Please let me know if you have any questions. In the meantime, I'd appreciate your cooperation as [official business information] takes place.

Business Memo Template Format

The business memo template format is designed to effectively communicate your message. A memo should disseminate the necessary information in a way that is easy for a mass number of employees to digest.

An accurate subject line will alert them that this memo is relevant to them specifically. And beginning with an executive summary allows recipients to understand the general message before they dive deeper into the details. The background information offers context to the message, and the overview and timeline should answer questions that are likely to come up.

In your header, you'll want to clearly label your content "Memorandum" so your readers know exactly what they're receiving. As previously mentioned, you'll want to include "TO", "FROM", "DATE", and "SUBJECT". This information is relevant for providing content, like who you're addressing, and why.

Paragraph One:

In the first paragraph, you'll want to quickly and clearly state the purpose of your memo. You might begin your sentence with the phrase, "I'm writing to inform you … " or "I'm writing to request ... ". A memo is meant to be short, clear, and to the point. You'll want to deliver your most critical information upfront, and then use subsequent paragraphs as opportunities to dive into more detail.

Paragraph Two:

In the second paragraph, you'll want to provide context or supporting evidence. For instance, let's say your memo is informing the company of an internal re-organization. If this is the case, paragraph two should say something like, "As our company continues to grow, we've decided it makes more sense to separate our video production team from our content team. This way, those teams can focus more on their individual goals."

Paragraph Three:

In the third paragraph, you'll want to include your specific request of each employee — if you're planning a team outing, this is the space you'd include, "Please RSVP with dietary restrictions," or "Please email me with questions."

On the contrary, if you're informing staff of upcoming construction to the building, you might say, "I'd appreciate your cooperation during this time." Even if there isn't any specific action you expect from employees, it's helpful to include how you hope they'll handle the news and whether you expect them to do something in response to the memo.

Downloadable Memo Template

Want to see the above memo format in its final form? Download HubSpot's free business memo templates , shown below. The document gives you a framework that sorts your memorandum into subtopics to help employees better digest the information and understand what's expected of them after reading it.

Memo template

Memo Examples

Different industries or situations will require slightly different memos. Certain ones will need to be longer or shorter, others may not have a timeline, and some will have extensive background information. The format of your memo should change to fit the message you want your employees to receive.

Launch Delay Memo

Business memo example for launch delay

The objective of this memo is to announce that the launch of a product will be delayed. The introduction includes the new date, so a timeline or long overview isn’t necessary. This format of this memo could be applied to other situations where a simple, but important, change is occurring.

What We Like : The launch memo provides readers with insight behind product launch delays, which can alleviate some frustration that customers or employees may otherwise feel if they were not informed.

Other date changes, promotions, milestones, or product announcements could also utilize this format.

Building Update Memo

Business memo example for building update

There are logistical aspects of a business that concern your employees, but don’t necessarily involve their work. This memo depicts an example of a kitchen remodel in the office. It’s a bit of an inconvenience but not one of a large magnitude.

What We Like : This memo demonstrates a business's understanding of the impact that renovations can have on employees and shows respect and consideration for their needs.

This memo format could be applied to other building updates, work-from-home days, or other widespread but minor announcements.

Community Memo

Business memo example for community announcement

Celebrations, events, theme days, or other fun things for your employees can also be communicated through memos. Community memos like this example are generally shorter because they don’t require much background information or many details.

What We Like : This memo has clear directions on where to find the event taking place, something which would’ve been less effective if it only would’ve included the floor number.

Memos of this nature should include a summary, date, and location at minimum.

Persuasion Memo

business memo example for persuasion memo

Persuasion memos are used to encourage readers to take action regarding an event or proposition, like voting or petitioning.

What We Like : This persuasion memo prioritizes giving the reader information to learn on their own and make a decision based on their findings.

The main components of the persuasion memo should include an overview of the task at hand, context to learn more about it, and a call to action that emphasizes the impact the reader can potentially make.

Write Your Memos To the Point

The main difference between a memo and just an email is not the level of complexity, it’s the size of the audience. A memo can be simple or intricate, as long as it effectively communicates your message and is relevant to the receiving group of employees. And the message itself should be clear and concise, no matter which memo format you use.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in October 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Templates for an organizational change, financial update, problem-solving, or general business memorandum.

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How to Write a Business Memo

Learn how to effectively communicate your ideas, decisions, requests, and announcements to your team.

A memo, or memorandum, is one of the most common forms of business communication. While the way memos are distributed has changed – emails have taken the place of printed notes and physical company notice boards – they still play a crucial role in keeping all employees on the same page.

Let's dive deeper into what a business memo is and how to write it effectively.

What is a business memo?

Business memo format, how to write a business memo, business memo template.

A memo is a note or a document distributed within an organization to share information . The term comes from the Latin word "memorandum", meaning "notable" or "memorable".

Memo template

Memos are often used to effectively communicate ideas, decisions, requests, or announcements to large groups of employees, like your entire department or everyone at the company – for example, a new internal policy introduction, a reminder the clean the shared breakroom, or an invitation to attend a staff party.

A memo allows companies to disseminate information and communicate with their teams asynchronously , without having to schedule extra meetings or communicate important announcements one line at a time on Slack.

Here is an example of a business memo created in Nuclino , a unified workspace for all your team's knowledge, docs, and projects:

Sample business memo

A memo in a business wiki (created in Nuclino )

Nuclino can be a great solution for sharing memos and collaborating on documents , but it can serve equally well as an internal knowledge base , a project management tool , a technical documentation tool , and more. It works like a collective brain, allowing you to bring all your team's work together and collaborate without the chaos of files and folders, context switching, or silos.

Manage projects in Nuclino

Although they can take different forms, business memos are always brief, clear, single-subject documents. They follow a simple structure and usually include the following sections:

Date: Include the full date of the memo.

To: Include each recipient’s name and job title. If you're addressing a group – a team, a department, or the entire company – simply state the name of the group.

From: Include your name and title.

Subject: Keep the subject brief and clear.

Body: Concisely summarize the issue.

The tone of business memos tends to be fairly friendly and informal. A signature is usually not included, but it may be appropriate depending on your message or your company’s style.

When it comes to writing memos, there are several simple dos and don'ts to keep in mind:

Get to the point immediately. Structure the memo so that the most important information comes in the beginning. Don't write detailed introductions or give extensive overviews of the topic, start with the reason you are writing this memo.

Use bullet points. If you have several issues to cover, structure them as a bulleted list. This will make your memo easier to read and digest.

Use headings. If the memo is longer than one paragraph, consider dividing the body into several sections to allow the readers to quickly scan the contents.

Be succinct. Keep the memo focused on one main point. If you want to provide your readers with more information, link to other resources and keep the document no longer than 1-2 pages.

Use a template: When you find a format that works for your company or your team, stick to it and use it consistently. Create a memo template and share it with your colleagues.

Don't print it out: Avoid distributing printed out memos – you will end up with important memos buried under other paperwork on your employees' desks and outdated memos creating confusion. Instead, share the memo online, for example, through your internal wiki or company intranet .

Don't discard old memos: Another good reason to have a dedicated tool for your memos – such as a wiki or knowledge base software – is that it gives you one central place to organize all your memos. Chances are, you may want to revisit an old memo in the future, and you wouldn't want to waste any time hunting through your inbox.

If your company doesn't have a team wiki , you can easily create one in Nuclino . Nuclino is a collaborative workspace that will not only make it easy to share memos with your team, but also allow your colleagues to give their input.

Your team can ask questions and share their feedback directly in the document, so that you can be sure your memo got the message across. Use comments and mention individual members or groups to send them a notification and grab their attention.

Business memo example with feedback

Make sure to create a template for your memos and have it used by the entire team. If all your memos have a consistent style and structure, they will be much easier to write and understand.

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to writing memos, but most companies use a similar format. Copy and customize this memo template for your own team:

Business memo example

Business memo template (created in Nuclino )

Writing memos may seem like a trivial task, but it's a fundamental part of internal communication for every organization.

If the memo doesn't reach its intended audience or is written in an unclear way, it may end up creating confusion and resulting in unnecessary meetings just to get everyone on the same page. When done correctly, however, a memo can be one of the most effective ways to share information and keep your team aligned.

Nuclino : Your team's collective brain


Nuclino brings all your team's knowledge, docs, and projects together in one place. It's a modern, simple, and blazingly fast way to collaborate, without the chaos of files and folders, context switching, or silos.

Create a central knowledge base and give your team a single source of truth.

Collaborate in real time or asynchronously and spend less time in meetings.

Manage and document your projects in one place without losing context.

Organize, sort, and filter all kinds of data with ease.

Integrate the tools you love , like Slack, Google Drive, Figma, Lucidchart, and more.

Ready to get started?

How to Write a Business Memo (With Examples)

write business memo

“A memorandum is not written to inform the reader, but to protect the writer,” as former US Secretary of State Dean Acheson quipped satirically, taking a dig at governmental bureaucracy. His actual point is that whilst memos should absolutely be written to inform readers, they often provide little to no value.

Ineffective memos arise when those writing haven’t truly grasped the actual purpose of this specific kind of correspondence. It’s crucial to know what situations merit a memorandum, as well as the associated rules. Otherwise, you’re just adding to the pile of pointless paperwork.

Becoming adept with this type of internal communication is an essential skill, one which can aid you in many aspects of work and career. If you’re looking to brush up on how to write a business memo, we’ve got you covered.

3 of The Greatest Business Memos of All Time

An immeasurable amount of memos are sent daily, so of course there are plenty of great examples out there. Some rise above the rest, however, showing precisely how informative, persuasive or inspiring a simple page or two can be.

Some memos even become cultural documents, a still-shot into the specific time and place of a company or industry. 

Here are our entries into the memo hall of fame:

1. Bill Gates on Surfing the Internet Tidal Wave

write business memo

In 1995, aka the infancy of the digital world, Microsoft CEO Bill Gates sent out an executive memo on an impending internet tidal wave. 

Aside from being an interesting glimpse into history, this document serves as an outstanding example of what a memo is designed to do.

“In this memo, I want to make clear that our focus on the Internet is crucial to every part of our business,” reads an introductory paragraph. Each section is tied together to this central theme, making the memo a relevant, coherent discussion that actually adds value to recipients.

The text is filled with technical information presented (crucially) in context . Gates first touches on the conception of the internet, before moving along to subheadings ‘The Internet Today’, ‘Competition’, ‘Next Steps’, and finally ‘The Future’.

And how does Gates finish up? Exactly as he should, courteously leaving the door open for suggestions: “I am looking forward to your input on how we can improve our strategy to continue our track record of incredible success.”

2. Howard Schultz on the Overexpansion of Starbucks

write business memo

A year after his return as CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz penned a memo to discuss the consequences of an overly-ambitious strategy, i.e. the rapid rate at which the company grew. Masterfully, it takes only two paragraphs for us to gauge exactly how this document is going to read, an absolute must for a memo hall of famer.

He details specific business decisions that came under the previous strategy, providing his opinions on the reason they went ahead and the results. The writer does not scold specific people, nor does he smugly look back in hindsight and say “Why on Earth did they do that ?”

Instead, the memo follows, “Now that I have provided you with a list of some of the underlying issues… let me say at the outset that we have all been part of these decisions.” By presenting his thoughts this way, he’s far more likely to engage his readers, which is obviously a prerequisite for them to offer further insight and resolutions.

It’s just two pages long, yet Schultz manages to go through the company’s largest problem, unite his workers and inspire them to “push for innovation and do the things necessary to once again differentiate Starbucks from all others.”

3. The YouTube Investment Memo

write business memo

As part of the Viacom International Inc. v. YouTube, Inc. 2010 court case, an internal memo outlining the YouTube investor pitch was disclosed. It just goes to show that excellent memos come in all shapes and sizes, providing you know what you’re doing.

The document is expertly formatted, rich with pertinent information, attractive visual data, and more bullet points than an arms factory. Once again, we see details in appropriate context, so that readers better understand the weight of the ideas explored.  

“Video is a natural next step, and YouTube is well positioned to capture the lead,” one section reads. Whether investors believed that or not on the day, this memo serves as the prime example of how to structure arguments and supporting data, as well as proof for the immense versatility of this kind of business writing.

Using Friday Posts to Write a Business Memo

If writing a memo still sounds like a daunting task, there are various tools you can use to make the process more convenient. Certain word processors feature business memo templates, whilst countless samples can be downloaded from elsewhere online.

Alternatively, teams and businesses already using Friday as their digital communication hub use Posts as an integrated memo writing solution.

Friday is a company communication tool that is your home for the most important things

With Posts , you can make company announcements, and bring team discussion out of the noisier team chat apps.

It's the perfect way to communicate internally--and asynchronously. See the video below for a look at how it works.

​​ Use Friday for free. No credit card required.

What are the Different Types of Memos?

The word ‘memo’ is not particularly intimidating at first sight. After all, it does sound like some helpful robot in an upcoming sci-fi franchise. One the other hand, ‘memorandum’ seems a little more elevated, which illustrates the huge difference between formal and informal writing.

The particular words, grammar, and stylistic conventions used to express formality is known as register in the writing world. Aside from being sensitive to that, it’s important to understand the various types of memo you can create and their respective characteristics.

1. Progress Memo

Progress memos are found everywhere, since companies regularly use them to report on specific project status as well as quarterly/annual performance. Since progress memos are created so frequently, organizations usually maintain a template and guidelines for better continuity and efficiency.

In many cases, progress reports and memorandums are used in conjunction with one another. However, it is possible to save time by writing the weekly status report as a progress memo. Above all, progress memos provide information, though they are also an opportune place to make requests or suggestions that could aid your project.

2. Suggestion Memo

Managers or executives solicit suggestion memos from employees as means to resolve specific problems, or more generally gain insight into the workings of their organization. These types of memo are immensely valuable as they empower workers to think creatively, which can drive innovation as well as expose inefficiency.

When you’re offering a solution to a problem, you’ll need to include any relevant research to support your ideas. More general advice can be supported by personal experience, too. Suggestion memos make solid arguments regarding future actions, so they should be written analytically and authoritatively.

3. Request Memo

Request memorandums are composed as a way of persuading others to approve what you’re asking for. For instance, convincing your boss to increase a project budget. You should be clear and direct when making a request, where the rationale behind the proposal is easy to follow.

Any resources and expenses required should also be made apparent. These types of memo demand the use of persuasive language, which primarily means giving plenty of benefits for approving the request.

There are various other reasons for drafting up a memo, including detailed meeting notes, team updates , company policy changes, technical explanations, and formal communications. Considering that memorandum literally comes from the Latin for remember ( memorare) , they are used to create an official record of any subject worth revisiting,

Parts of a Memo

Even though memos aren’t all created equal, there are universal guidelines of how you break down such documents. It’s useful to think of your memo in terms of the following elements:

1. Introduction

Just as in fiction writing, the introduction is the opportunity to set the scene. For memos, this relates your header information, including names of recipient and sender, date posted and a very brief description of the statement or purpose.

Say you’re making a request to attend a conference that you believe is valuable to you work. “Conference” is a poor heading, largely because it’s not clear what’s being discussed. Alternatively, “Attending Expo2022 Conference for Management Strategy” tells your reader the initial details they need for the text.

Quick Tips:

2. Main Body

It is absolutely paramount to include background context of the memo subject. For instance, a suggestion memo is typically centered on a problem that needs to be resolved. When you don’t have preliminary context, your arguments appear weaker, thus you should begin by evaluating the question, rather than just presenting an answer.

Say your boss asks for your suggestions on effective workplace communications , presumably wanting to streamline internal messaging as means to increase efficiency. A well-crafted memo will begin by addressing the issue, which could involve comparing your company against organizational averages, outlining main causes for communication issues, and presenting the best data for driving your suggestions.

3. Summary (and Sign-off)

A summary is essentially the restating of key information in a pleasing conclusive manner. You first begin by consolidating your main points, which reminds the recipients what they should take from your memo. Next, provide recommendations on the next stage, which allows readers to turn your ideas into actionable steps.

With your closing remarks, you also explain how others should contact you on the subject. You may write something general, like “Let me know if you have any questions/ideas,” or preemptively set a time by saying “I will contact you on Friday at 2pm.” Though only a line or two, this element is highly valuable as it promotes further discussion.

Of course, you’ll need to sign off, which you can do by once again including your name and title, along with your full contact information. Whether or not you feature a signature will depend on the formality of the memo. For example, having the business owner email signature shows professionalism.

4. Supplementary Material 

Any references you’ve used throughout the memo, along with the necessary documentation a recipient will need to go forward, is provided at the end of your writing. Even if you embed visual aids in the memo, it’s best to include them in this section too.

How to Write a Memo Worth Reading

A business memo is an exceptionally versatile communication, so you can easily use them to update your boss on progress, make a brilliant suggestion, and request extra resources all in one week. Regardless of what you’re writing for, the key determiners for whether a memo is worth reading or not is clarity and relevance .

With that in mind, here are some extra tips on how to write a business memo:

Final Words on How to Write a Business Memo

Although memorandums might seem scary, they really aren’t. Fundamentally, they are a means of expressing oneself in a very particular fashion. As soon as you get used to the rules, memos can be used for innumerable business applications. For instance, long-term clients may feel more comfortable with a memo rather than a business letter.

In any case, business memos are an essential tool in the professional communication kit, allowing an individual, team or organization to convey themselves respectfully and eloquently. Ditch never-ending email threads for more productive channels and your team is sure to get the memo.

write business memo

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Chatgpt acts like a devious coworker: ‘it doesn’t own mistakes, but it admits them when you point them out’, quentin fottrell, a lawyer who used generative artificial intelligence to write a legal brief was forced to apologize. it’s just the tip of the ai iceberg., if chatgpt were your office assistant, what would it look like.

Roni Rosenfeld said he would never dream of using ChatGPT at work, but he understands how it could be tempting, and — yes — even useful for others. Maybe. Just don’t expect it to be accurate, uphold your company’s policies, or even do exactly what it’s told.

ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence search engine, is a product of OpenAI, and made its free, public debut last December. It can solve problems, write memos, produce creative writing and some claim it can even be employed by financial advisers to pick stocks.

But critics say it’s rife with errors, biases, and cultural tropes gleaned from the people that inspired it. AI, they say, could open companies to allegations of discrimination in employment practices and, rather than replace menial tasks, lead slackers to use it for jobs that require human creativity and oversight.

Rosenfeld, a professor of machine learning at Carnegie Mellon University, recently asked GPT4, a $20-a-month premium version of the AI software, to write a poem to his wife, a technology entrepreneur, to celebrate their wedding anniversary selecting from about 70 chosen words. 

The words included: “Automobile. Good. Wedding. Groom. Relax. Bride. Vacation. Husband. Dress. Ocean.” On each attempt, he asked it to be more humorous, more whimsical, more forward-looking and even something “a little less cheesy,” among other instructions . 

“ ‘It’s trained explicitly to appear helpful and informative, to give answers that people would like.’ ”

The AI platform spun into action. But GPT-4 at first used more than the words he suggested. He had to point out the errors, and ask it to abide by his original instructions. “It doesn’t own mistakes, but it admits them when you point them out,” Rosenfeld told MarketWatch. 

It’s a chilling reminder that AI, in its latest incarnation as ChatGPT, is the online engineer who might cut corners; who takes inspiration from other people’s work’ and who can concoct a mince pie of suggestions and facts — and a combination of inaccurate aggregations, lies and fiction.

Rosenfeld employed AI to complete a task, but it took a lot of coaxing, even for a low-risk venture like a love poem. It proved to be a highly efficient slacker, not something or someone he would recommend as an honest candidate, even if it was a highly efficient one.

Earlier this month, Steven A. Schwartz, a lawyer with the firm Levidow, Levidow & Oberman, admitted to a Manhattan federal judge that he had used ChatGPT to compile a 10-page brief for a client who was suing an airline, alleging he was injured when he was struck by a metal serving cart during a flight.

The legal brief contained cases — Miller v. United Airlines, Petersen v. Iran Air and Varghese v. China Southern Airlines — that had no basis in reality, according to the New York Times , which first reported on the case. In fact, it contained half-a-dozen bogus cases. Schwartz reportedly asked ChatGPT if the cases were real and, despite the fictitious cases, it verified them.

Roni Rosenfeld and his wife.

In an affidavit, Schwartz told the judge that he “greatly regrets” using AI for legal research and “will never do so in the future without absolute verification of its authenticity.” The lawyer took full and sole responsibility for submitting false information.

ChatGPT is not the most reliable assistant. As Rosenfeld discovered: “It’s not trained to give correct answers. It’s trained explicitly to appear helpful and informative, to give answers that people would like. It’s not surprising that it’s become very good at being impressive.”

Not everyone agrees. MarketWatch columnist Peter Morici believes ChatGPT and its rivals will continue to evolve to a point where it will mimic many jobs. “Creating tools that can help lawyers draft briefs and programmers write code more quickly, automate aspects of white collar and managerial critical thinking and  assist with elements of creative processes  offers huge business opportunities.”

“It passed a tough  undergraduate microbiology exam . and  graduate law and business school exams  from the Universities of Minnesota and Pennsylvania,” Morici recently wrote . “It’s been  paired with the email program of a dyslexic businessman   to assist with clearer communications that helped him land new sales.” He said it will free up people to do more nuanced and sophisticated tasks.

But even if it does work with increasing accuracy, should you rely on it? Use ChatGPT at work at your peril, experts warn, even if it’s for something as simple as writing or editing a memo, and even if the result is accurate. “It’s a laziness alarm,” said Aram Sinnreich, co-author of “ The Secret Life of Data,” a nonfiction book he co-authored with Jesse Gilbert.

“ ‘It’s a crisis that people have very little faith in the authenticity or humanity of their professional field.’ ”

If you are using AI to write that report and meet your deadline? “It’s like waving a red flag,” Sinnreich told MarketWatch. “If a skilled, experienced professional uses AI to generate their professional output, it’s a sign that their field is stultified and repetitive. That’s a much bigger crisis.”

“It’s a crisis that people have very little faith in the authenticity or humanity of their professional field, that they don’t believe their labor is valuable,” Sinnreich added. “I would never use it because I care about what I’m saying.”

“The experience of researching and writing it is why I’m doing it, because I’m invested in the process and the product,” he said. “Using ChatGPT is, in itself, an epiphenomenon of bureaucracy and the commercialization of human expression.”

That’s a big statement, but he breaks it down, giving this example: a “phenomenon” is that fast-food menus are more unhealthy than, say, 30 years ago — according to some studies — but an “epiphenomenon” is that bad diets are associated with a higher risk of diabetes.

Some workers claim they’ve used ChatGPT on the down-low to organize data in an Excel-friendly manner or chat with their boss online . “All of these people are sneakily adopting ChatGPT in their jobs,” Sinnreich said. “They are focused on the product — not the process.”

“ ChatGPT’s blandness can be an advantage, if you wish to remove emotion from an email or memo. ”

“They believe that their labor doesn’t matter, and they’re rubber-stamping the rhetoric of some higher authority and feeling alienated by their jobs,” he said. “It’s almost a cry for help. It’s a sign that their fields are not making them feel valid or valuable or personally engaged.” 

Others say there’s room for using ChatGPT and similar AI technology at work — in very limited circumstances. Luis A.N. Amaral, a professor at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., who led the data science initiative at the university, sees some benefits. 

“As the accuracy of AI gets better and better, it will become progressively harder for people to avoid the temptation to rely on it, with rare but inevitable bad consequences,” he said. What’s more, there is obviously not just one kind of AI. ChatGPT is a specific form of AI called “Generative AI”, or GAI, which emerged very recently, and which relies on Large Language Models (LLMs), Amaral said.

Older forms of AI have been with us for several decades, including recommendation systems, face recognition, and candidate ranking, etc.  “These older forms of AI don’t have the ‘look and feel’ of human interaction, and don’t create the impression of truly human-like intelligence,” he said.

ChatGPT’s blandness can be an advantage, if you wish to remove emotion from an email or memo. If you have problems putting words down on paper, if you can’t view a situation objectively, or if you are afraid that you could come off as defensive, you could, in theory, use it to write a friendly, non-threatening email to your boss, Amaral added. But proceed with caution.

Here’s a “fake” letter to a manager filled with grievances:

To whom it may concern:

I’ve been an employee of this company who was worked tirelessly and without complaint in the face of rising costs and dwindling resources for five years, and during that time I have done my utmost to be the best financial adviser I could be for our clients, even when those clients were difficult and downright rude to me. I have often wanted to tell them where to go, but I have bitten my tongue, and told myself that to be the bigger person. 

However, I feel like my current salary does not reflect my seniority or all the extra hours I have put in without being asked. If you passed this office building at night and saw a light on, chances are that would be me. I would like to meet with you to discuss my progress. At this point, I am at my wit’s end. I hope we can resolve this satisfactorily. If you want to know the kind of pressure we are put under here, ask Helen in Accounting. If she sang like a canary, we’d all listen.

While neither this version nor the ChatGPT version (below) is exactly perfect, the latter version followed several attempts by ChatGPT to reword the letter in a nicer way — with instructions to remove any hint of resentment, self-pity, rude words and, finally, any mention of other colleagues.

Here’s an edited version of ChatGPT’s attempt:

I have been dedicated to serving this company for five years, consistently demonstrating hard work and resilience in the face of various challenges. Throughout my tenure, my primary focus has been providing exceptional financial advice to our clients, regardless of any difficult interactions or rude behavior directed towards me. Despite occasional moments of frustration, I have always maintained a professional demeanor.

However, I believe that my current salary does not adequately reflect my level of experience or the additional hours I have willingly invested in my work. Often, I find myself working late into the night. I kindly request a meeting with you to discuss my professional progress and compensation. I am more than willing to provide insight from my own experiences. Together, we can explore ways to address these pressures and find a mutually satisfactory resolution.

Amaral does not recommend using AI to write, rewrite or edit anything more perfunctory than a work memo, in the same way you would use a spellcheck, and even then he recommends proceeding with caution. Using it for a resignation letter is a no-no. As is an email requesting a pay raise (like the one above).

“You shouldn’t expect it to understand anything, or to produce anything that is reliable or truthful, because it is just picking up stuff at random,” he said. Like an autonomous car, it may be correct some or most of the time, but if you allow it full rein (or to reign over you) expect accidents.

“ ‘The consequences of asking these stochastic parrots to take on important functions are pretty bad.’ ”

Should a financial adviser use AI to pick stocks? “ No! You should not do that,” Amaral said. “You’re throwing dice on which stocks to buy. It’s not going to be aggregating reliable information, and it’s not going to create documents that have an understanding of the world.”

If you’re a counselor, should you use ChatGPT to provide advice? Or, for that matter, an advice column ? Or how about scientific research? His answer is no, no, and no. “The consequences of asking these stochastic parrots to take on important functions are pretty bad,” Amaral said. 

There is one other big risk of using AI at work or anywhere for that matter — from human resources choosing candidates for a job or a boss outlining his mission statement to a sales representative refining their pitch: the internet is swimming in conscious and unconscious bias.

AI operates like social-media algorithms on steroids, feeding your information and misinformation supplied by an imperfect human race. “These systems are fundamentally biased because of the underlying politics of machine learning,” Sinnreich said. 

“Therefore, swapping AI generation for human expression creates reinforced biases in reiterative ways and amplifies them,” he added. “It’s like a feedback loop, like putting a microphone next to an amplifier. One single note drowns out everything else.”

“A little bias quickly grows into a huge bias in the same way that a little sound turns into a huge screech. I’ve had AI write different kinds of stories about different ethnicities and boy, oh, boy do those stories turn out differently,” he said. “The algorithms create an ugly funhouse mirror .”

Our biases get fed back into the system, and create even bigger biases. In fact, Sinnreich said that social-media algorithms and computer-generated polling are already being used in politics, advertising and consumer research. If you’re not using it at work, others already are.

“We are entering an era when any mediated communication is going to be presumptively AI-generated,” he said. “The whole world is becoming Captcha. You identify a staircase so it gets better at generating fake staircases. ChatGPT fills in the gaps in genuine expertise with credible bullshit, and it’s not going to stop anytime soon.”

This brings us back to that New York lawyer’s apology in a Manhattan courtroom last Thursday for using AI to create a 10-page legal brief. “The court is presented with an unprecedented circumstance,” Manhattan federal Judge P. Kevin Castel wrote in a court document on May 4. Schwartz now faces a court hearing on June 8 to discuss possible sanctions.

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How to write a memo for effective communication (with template)

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A memo is a document or message sent to an entire team, department, or organization to inform teams about what is happening in the company. Memos are great for notifying employees about new policies or best practices, requesting project feedback , summarizing action plans, and more. Learn how to create an effective memo and when to use one.

Effective communication is super important. But you also want to make sure it's easy to digest. Having a templatized way to do that can not only make it easier to create communication—but also for your employees to digest it.

Our guide covers what a memo is, when to send one, how to create the format, and tips for writing a memo effectively. Then, use our free memo template to give you a roadmap to success.

What is a memo?

[Inline illustration] what is a memo (infographic)

A memo, also known as a memorandum, communicates information throughout an organization. Unlike a one-on-one message, memos usually have a larger audience.

This letter is usually sent to an entire team , department, or organization to inform employees about things happening in the company. A memo can be about any important topic with wide-scale relevance, from a policy change to new clients to budget cuts.

This type of communication can be created and sent electronically or printed as a physical handout. Even if you know everyone in your chain of communication, keeping these documents polite and professional is important. When in doubt, omit the emojis, texting language, and abbreviations to make your message come across more professional.

Reasons to send a memo

There are many reasons someone would send out a memo instead of a regular email. While an email is a casual form of communication, a memo is more official and becomes part of the company record. 

Employees take memos more seriously. As a result, memos tend to be much more effective with cross-organizational communication. We’ve outlined some of the most common reasons below.

A memo can:

Explain policy changes

Announce upcoming meeting agendas or events

Announce budget cuts

Summarize action plans

Describe the onboarding of new clients

Detail minutes from a meeting

Request recommendations or feedback

Notify employees of a company problem or solution

Sending an electronic memo to groups of employees is beneficial because it gives them a centralized location to view company details. Everyone receives the same information at the same time instead of hearing it through the grapevine.

How to format a memo

There are several ways to structure a memo, but most memos have the same formatting elements. Feel free to customize your memo template to match the tone and content of the message you want to send.

First things first: get off on the right foot by starting your memorandum with a great subject line. The best memo subject lines should be as specific as possible.

For example, instead of labeling your memo letter as “Company Event,” make the subject line “Annual Holiday Party: Date and Details.”

A clear subject line lets people know exactly what your memo describes before opening it. It also makes finding the memo easier because that means employees won’t have multiple memos with the same subject line in their inbox.

There are several key factors you should include in your memo heading. Always have the date, who you’re sending it to, and who the memo is from. This information will provide context about the message’s contents. 

Body message

The body of the memo captures the main purpose of the message. Use the opening paragraph to state precisely what the rest of the document will be about. Keep the beginning section short to get your message across most effectively. 

Paragraph 1 : Use statements such as “I am writing to inform you” and “I am requesting information on” at the beginning of this paragraph. This first paragraph should include the most important information in the memo. 

Paragraph 2 : The second paragraph will give you a chance to provide additional details and dive more into the topic.

Paragraph 3 : Your third paragraph is where you give your request. An example of this would be asking a department for feedback on a project , or to RSVP to a company event by a certain date.  

Some memos don’t have an ask associated with the information you present. If this is the case, then you can use that space as an opportunity to thank your colleagues for their time.

Before sending a memo to your coworkers, check your mass communication policy at your company. Some companies will require additional steps, such as adding your organization’s logo, company name, or having standardized font sizes. You might also need to get approval or permission before sending it out.

Tips for writing a memo

Now that you know what to include in your memo, it’s time to hone in on the correct tone and formatting. Below are some tips to keep in mind when writing an effective business memo.

Keep a professional tone : Always keep your tone professional, but feel free to tailor it to your audience and objective.

Avoid acronyms and abbreviations : Spell out acronyms and abbreviations so all recipients can understand your message.

Keep your memo to one page : Try to fit your copy into three paragraphs to briefly get your point across.

Use attachments when necessary : Feel free to add attachments or flyers to give additional context to your memo if needed.

Think about your target audience : Change the message of your email depending on who you’re writing to.

Keep formatting consistent : Maintain the same font, paragraph structure, punctuation, and grammar throughout the piece.

Stay clear and concise : Make your request or announcement at the beginning of the memo document.

Remain objective : Stick to the facts and refrain from personal bias when writing a business document.

By following these tips and knowing what to include, you can create a professional and concise memo time and time again.

Types of memos

[Inline illustration] types of memos (infographic)

There are three memo styles: suggestive, confirmation, and request. The general format and business writing style remain similar among the three types of memos. The difference lies in looking at your audience, tone, and object. 

Suggestive memo

Sending a suggestive memo is a great way to find solutions to company problems. They often encourage creative thinking , brainstorms , and group discussions. 

When you’re sending a suggestive memo, it’s best to use positive and encouraging language. This language will help to get your coworkers excited to find out-of-the-box ideas.

Example: Send a suggestive memo if you’re an advertising agency looking for a group discussion on new ideas for a brand campaign.

Confirmation memo

Use confirmation memos to confirm verbal agreements by putting them in writing. Make sure to highlight the important aspects of the agreement between the parties, so everyone has a clear understanding of the objectives.

End the memo document by asking the other party if they need additional clarification or need to change any details. This will help avoid any mix-ups or misunderstandings once the project begins.

Example : If you are a team lead of a marketing team, you may send a confirmation memo to your company’s DevOps team while collaborating on a project. It would cover the project deliverables , make sure all stakeholders understand the project scope , and ensure no one has any questions.

Request memo

A request memo is a document or email you can send your company when you have a request. Start this type of memo by justifying why you need a request completed.

Keep your tone professional and persuasive when you give your recommendations for how to solve the problem. While this type of language is always recommended in memos, it’s especially important in request memos.

Example: You would send a request memo if you are a human resources manager and are requesting employees to fill out their insurance information before a deadline.

Memo template

Use our memo template to organize your document and create a successful message each time. When you send out your memorandum, make sure to effectively fill out your subject line, header, and body message.

[Inline illustration] annual holiday party memo (example)

Project management tools and memos will help you streamline communication

Using a memo template will help you communicate with everybody in your company. Combining it with a project management tool can help you keep all of your memos in one place and allows you to easily send memos to lots of stakeholders and team members. You can even connect memos directly to action items to bring these to-dos and messages to life.

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How to Write a Business Memo

Last Updated: May 26, 2023 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Elaine Lou Cartas . Elaine Lou Cartas is an award-winning Business & Executive Career Coach and the CEO of Elaine Lou Coaching, based in Los Angeles, California. With over 10+ years of professional experience, Elaine guides women of color, and allies, who’ve established themselves in leadership and executive roles to create a holistic life so they can lead without sacrificing their well-being. She was awarded #1 Thought Leader by LA Weekly + Top 5 Business Coaches by Apple News for 2023. Her career advice has also been featured in Fobes, Business Insider, Money Magazine, and LinkedIn News. Elaine is also the host of the Color Your Dreams Podcast (https://elainelou.com/coloryourdreams/). Elaine received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Sociology from the University of California, Irvine; and her Master's in Leadership and Management at the University of La Verne. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 20 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,387,327 times.

A memorandum is a type of document used for internal communication between company employees. Memos are a time-tested aspect of the business world and, when written properly, help keep everything running smoothly.

Sample Memos

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Making Language and Formatting Choices

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Preparing to Write Your Business Memo

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Composing Your Business Memo

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About This Article

Elaine Lou Cartas

To write a memo, start by placing the word ‘Memorandum’ at the top of a page. Follow this up with a header that includes TO:, FROM:, DATE:, and SUBJECT: lines. When you’re ready to write, compose an intro paragraph stating the purpose of the memo, then add between 2 to 4 paragraphs of related information. If necessary, you can break up the text with bullet points or subheadings. To finish your letter, write a closing paragraph that tells readers if they need to take further action. For tips on structuring your memo and using effective language, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to Write a Business Memo

How to Write a Business Memo

3-minute read

A memo (or memorandum) is a short document designed for internal communication. If you need to inform your employees or co-workers of something, for instance, you may need to write a business memo. But how does this work? In this post, we look at the basics.

Header Information

A business memo should identify itself, so use the heading “MEMORANDUM” at the top. After that, you need to include four things:

So if we had to contact our proofreaders , our memo might begin:

Memo Header

The recipients will then be able to see whether it applies to them.

Part One: Your Main Point

Begin your memo by clearly explaining why you are sending it. It is vital to get to the point quickly here, so focus on the most important details and save in-depth information for later.

Part Two: Supporting Evidence

The second – and probably longest – part of your memo will be a more detailed explanation of the subject of the memo. This may include:

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Ideally, this should be no more than a paragraph or two. If you find you have a lot of information to communicate, you may need to write a full business report . However, you can use a memo to draw attention to a longer document (e.g., by attaching a file or including a URL).

Part Three: Closing Statement

End your memo with a brief closing statement. If applicable, this should include what you want the recipients to do in response to the memo (e.g., a course of action or submitting information). Alternatively, it can simply be a short summary of the key information from the memo.

Tips on How to Write a Business Memo

When writing a business memo , make sure to:

Finally, we’ve created an example memorandum to show you what yours might look like. And don’t forget to ensure your memo is error free by having it checked by a professional proofreader .

Business Memo

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Communication propels a business’ productivity . One technique that many companies use to communicate internally is writing memos. Most people have heard the term “memo” before but are unsure of the formatting this professional exchange requires. We will go over what a memo is, how to format it, and provide examples so your next memo can be perfect. Key Takeaways: The four types of memos are: Information inquiry A call to action Progress updates Confirmation Your memo should be kept to a paragraph or two and the information should be direct and straightforward. The best way to keep your message short and direct is to use bullet points for all of your information. In This Article    Skip to section What Is a Memo? How to Format a Memo Types of Memos Memo Templates and Examples Tips for Writing a Business Memo How To Write a Memo FAQ Sign Up For More Advice and Jobs Show More What Is a Memo?

An office memorandum, often shortened to memo, is a method of communicating basic information and alerts to co-workers or employees within a company. Usually, memos are sent out to multiple people to bring mass awareness to a specific reminder, event, or policy update.

It is a declaration that informs people working within a company and often requires the receiver of the memo to take some kind of action.

Since memos are sent out to alert an entire group of staff, it only handles information useful to multiple parties or a whole division.

If there’s a situation that only concerns one or a few people within the company, a simple business email is sent to these individuals instead of a widespread memo.

A professional memo differs from an email in its length and formality. There are distinct formatting rules to follow when writing a business email or letter that aren’t required when constructing a memo, such as salutations .

A memo is less restrictive in structure because the goal of a memo is to get right to the main points.

How to Format a Memo

Regardless of the memo’s purpose, the formatting remains the same. Below are five steps on how to format a memo correctly:

Write a header. The first step to formatting a memo is by writing a proper header. A traditional memo header starts with the name and address of the company, which should already be printed at the top if you use a letterhead. We also recommend placing the word “Memo” or “Memorandum,” so that recipients immediately know what they’re looking at.

Identify the recipients. Next, address the recipients by names and/or titles. Your information as the sender should also be distinct at the beginning of the memo.

For example:

To: Junior Members of the Sales Staff From: Laura Jones, Northeast Director of Sales

Additional recipients. If you need someone else to see the memo, but they’re not specifically addressed in the “To:” section, CCing them on the document is a wise decisision.

Fill in the date and subject line. It’s up to you whether to date your memo or not. The more official it is, the more important including a date is for official record-keeping. Also, include a direct subject line that gives the reader a brief overview of the information to follow.

Give a brief introduction. Start a memo as you would start any business email by introducing the topic you’ll be discussing in the body paragraphs. A professional greeting isn’t necessary for a memo, so get right to the purpose of the correspondence.

Write the body. The most important portion of a memo is the body because it describes the matter at hand that requires attention. Be detailed in describing the situation or request, but still keep it as short as possible. Usually, the body of a memo won’t exceed a paragraph or two.

Close professionally . End an office memo using a traditional closing with your name and contact details or a final call to action. Also, include relevant contact information, such as your title, email, and phone number. A memo asking the recipients to do something gives them all the resources they need to complete the task.

Attachment(s). If your memo comes with additional resources or documents that recipients need to consult, be sure to attach them alongside the memo for convenience.

Types of Memos

The type of memo used in a professional exchange depends on the goal it’s attempting to achieve. Below are a few examples of the types of memos to send depending on the situation:

Information inquiry. A popular reason for sending a memo out to a professional team is to request information. Everyone who works within a company serves a specific role they know the most about. Sending a short memo is an effective way to gather information from various branches.

A call to action. The purpose of a business memo is often to ask the receivers to do something. This is a call-to-action memo – whether to stop a certain behavior, implement a new company-wide policy, or request attendance at an event.

Progress updates. If an organization handles long-term projects, they request periodic updates from its employees regarding their progress. A memo is a great way to solicit progress updates because it’s direct.

Confirmation. It’s recommended to send a confirmation after discussing any professional decision or having a business meeting . This is done by sending a confirmation memo to the parties involved.

Memo Templates and Examples

Template #1:

[Company Logo + Letterhead] Memorandum To: From: Subject: 3-10 words Date: (optional) CC: (optional) Briefly introduce the main reason you’re sending a memo Then go into more detail about the subject, give more evidence, provide feedback, confirm information, make an inquiry, update people on proress, or make a call to action, depending on the nature of your memo Close professionally and let recipients know you’re available if they have questions or need more information

Template #2:

Memo: [Memo Title] Date: To: From: Subject: Introduction Introduce the topic Overview Give more background information Timeline Provide a timeline Takeaway Summarize the main points and provide a clear message to come away with
To: Recent hires in the marketing division of Jackpot Brands From: Scott Trainor, Marketing Manager at Jackpot Brands Subject Line: Tax Information for Recent Hires Hello, This memo is being sent out to the ten recent hires in the marketing division of Jackpot Brands and is about their tax information. Before finalizing the onboarding process and making you eligible for receiving paychecks, we need to verify your information. Attached below is a blank W-9 form. The information we need is your full name, address, and social security number. All other paperwork will be completed on your first day. Thank you , and congratulations job offer. Yours Sincerely, Scott Trainer [email protected] (853)-684-4648
To: Kim Taylor, Administrative Associate Manager, Brooklyn Medical Center From: Bethany Reynolds, Human Resources Director Subject Line: Mandatory Sexual Harassment Seminar This message is to inform all administrative managers at Brooklyn Medical Center of an upcoming mandatory meeting. Every year, the Brooklyn Medical Center staff participates in a seminar to learn more about what constitutes sexual harassment and how to handle it in the unfortunate event that it arises. The seminar will cover a variety of topics, such as verbal sexual harassment and the process for reporting. The sexual harassment seminar for administrative personnel will take place on December 14th, 2020, at 1 pm in conference room A. It should run about two hours long with a ten-minute break between lectures. Once again, attendance is mandatory.

Example #3: Progress Updates Memo

To: All ninth-grade teachers in the history department at John Graves High School From: Ryan Boyce, Education Administrator, John Graves High School Subject Line: Progress of ninth-grade history students Hello all, I’m reaching out to all ninth-grade teachers in the history department at John Graves High School to get a progress update on their class’ preparedness for the statewide exams. The statewide history exams are given to ninth-grade students towards the end of every school year to measure their material retention. The student’s scores are reflective of our educational institution’s success. This year, the statewide history exam is scheduled to take place on April 30th, 2021, at 3 pm. As we are now about halfway through the year, your student’s strengths and weaknesses should be apparent. I’m asking for a detailed overview of your ninth-grade class’s progress in this matter. Thank you for providing the update. Please refer any questions to educational administrator Ryan Boyce at [email protected].

Example #4: Confirmation Memo

To: Tom Carson, Associate Salesperson, Deed’s Technology Company From: Anthony Michaels, Regional Sales Manager, Deed’s Technology Company Subject Line: Confirmation of scheduled meeting This email is to confirm a scheduled meeting for Tom Carson, an associate salesperson at Deed’s Technology Company. Your request for a formal meeting to review your performance and the possibility of a promotion with the regional sales manager has been approved. The meeting is scheduled for Monday, December 21st, 2020, at 9:30 am. It will take place at the Deed’s sales headquarters located at 73 Blake Ave, Miami, FL 64828, in room 748. The performance review will take place with your regional supervisor , Anthony Michaels. Please arrive on time and be prepared to discuss the details of your employment. Thank you.

Tips for Writing a Business Memo

Be straightforward. A memo communicates information within a company simply and directly. When you’re writing the body of a memo, be as straightforward as possible. Unlike in a business letter that begins with pleasantries, you want to only include information relevant to the purpose of the memo.

A professional salutation is optional. Since a memo is supposed to be a more targeted divulgence of information, a professional salutation is not needed. When sending out a mass memo to every company member, many people will prefer to skip this step of a formal letter and begin with the introduction.

Closing with a signature can be more effective. Using a signature at the end of a memo is optional. Sometimes, closing a memo without a signature can be more effective because it gives the document a more formal feel, rather than conversational.

Use bullet-points. One technique that helps keep memo length concise is using bullet-points to get information across clearly. While bullet-points typically aren’t used in professional emails, they are fair game in business memos.

Proofread the memo before sending it. As a professional , proofreading any written document should be second nature. Even though a memo is a brief and casual exchange of information, typos and grammar mistakes are still distracting to a reader.

How To Write a Memo FAQ

Why is memo format important?

The format of a memo is directly tied to its effectiveness . The purpose of a business memo is to bring attention to something that concerns everyone in the organization. The format of a memo requires that the communication be brief and to the point.

Without adhering to this formatting, the message of the memo likely becomes confusing.

Do memos have titles?

A title of the memo is at the top of the page and is usually short and to the point. You will want your message to stand out from the other emails and paperwork that your employees are receiving so make sure it catches their eye.

When should a memo be used?

A memo should be used to communicate something of importance to members of an organization or business. Usually, memos are sent out to multiple people to bring mass awareness to a specific reminder, event, or policy update.

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Sky Ariella is a professional freelance writer, originally from New York. She has been featured on websites and online magazines covering topics in career, travel, and lifestyle. She received her BA in psychology from Hunter College.

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How to write a business memo

Last updated on: March 7, 2023

Do you have important news to share with your colleagues, but you’re unsure how to write a business memo? 

You’ve come to the right place.

Business memos are a great tool for quickly informing employees of any changes in their team or company. Although emails, messaging apps, and video conferencing have become the new trends of communicating in the workplace, business memos have persevered and remained one of the most effective ways to communicate in the workplace.

In this blog post, we will go over:

  • What a business memo is,
  • What a business memo should include, and
  • How to write a business memo.

We’ll also provide some examples of good business memos.

Let’s start!

Business memo - cover

Table of Contents

What is a business memo? 

A business memo is an internal business document . It is used to quickly share brief information among a company’s employees. 

You can think of a business memo as a kind of press release for your company .

Business memos are a less formal method of communication than business letters, but you should still remain professional and polite.

A business memo can be used to inform employees of:

  • Changes in the workforce, such as someone leaving the company,
  • Upcoming events, such as meetings, and
  • Changes in workflow, such as taking a day off.

Moreover, business memos are used to inform employees of already-decided plans.

They are not used to start a debate over an issue or seek approval for decisions, but rather to inform employees on what the changes are and what to do about them. 

Here’s what Kathy Bennett , a CEO at Bennett, has to say about business memos:

Kathy Bennett

“ A business memo is the most convenient way to communicate important information to all of the employees in your organization. Memos are supposed to be an effective way to distribute information that is relevant to everyone, and they ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding up-to-date information .”

Now that you know what a business memo is, let’s look at what a memo should include.

What should a business memo include?

The main characteristic of a business memo is to be concise and informative . Therefore, you should make sure to format and write your memo clearly.

Your business memo should also be easy to read. Dividing it into different sections will help with that.

To write a good business memo, make sure you include these elements:

  • Main point,
  • Supporting details,
  • Call to action, and
  • Closing statement.

Now, let’s look at these elements in more detail.

Element #1: Header

The header is the first element of your memo. It contains the necessary information about the sender , as well as the subject of the memo.

Here’s what a header of a business memo typically looks like:

  • To : list the recipient’s names and job titles or the name of the department you’re sending the memo to,
  • From : list your name and job title,
  • Date : write the date when you’re sending the memo, and
  • Subject : explain the reason for the memo briefly.

After the header comes the main body of your memo.

Element #2: Main point

Right after the header comes your main point .

There is no need for a greeting of any sort in a business memo, so get straight to the point.

Make sure to explain the main subject in the first one or two sentences of your memo.

For example, if you’re writing a memo about a day off that everyone is having next week, the first sentence should sound something like this:

“ The purpose of this memo is to inform you that next Monday, [include specific date], will be a day off for all staff. ”

This is important because it makes the reader aware of the point right away and makes it easier to understand and act upon if needed.

Here’s what our contributor, Kathy Bennett, has to say about writing memos:

“ List the topic of the memo in the heading and first paragraph. Your staff should know what you’re talking about immediately, as this eliminates the possibility of misinterpreted information or intentions. Employees will read and follow along with memos that are concise and relevant as they’re easier to read and comprehend. ”

This is the most important element of the business memo, so make it clear and informative .

Element #3: Supporting details

After presenting the main point of the memo, you can move on to the details.

In the rest of the paragraph, you should provide details and explanations that support your main point.

Whether it be the reasons you decided to implement a certain change in the workflow or why a certain meeting was canceled, this is the time to explain.

Continuing with the example of a day off, you can go into more detail about it now. Perhaps it’s a public holiday or a mandatory day off for a religious holiday. State the reason behind the decision in this paragraph.

Also, think about what kind of questions your coworkers might have, and answer those in this part of the memo. Once again, you shouldn’t go too much into detail, but make it informative enough so the readers can understand why the changes have been made.

Furthermore, you should inform the reader of the timeline of events:

  • What changes have already been made,
  • When the new changes will take place,
  • What the planned changes for the future are.

After this part of the memo, the reader should be aware of the changes and why they happened. 

Element #4: Call to action

Next up is a call to action.

This part is optional, as it’s not always necessary for employees to do something after getting a memo. Sometimes a memo is just to inform them of something.

However, sometimes employees will be expected to take certain steps after reading the memo.

Here’s some advice from the Founder and CEO of Cindy’s LLC Services, Cynthia Davis :

Cynthia Davies

“ My best advice on writing an effective business memo is to include a clear call to action so that people know what to do after reading it.  Ending a business memo with a clear call to action is important, because it ensures that the memo is not just a passive transmission of information, but a proactive step toward achieving the desired outcome. Without a call to action, the information within the memo may be left unheeded, or employees may not know what specific steps to take in response. ”

Therefore, make sure to instruct employees on the next steps they need to take. Consider employees of all levels, and instruct them accordingly. 

Make sure to clearly state any deadlines or specific rules that need to be followed.

If no action is needed, make sure to include that information as well, to avoid confusion. 

Davis adds: 

“ By providing a clear directive at the end of the memo, such as asking for feedback , requesting a meeting, or assigning a task, employees know exactly what they need to do next. This helps to streamline communication, foster engagement , and ensure that the memo has a meaningful impact on the organization.”

Therefore, if any action is needed on behalf of the employees, make it clear and instruct your staff on what they need to do.

Element #5: Closing statement 

To finish off your business memo, include a closing statement.

Refer back to the main point and reinforce it. This is also the time when you instruct the reader to contact you if they have any questions.

At the very end of your memo, include a footer.

This can just be as simple as a “ thank you ” followed by your name.

You can also add your contact information, such as your email address. This way, employees can reach you if they need clarification on anything related to your business memo.

However, this can be somewhat redundant seeing as we mostly communicate online, so your staff probably already has your email address.

If applicable to your business and industry, you can add a phone number for contact information.

In any case, include a footer to mark the end of your memo — don’t just cut it off.

Example of an effective business memo

To help you better visualize what a business memo is supposed to look like, let’s look at a couple of examples.

For the first example, we have a more informal way of delivering a business memo — through a business messaging app . 

Team communication apps are a great way to quickly communicate with your coworkers and share important information . It can be less formal than sending an email, but corporate communication doesn’t always have to be formal.

Here’s how Joan Miller informed her team about a meeting cancelation in Pumble, a business messaging app:

Example of a business memo in Pumble, a team messaging app

If you want a more formal way to communicate, sending out an email with an attached document can be a good option.

Here’s an example of a business memo sent through email in the form of a pdf document:

Example of a business memo sent via email

Business memo templates

A great way to write consistently good business memos is to have a template ready.

You can have a template of a business memo and share it with all of your staff. This way, you can have a universal style and structure of a memo. This will make it easier for the writer of the memo, as well as the reader. 

We have designed a business memo template that you can download and use.

Business memo template

🔽 Download our free business memo template here .

You just need to change the relevant information to fit whatever you’re trying to say, but the structure can remain the same. This way, you don’t have to rack your brain every time you need a business memo.

How to write an effective business memo?

Now that you have the necessary information about what a business memo should look like, let’s focus on making it effective.

Always keep in mind that a memo should be:

  • Clear , 
  • Direct , and 
  • Easy to read . 

Let’s go over some tips on how to write an effective business memo.

Tip #1: Know your audience

Before you start writing your memo, think about who you’re writing to.

A memo to just the colleagues on your team will surely sound different than one written for the whole company. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t be professional when writing to people who you work with more closely — always remain professional . But, a memo for your boss will carry some extra weight, so write accordingly.

Here’s what our contributor Andrew Chen , a CPO at CommentSold, has to add:

Andrew Chen

“ The purpose of the memo should dictate its tone. Memos are typically used for internal communication , so it’s best to keep the tone friendly, yet professional. Ensure that the memo does not contain any personal bias and remains objective. Also, keep in mind that business memos often relate to company procedures and policies and can have legal standing. ” 

Furthermore, pay attention to your language. 

If you work in a multicultural environment, make sure to write your memo in a language that everyone understands. 

Keep your audience in mind while writing your memo.

Tip #2: State the subject right away

First of all, make sure your subject line in the header is clear and direct.

Don’t go too general, but keep it short.

For example, you’re sending out a memo about a rescheduled meeting. The subject line should say “Today’s meeting rescheduled for tomorrow”, rather than “News about the meeting”.

This way, everyone who gets the memo will understand what it’s about, even without going through it.

The same rules apply to the body of the text.

The most important thing to remember is to state the subject of the memo as soon as possible.

Ideally, you should state the reason for the memo in the first sentence of the body of the memo. If needed, it can go up to two sentences, but not longer than that. 

Again, make sure to be specific and direct. State exactly what the reason for the memo is without going into too much detail at this point. 

💡 Pumble Pro Tip

Direct communication in the workplace is an important skill to have. To learn more about direct communication and how you can implement it in your workplace, check out our blog post:

  • Direct communication in the workplace

Tip #3: Be concise and precise

A business memo is, by definition, a short piece of writing.

Therefore, the most important tip to keep in mind while writing is to be as concise as you can.

This shouldn’t obstruct you from delivering the information correctly, but rather make you deliver it directly and without unnecessary details.

Here’s what our contributor Andrew Tsionas , a Co-founder at Kaizenzo, has to say about writing a business memo: 

Andrew Tsionas

“ Start with a clear goal in mind. What do you want to achieve by writing this memo? What is the purpose of it? If you can answer these questions clearly, you will be able to focus your writing and avoid wasting time on tangents or irrelevant information. ”

Furthermore, a business memo isn’t a place to start conversations about many different topics.

You should address a single issue or inform your employees of one change at a time. 

Write separate memos for separate issues and keep your memos short.

Tip #4: Maintain a professional tone

A business memo is an internal document. However, you still need to remain professional and polite when writing one.

Always use appropriate language and keep a positive tone throughout your memo.

Also, avoid using technical jargon if you’re writing to people from a different department — they may not understand it.

Here’s what our contributor Andrew Tsionas also has to say:

“ Keep your tone professional. This isn’t the time for flowery language or fancy prose — stick to plain English that is easy to understand. If your memo requires additional information or clarification, include a brief note at the end of the document asking for feedback or further explanation .”

Even with members of your team, a level of professionalism should always be upheld. Write your memos with this in mind.

Tip #5: Provide a summary, if the memo is long

By now, you should know that memos should be short. However, that isn’t always applicable. Sometimes memos can go on for more than a page. 

In that situation, make sure to provide a summary of the most important points.

Here’s what Logan Mallory , a VP of marketing at Motivosity, has to say about writing a summary in a memo:

Logan Mallory

“When writing a business memo, it’s best to start with a brief summary to provide readers with a clear understanding of the memo’s purpose and main points. By providing a summary upfront, readers can quickly understand the context of the memo and determine whether they need to read it further.”

You can do this by carefully writing your first paragraph as a summary of the whole memo.

Make sure to include:

  • The main point of memo,
  • The most important facts behind the decision, and
  • A basic overview of the rest of the memo.

If you write a good summary paragraph, it will be much easier to know what’s important right away.

Also, a summary paragraph will be useful if anyone needs to look back on the memo in the future.

Mallory adds that: 

“ Starting with a summary also helps to focus the memo’s content and ensure that the most important information is highlighted upfront. This can save time and improve the effectiveness of the memo, especially when addressing time-sensitive issues or complex topics.  Ultimately, including a summary at the beginning of a business memo can help ensure that the memo is read and understood by its intended audience, leading to better communication and decision-making within the organization .”

If you notice your memo getting too long, and you can’t condense it, use a summary paragraph to make it easier for the reader.

Tip #6: Pay attention to formatting 

Be mindful of formatting your business memos the right way.

One of the easiest ways to make your memos more readable is to use bullet points.

Also, pay attention to the font and font size. You should always use standard fonts. Business memos are not a place to experiment with funky fonts. 

Additionally, separate the body of your memo into meaningful paragraphs. This will make it easier to read. Make sure the paragraphs are organized and carry one idea at a time.

💡 Pumble pro tip

If you want to learn more about formatting messages at work, and why it’s important, check out our blog post:

  • Tips for formatting messages at work

Tip #7: Review before sending

After carefully crafting your memo, there’s one more step you should take — reviewing.

Reviewing your writing is important for any kind of written communication. Read your memo carefully to spot any errors or confusing points. Typos, grammatical errors, or run-on sentences can affect the readability of your memo. These types of mistakes also make you seem unprofessional and sloppy.

If it’s an especially important business memo, consider checking with a trusted coworker before sending it out to others.

Always proofread and review your business memos before sending them.

Conclusion: Keep it short and sweet

In conclusion, business memos are a great way to quickly inform coworkers about any changes or important information.

Writing memos is a skill you will need to practice, but if you follow the aforementioned steps and tips, you will be an expert in no time. 

A good business memo will save you time and lead to smooth changes in the workplace. So, don’t hold back from using them.

✉️ What about you? Do you use business memos in your company? What are some of the tips and tricks you may have to share with us when it comes to writing business memos? Let us know at [email protected] and we might include your input in this or future posts. If you found this article helpful, share it with someone who would also benefit from it.

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Milica Vucicevic is a communication author and researcher at Pumble, focused on team communication in remote work environments. Through her posts, you’ll learn more about professional communication, and tools and techniques for better team communication. As a remote worker herself, she relies on her experience when writing, and implements her findings in her own professional life. When she’s not writing blog posts, you can find her enjoying the great outdoors, replenishing her energy for her next quest for knowledge.

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Request letters are powerful written tools used to express a specific need or desire to someone in a formal or informal setting.

Whether it's a job application, a favor from a friend, or a business meeting request, mastering the art of writing effective request letters can open doors and help you achieve your goals.

At their core, request letters serve as a means of communication to politely and clearly express your intentions and seek assistance or cooperation from the recipient.

They provide a structured format to convey your request, provide context, and justify the need for your appeal. They facilitate effective communication, enable you to make a compelling case for your request, and demonstrate your professionalism and respect for the recipient's time and consideration.

This guide will explore the different types of request letters, provide critical components for writing an impactful letter, and offer valuable tips and examples to enhance your letter-writing skills.

So get ready to discover the power of well-crafted request letters and unlock new possibilities in your personal and professional endeavors. Let's dive in!

  • What is the meaning of a request letter?
  • How do I write a letter of request?
  • How to write a request letter of recommendation?
  • What is a good letter of request sample?

Request Letter Definition

A request letter is a formal written document that is written to make a specific request or seek assistance from an individual or organization.

It serves as a means of communication to express one's needs, concerns, or desires. There are various types of request letters, including:

Formal Request Letters: These letters are used for professional or formal purposes, such as requesting information, making inquiries, or seeking permission. They are structured and follow a formal tone.

Job Application Request Letter: This type of request letter is used when applying for a job. It highlights the applicant's interest in a specific position and requests consideration for employment. It typically includes qualifications, experiences, and reasons for seeking the job.

Business Meeting Request Letter: A business meeting request letter is written to request a meeting with another individual or organization for professional purposes. It outlines the purpose of the meeting, desired date and time, and agenda points to be discussed.

Recommendation Request Letter: When seeking a recommendation from someone, such as a former employer, colleague, or professor, a recommendation request letter is used. It politely asks the person to provide a reference or recommendation on the writer's behalf, highlighting their qualifications and suitability for a particular opportunity.

Types of Request Letters

Also Read: How to respond to an interview request?

How to Write the Different Types of Request Letters?

Since there are mainly 4 types of request letters, given below is a breakdown of how you can each type of request letter:

How to Write a Formal Request Letter

Start the letter with a formal greeting, using the appropriate title and name of the recipient. For example, "Dear Mr. Smith" or "Dear Dr. Johnson."

Clearly explain the reason for writing the letter. Be specific and avoid vague or ambiguous language.

Offer relevant details or background information that helps the recipient understand the context and importance of the request.

Explicitly state what you are requesting, including any specific details, dates, quantities, or other pertinent information. If applicable, mention any supporting documents that are attached or will be provided separately.

Maintain a professional and courteous tone in your language and choice of words. Use polite phrases and expressions to convey your request.

Conclude the letter by expressing appreciation for the recipient's time and consideration. Provide your contact information, including phone number and email address, so that they can easily reach you for any further information or clarification.

Carefully review the letter for any mistakes in grammar, spelling, or punctuation. Proofreading ensures that the letter is error-free and presents a professional image.

Also Read: How to write a cover letter in 2023?

How to Write a Job Application Request Letter?

Include your contact information at the top of the letter, including your name, address, phone number, and email address.

Address the letter to the hiring manager or the person in charge of recruitment. Use a formal salutation, such as "Dear Mr./Ms. [Last Name]."

Begin the letter by stating the specific position you are applying for and how you learned about the job opening. Mention any mutual connections or referrals, if applicable.

In the body paragraphs, highlight your qualifications and relevant experiences that make you a suitable candidate for the job. Provide specific examples of your skills and achievements that align with the requirements of the position.

Express your enthusiasm and interest in the company and explain why you believe you are a good fit for the organization. Emphasize how your skills and experience can contribute to the company's success.

Conclude the letter by expressing your appreciation for the opportunity to apply and your interest in further discussing your qualifications. Include a polite request for an interview or the next steps in the hiring process.

End the letter with a professional closing, such as "Sincerely" or "Best regards," followed by your full name.

Carefully proofread the letter for any errors in grammar, spelling, or punctuation. Ensure that the tone is professional and the content is concise and well-organized.

Also Read: How to write a compelling job application?

How to Write a Business Meeting Request Letter?

Clearly state the purpose of the meeting request in a brief and concise manner. Be specific about the agenda or topics you wish to discuss during the meeting.

Use a professional and formal tone throughout the letter. Address the recipient respectfully and maintain courteous and polite language.

Provide a brief background or context for the meeting request. Explain why the meeting is necessary, what issues or decisions need to be addressed, and how it aligns with the recipient's interests or responsibilities.

Suggest potential dates, times, and duration for the meeting, but also show flexibility by offering alternative options. This demonstrates your willingness to accommodate the recipient's schedule and increases the likelihood of a positive response.

Include your contact information, such as your email address and phone number, to make it easy for the recipient to respond or coordinate the meeting. Mention that you are open to any further discussions or adjustments as needed.

Also Read: What is the best format for a formal letter?

How to Write a Request Letter of Recommendation?

When writing a request letter for a recommendation, keep the following tips in mind:

Choose the Right Person: Select someone who knows you well and can provide a strong recommendation based on your skills, qualifications, and character. Ideally, choose someone who has direct experience working with you or supervising you.

Provide Relevant Information: Clearly state the purpose of the recommendation letter and provide the necessary information about the opportunity or position you are applying for. Include details such as the name of the organization, position title, and any specific requirements or qualities they are looking for.

Highlight Your Qualities and Achievements: Provide the person writing the recommendation with specific information about your accomplishments, skills, and qualities that are relevant to the opportunity. Share examples of projects you have excelled in or any notable achievements that showcase your abilities.

Offer Supporting Materials: If applicable, provide additional supporting materials such as your resume, transcripts, or a list of projects you have worked on. These materials can give the recommender a comprehensive understanding of your qualifications and enable them to write a more detailed and personalized recommendation.

Be Timely and Grateful: Request the recommendation well in advance, giving the person enough time to write a thoughtful letter. Express your gratitude for their time and willingness to support you. After receiving the recommendation, be sure to follow up with a thank-you note or email to show your appreciation.

Also Read: How to ask for a professional letter of recommendation?

Sample Letter of Request

[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State, ZIP Code] [Email Address] [Phone Number] [Date]

[Recipient's Name] [Recipient's Position] [Company/Organization Name] [Address] [City, State, ZIP Code]

Dear [Recipient's Name],

I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to kindly request [state your request] and seek your assistance in this matter.

[Provide a brief introduction explaining your background and the purpose of your request.]

After careful consideration, I have concluded that [explain why you believe the recipient is the right person to help you with your request]. I greatly admire your expertise and [mention any specific experiences or accomplishments of the recipient that have inspired you or demonstrated their competence].

[Clearly and concisely state your specific request]. [Provide any necessary details, such as deadlines, important information, or any supporting documents that may be required].

I understand that you may have numerous commitments and responsibilities, and I genuinely appreciate your time and consideration. Should you require any additional information or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at [your phone number] or [your email address].

Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter. I eagerly await your response and sincerely hope for a positive outcome.

Yours sincerely, [Your Name]

Also Read: What are some of the best and simple cover letter templates that you can use in 2023?

FAQs About Letter of Request

  • What type of letter is ‘request’?

A request letter is a type of formal communication written to make a specific appeal or seek something from an individual or organization.

  • How do I write a letter of request for permission?

When writing a letter of request for permission, it is important to be polite, clear, and concise. Start by addressing the recipient respectfully, clearly stating the purpose of the request, providing necessary details and justifications, and conclude with a polite closing expressing gratitude for their consideration.

  • How to request a recommendation letter?

When requesting a recommendation letter, it is important to approach the person professionally, provide them with relevant information about your achievements and goals, and kindly ask if they would be willing to write a strong and positive recommendation on your behalf.

  • How to write a letter of request for sponsorship?

When writing a letter of request for sponsorship, clearly explain the purpose of your request, highlight the benefits for the sponsor, and demonstrate your passion and commitment to the cause or event you are seeking sponsorship for.

Visit Hiration’s ChatGPT powered career activator platform with 24x7 chat support to get expert assistance with any of your career-related queries. If you have any questions, you can also reach us at support{@}hiration.com.

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How to Write the Best Company Memos

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*Content includes branded mentions of our sponsor ZipRecruiter.

Writing effective memos is a useful skill that all business professionals should have. Many companies that use job posting sites like ZipRecruiter look at a candidate's effective writing skills as a big plus. A well-crafted memo can communicate information in a clear and concise manner to co-workers or external parties alike, whether you are a new employee or an experienced manager.

In this article, we will discuss what a company memo is, its importance and the necessary steps you need to follow to write an effective one. We will also provide tips for developing a memo that conveys your message directly and effectively.

What are company memos?

A memorandum or memo is a concise document detailing important news or information that can be used to communicate an internal message, that is, to employees within a company. Company memos can also be used to communicate information to external parties, especially to long-time clients, freelancers or independent contract workers.

Typically, memos follow a particular format that emphasizes brevity and clarity. Compared to other forms of correspondence, memos may seem abrupt or cold, because they generally don't include a greeting or farewell and, if they do, those sections are kept brief and to the point.This lack of personal warmth reflects a memo’s purpose: they are not letters or conventional e-mails but more like news alerts.

For example, if your company has updated key business policies, a memo would be an appropriate format for sharing this information. Because of their direct nature, people are less likely to ignore or misunderstand a memo than an unclear email.

Memos begin by clearly identifying four things:

  • The recipient
  • The memo's purpose

The body of a memo often uses an inverted pyramid style of writing similar to what many journalists favor. This writing style places the most important information at the top of the message, with less vital details lower down.

Even within this definition of what a memo is, you may still encounter variations on it. For example, department memos may inform staff about important news around the office, such as the status of a broken printer or details about an upcoming company party. But a company-wide memo shares information that impacts the entire company, such as changes in leadership or ownership.

Why are company memos important?

Company memos provide a way to communicate critical information to all employees in an efficient manner. Memos inform company employees of changes, updates and deadlines related to their jobs, as well as providing specific instructions that need to be followed.

Memos also help to keep everyone on the same page. Employees can be informed of overall company goals, expectations, targets and campaigns. For example, people in leadership and management positions can use memos to provide feedback and guidance to whole departments.

Steps for writing an effective company memo

When writing a memo, you should bear in mind that your company's memo format might differ from other companies’ formats. Don't blindly copy memo examples that come from other institutions because the purpose and structure of the document might not be adequate for your company. Also make sure that your memo follows internal guidelines such as printing it on company letterhead.

Here are some other tips you can follow:

Use the subject line to convey your main message

The most common way to start a memo involves using a subject line that conveys your primary message succinctly but with all the necessary details. For example, if you're organizing your company's holiday party, you shouldn't start your memo with a subject line that reads, "Upcoming holiday party." Instead, you would be better off writing, "Come celebrate our company-wide holiday party at 6 pm this Friday in the staff room".

The first subject line only gives the barest amount of information. Meanwhile, the second subject line includes specific details like the time, date and location of the event.

Include a header section

A header goes at the very top of your memo. It informs your reader about crucial information relating to the memo and should include the following four pieces of information:

  • TO: This section will let the recipient know who the memo is intended for. It should include the names of everyone addressed. If you send the memo to a group of people, such as a department, you can simply put the department name in this field.
  • FROM: Write your name here, and job title if necessary.
  • DATE: Include the month, day and year of the current date.
  • SUBJECT: Write a brief, one-sentence summary of the memo's contents.

Include a greeting, but don't go overboard

You should always include a short, polite greeting at the very beginning of your memo. This could be something as simple as, "Hey, team. I hope this finds you all well." Aim for a tone somewhere between formal and conversational but be sure to refrain from excessive niceties. Even if you include a short greeting, you should then dive directly into the matter at hand and not tiptoe around the information.

Focus on the main point in the introduction

Memos are meant to convey a single piece of important information. Just as you would place your thesis statement at the beginning of a college essay, so should you place your main idea in the memo's introduction. Often referred to as the executive summary, this introductory statement should eschew greetings and fluff and focus on making your primary point.

Go into detail in the body of the memo

Now that you have expressed the memo's main point, you can use the rest of the copy to elaborate. This section typically spans one to two paragraphs and should include the information that is strictly necessary.

To go back to our earlier example about the holiday party, this section might include relevant details such as menu options, the guest policy and when the event will end.

Provide action items if needed

Action items describe any next steps the recipient should take. For example, a memo about scheduled elevator maintenance may end by requesting that staff members use the service elevator or take the stairs.

However, if your memo is primarily informational in nature, then you might end with a generic action item like "We hope you'll take this information under consideration" or "Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns."

Sum up with a closing statement

Finish your memo with a closing statement, a one- or two-sentence section that effectively summarizes the main point of your memo, perhaps repeating or rephrasing your subject line.

Do not introduce any new information in this section. Psychological research shows that people remember an event's beginning and end better than the middle portion. By placing your most important information at both the beginning and end of your memo, you're working to ensure that your audience walks away with the information they need.

Additional tips

Follow these tips to help you craft the perfect memo.

Be concise, don't beat around the bush

A well-written memo should be straightforward and concise. Memos should only contain the information you need to share and avoid details that don't directly relate to the matter. Relevant but bulky information can be attached to the memo as a Word or Excel file.

Keep the tone positive

An upbeat tone in your memo can make it more accessible and agreeable for your employees to read and understand. An overly negative tone can distract from the content of your message, ultimately working against you. This doesn't mean you have to pad your memo with unnecessary fluff but you can keep it positive and practical at the same time.

When writing, the words you use and the order in which you use them can subtly make something sound positive or negative. For instance, if a project's deadline has been moved up, making it so you can't take a vacation during that time, you might say, "Please note that you will not be able to schedule any vacation time during this period." Even though it’s polite, it carries a negative tone. A more positive way to phrase this would be, "Please note that all vacation requests must be made after the project deadline."

Ensure you proofread

In a business context, it’s important to make sure the memo is free from typos, spelling and grammar mistakes. An error-riddled memo reflects poorly on you and will also detract from the memo's message.

Before you send out a memo, set it aside for a moment. Review it later with fresh eyes to catch anything you might have missed. You should also run it through a spellcheck and consider asking a colleague to glance at the memo before you send it out.

Use a business memo template if needed

If your company does not have a standardized memo format, consider using a free business memo template. You can find many high-quality examples by searching online or on your word processing program of choice.

Summary of How to Write the Best Company Memos

Writing a solid memo doesn't have to be hard and, when mastered, can be the deciding factor when a company is choosing among candidates that have answered their job posting .

The most important thing to remember when writing a memo is that your message should be clear and precise. Maintain a positive tone, but don't pad your message with fluff. By following these steps and keeping our tips in mind, you will master the art of memo writing.

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Memo design and layout templates

Take note: memos don't have to be boring. they don't have to be difficult to format, either. whether you're announcing a new client or reimagined product at work or you're communicating something else entirely but want to give it that professional edge, you'll find a customizable template for your memo needs..

memo photo

Make your memos stand out with customizable templates

The most important part of a memo is what it says. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't bother making your memos eye catching. Whether you print your memos or send them digitally, finding a way to make them striking can help ensure they get read upon receipt. Explore designer-created memo templates to find a customizable design with which to start. Sharing a memorandum with your business ? Consider starting with a memo template that shares a theme with your business. Upcoming holiday? Why not use a holiday-themed template ? You could draft your memo on a design that matches the content of your announcement . Whatever you need to share in your memo, you'll find the perfect template to match.

How To Write A Business Memo + PDF Template

Mary Cullen

A memo  is a business document that communicates information internally in an organization. This article guides you through how to write a memo, the correct format, and how to close.

What is an internal memo?

The term "internal memo" is actually redundant since a memo (or memorandum) is always an internal document.

Memo format example

Memos are often written on company letterhead. to start your memo drop down 1.5 inches from top of letterhead and add the "To" field. Author note: a business memo should not exceed two pages.

To: Name of Person and Title in Organization From: Your Name Date: Month, Day, Year Subject: Be very specific (NOTE: There is no salutation greeting in a memo, as there is in a letter or email.) I propose that we purchase or lease a van to serve as a mobile bookstore. We could use this van to generate sales in the outlying towns and villages throughout the state where our retail stores are not penetrating . ( Direct and brief introduction which sums up the point of the memo succinctly.) Rationale for Van (informative heading.) We have been aware for some time that many small towns around the state do not have adequate bookstore facilities, but the economics of the situation are such that we would not be able to open a comprehensive branch and operate it profitably. However, we could afford to stock a van with books and operate it for a few days at a time in various small towns throughout the state. As you are probably aware, the laws of this state would permit us to acquire a statewide business license fairly easily and inexpensively. ( Provides brief, but full, background and feasibility information to the reader.) With the proper advance advertising, we should be able to generate much interest in this initiative. It seems to me that this idea has much merit because of the flexibility it offers us. For example, we could tailor the length of our stay to the size of the town and the amount of business generated. Also, we could customize our inventory to the needs and interests of the particular locales.  (Additional persuasive information.) Actions Request The driver of the van would act as the salesperson, and we would, of course, have copies of our complete catalog so that mail orders could be taken as well. Please let me know your thoughts about this proposal. If you wish, I can explore the matter further and generate cost and sales estimates. (Clear closing that asks for specific action.)

Memo format PDF example

The Purdue University Online Writing Lab shares this downloadable PDF example . It provides another strong example of proper formatting.

Notice the format:

  • All text is justified to the left side of the page. None of the first paragraphs are indented. Business documents use justified left format, while academic format indents the first paragraph.
  • Text is single spaced between lines.
  • There is double spacing between paragraphs

How to end a memo

Notice that there is no closing signature in a memo, as there would be in a business email or business letter. 

The best ending for a memo is a clear closing action, stated in the last paragraph. And, be very clear about what you want your reader to know or do after reading the memo, which makes it easy for your reader to respond.

Memo vs. letter vs. email

A memo is a business document that communicates information internally in an organization.

A business letter communicates information outside of an organization.

Email is used both inside and outside an organization.

Improve your writing for all business documents by taking one of our professional writing courses . Each course includes individual feedback on assignments from an instructor. 

Related Articles

Since vs. because [are they interchangeable], improve business writing skills by measuring what matters, how to improve business writing skills, get notified of new articles.


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Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Writing the Basic Business Letter

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Media File: Writing the Basic Business Letter

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Parts of a Business Letter

This resource is organized in the order in which you should write a business letter, starting with the sender's address if the letter is not written on letterhead.

Sender's Address

The sender's address usually is included in letterhead. If you are not using letterhead, include the sender's address at the top of the letter one line above the date. Do not write the sender's name or title, as it is included in the letter's closing. Include only the street address, city, and zip code.

The date line is used to indicate the date the letter was written. However, if your letter is completed over a number of days, use the date it was finished in the date line. When writing to companies within the United States, use the American date format. (The United States-based convention for formatting a date places the month before the day. For example: June 11, 2001. ) Write out the month, day and year two inches from the top of the page. Depending which format you are using for your letter, either left justify the date or tab to the center point and type the date. In the latter case, include the sender's address in letterhead, rather than left-justified.

Inside Address

The inside address is the recipient's address. It is always best to write to a specific individual at the firm to which you are writing. If you do not have the person's name, do some research by calling the company or speaking with employees from the company. Include a personal title such as Ms., Mrs., Mr., or Dr. Follow a woman's preference in being addressed as Miss, Mrs., or Ms. If you are unsure of a woman's preference in being addressed, use Ms. If there is a possibility that the person to whom you are writing is a Dr. or has some other title, use that title. Usually, people will not mind being addressed by a higher title than they actually possess. To write the address, use the U.S. Post Office Format. For international addresses, type the name of the country in all-capital letters on the last line. The inside address begins one line below the date. It should be left justified, no matter which format you are using.

Use the same name as the inside address, including the personal title. If you know the person and typically address them by their first name, it is acceptable to use only the first name in the salutation (for example: Dear Lucy:). In all other cases, however, use the personal title and last/family name followed by a colon. Leave one line blank after the salutation.

If you don't know a reader's gender, use a nonsexist salutation, such as their job title followed by the receiver's name. It is also acceptable to use the full name in a salutation if you cannot determine gender. For example, you might write Dear Chris Harmon: if you were unsure of Chris's gender.

For block and modified block formats, single space and left justify each paragraph within the body of the letter. Leave a blank line between each paragraph. When writing a business letter, be careful to remember that conciseness is very important. In the first paragraph, consider a friendly opening and then a statement of the main point. The next paragraph should begin justifying the importance of the main point. In the next few paragraphs, continue justification with background information and supporting details. The closing paragraph should restate the purpose of the letter and, in some cases, request some type of action.

The closing begins at the same vertical point as your date and one line after the last body paragraph. Capitalize the first word only (for example: Thank you) and leave four lines between the closing and the sender's name for a signature. If a colon follows the salutation, a comma should follow the closing; otherwise, there is no punctuation after the closing.

If you have enclosed any documents along with the letter, such as a resume, you indicate this simply by typing Enclosures below the closing. As an option, you may list the name of each document you are including in the envelope. For instance, if you have included many documents and need to ensure that the recipient is aware of each document, it may be a good idea to list the names.

Typist initials

Typist initials are used to indicate the person who typed the letter. If you typed the letter yourself, omit the typist initials.

A Note About Format and Font

Block Format

When writing business letters, you must pay special attention to the format and font used. The most common layout of a business letter is known as block format. Using this format, the entire letter is left justified and single spaced except for a double space between paragraphs.

Modified Block

Another widely utilized format is known as modified block format. In this type, the body of the letter and the sender's and recipient's addresses are left justified and single-spaced. However, for the date and closing, tab to the center point and begin to type.

The final, and least used, style is semi-block. It is much like the modified block style except that each paragraph is indented instead of left justified.

Keep in mind that different organizations have different format requirements for their professional communication. While the examples provided by the OWL contain common elements for the basic business letter (genre expectations), the format of your business letter may need to be flexible to reflect variables like letterheads and templates. Our examples are merely guides.

If your computer is equipped with Microsoft Office 2000, the Letter Wizard can be used to take much of the guesswork out of formatting business letters. To access the Letter Wizard, click on the Tools menu and then choose Letter Wizard. The Wizard will present the three styles mentioned here and input the date, sender address and recipient address into the selected format. Letter Wizard should only be used if you have a basic understanding of how to write a business letter. Its templates are not applicable in every setting. Therefore, you should consult a business writing handbook if you have any questions or doubt the accuracy of the Letter Wizard.

Another important factor in the readability of a letter is the font. The generally accepted font is Times New Roman, size 12, although other fonts such as Arial may be used. When choosing a font, always consider your audience. If you are writing to a conservative company, you may want to use Times New Roman. However, if you are writing to a more liberal company, you have a little more freedom when choosing fonts.


Punctuation after the salutation and closing - use a colon (:) after the salutation (never a comma) and a comma (,) after the closing. In some circumstances, you may also use a less common format, known as open punctuation. For this style, punctuation is excluded after the salutation and the closing.

More From Forbes

Write a cover letter to get noticed (and hired): 4 best practices.

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A great cover letter is a primary step in getting the job.

Despite headlines about layoffs and companies downsizing, the job market is still strong. But to find a great job, you must set yourself apart, and a primary way to make an impression is with a compelling cover letter.

The cover letter is still critical to the way you present yourself—and perhaps more importantly—the way you distinguish yourself from so many other job seekers.

Cover Letters Matter

Fully 56% of employers prefer a cover letter, according to an article published in Business and Professional Communication Quarterly . And 45% of recruiters said that not having one could result in your application being rejected, according to stats collected by Resume Now .

Hiring managers say cover letters make them more likely to pay attention to an application. They say they read them, and they are an important factor in the hiring decision. In addition, 47% of people include a cover letter, based on the Resume Now stats.

Cover letters admittedly require a lot of effort to research, customize and write—but they are worth it and a necessary part of the process. Write one whether or not it is requested , because it will make you more memorable and separate you from the pack. Just make sure you provide a high-quality cover letter, because a poor letter is worse than none at all.

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Best covid-19 travel insurance plans, write on purpose.

When you’re developing your cover letter, be sure you write with its purpose in mind. Use it to introduce yourself and as a vehicle to create your first impression . A cover letter should communicate why you want the role, why you’d value working for the organization and why you believe you’re a good fit to the role and the culture.

A cover letter is meant to provide details which go beyond your resume, expanding on responsibilities, giving examples and highlighting your achievements and results. If necessary, you can also use it to explain gaps in your resume or extenuating circumstances related to your employment.

Include a cover letter whether they request one or not.

Write For Relevance

In addition to writing a cover letter in the first place, perhaps the most important thing you should do in the document is to show a match between your talents and the job you’re applying for.

Do your homework, researching the job and the organization so you can reflect the company’s direction and priorities and make a case for how you can contribute to reaching them. Highlight the way your achievements relate to the role you’re applying for.

In addition, be humble. Talk about making a contribution to something, not achieving it by yourself. Communicate what you have learned about the job or the organization through your research, but stop short of saying you understand it perfectly. Hiring managers want to know you’ve put in the effort to read, review and learn, but they also want to know you get that there’s still a lot to discover .

Write For Alignment

Be sure your cover letter is aligned with your resume, but doesn’t repeat it. Be consistent in the format you use for both documents, and ensure your name and contact details are identical between the two.

In addition, align what the reader will see on each document. If your cover letter includes an example of the results you drove in your project management role with a volunteer association, be sure you reflect the details (for example, the name of association and type of responsibilities) similarly so they can make easy references. In addition, be sure the experiences you’re referring to in the cover letter are actually reflected in the resume.

The cover letter is also an opportunity to highlight which elements of your resume are most relevant. You may be a brilliant financial mind and previous roles demonstrate this—but if the job you’re applying for doesn’t include a finance component, you should use the cover letter to highlight the skills which are most related to the job you’re pursuing.

Write For Accuracy

Your cover letter should include a header (your contact information as well as the organization’s) as well as a salutation. Be sure to address it to a real person if you can determine the name of the proper recipient.

After these, your letter should include an introductory paragraph which talks about why you’re interested in the job and a body which provides details about how your experience is a match. Finally, it should include a concluding paragraph which summarizes your interest and invites the hiring team to contact you.

Be descriptive in your cover letter, but also concise. Fully 70% of hiring leaders prefer a shorter letter, according to the Resume Now stats. In addition, be creative and let your personality show, but avoid being goofy or gimmicky.

Always be sure to proofread your letter multiple times and even ask a friend to check it for you—to be sure it strikes the right tone and is error-free. When you’re deciding what to include in your cover letter, also be sure to follow directions from the organization, including all the necessary specifics they request.

A Reflection of You

Your cover letter is a reflection of you. It demonstrates your commitment to making the effort and putting in the work to make a case for yourself in relationship to the job and the organization. These will send a strong message to the potential employer about how you’ll perform and present yourself in a job .

Done well, a cover letter takes a significant investment of your time, but it will surely pay off in finding a great role!

Tracy Brower, PhD

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  • Think of your readers and their needs.
  • Be specific when making your points.
  • Make your subject line short and descriptive.
  • Use bullets or numbers to clarify points or lists.
  • Cover only a single subject.
  • Memos should be short and concise; try to keep them to one page.

Called memos for short, memorandums routinely are used within an organization to communicate a variety of ideas, from a new sick day policy to short reports and proposals. Among their many uses, memos confirm conversations, share ideas, instruct employees, and communicate policies. Because memos either request or share important information, they need to be carefully and concisely written so that the message is clear and accurate. A poorly written memo could confuse readers, offend employees, and create a loss of time.

Even with the popularity of e-mail and teleconferencing, surprisingly, effective memo-writing remains an essential skill in interoffice communications. Memos may be delivered via e-mail, but they still should follow the same professional and formatting standards as those printed on paper.

Typically, memos are short and communicate a single subject. If you have two subjects to cover, consider writing two separate memos.

Here are the basic steps to take when writing a business memo:

1. Jot down a list of the points you wish to cover in the letter.

2. Write the first draft.

3. Proofread, checking for spelling and grammatical errors. Do not rely solely upon your computer's spelling-check program. Computers do not understand context and never will never know if you meant "your" instead of "you" or "you're."

Writing a memo is not difficult and does not require much time. Just remember that a memo is in writing, which means it is permanently documented. Your memo represents you and your company; any glaring errors may cast you in a negative light among your peers and subordinates.

E stablishing the Tone of Your Memo

Depending on the type of memo and who your readers are, different memos should be written with different tones. For instance, if your memo is announcing the company's holiday party, it should have a fun and festive tone, not serious and formal.

Change: It has been decided that the annual holiday party will be on Friday, December 16. It will begin at 6 p.m. and end at precisely 9 p.m.

To: Ready for some fun and festivities? Our holiday party will be on Friday, December 16, from 6 to 9 p.m. There will be music, snacks, drinks, and even a secret Santa gift exchange! We hope to see everyone there. Happy Holidays!

On the other hand, if you are requesting a deadline extension from a superior, you would take a professional and formal tone. However, formal does not mean stuffy, droning on, or using big words from a thesaurus. Writing like that can leave you looking stuffy and out of date.

Change: In can be seen from the lack of progress in gathering the second quarter's numerical data that we will need additional time to conclude the assignment.

To: Because of the Shanghai office's two-week closing, we were unable to gather all of the second-quarter data. Now that the Shanghai office has re-opened, we will need an additional two weeks to retrieve the final numbers and finish the project.

A Memo's Opening

Typically, a memo should begin with you stating your precise purpose in writing it. That may begin with a brief summary of the problem, but the main point should be covered.

1. The office will be open the day after Christmas.

The exceptions to putting the main idea first are when:

· you are giving bad news.

· when readers are likely to be skeptical.

· when you are in disagreement with your superiors.

In the above cases, it will work to your advantage to use a more persuasive tactic by first stating the problem and then presenting points that support your recommendation. When done properly, this method can lead readers to your desired conclusion before you even tell them what it is.

Making Your Memo Easy to Read

Long blocks of text are hard to read and unappealing to look at. It is often a good idea to use short paragraphs, headings, and lists to break up text and lay your message out in a logical format.

Short paragraphs: Try to limit each paragraph to one idea. If a one-paragraph idea seems too long, see if you can make your point more precise or try to create two paragraphs, each communicating a different part of the point.

Headings: In long memos, headings are a great way to divide the material into manageable segments. They not only call attention to main topics but they let the reader know when there is a change in topic.

Lists: Using lists to emphasize critical points is much more persuasive than lost text in a lengthy paragraph. Just be sure not to overdo bulleted or numbered points. A memo full of lists is difficult to understand because readers need to connect the points themselves, rather than being guided by text.

A Memo's Ending

Typically, memos do not require a conclusion other than the optional "Please contact me if you have questions" or something similar. Memos are not letters and do not require the writer to include a closing signature. To signify that you wrote and approve of the memo, a writer should write his or her initials next to the name in the "From" line of the heading.

The Parts of a Business Memo:

Here is an example of a typical business memo:

The Dashing Dance School

DATE: May 23, 20--

TO: Advertising Department

FROM: Mandy Joyne

SUBJECT: Third- and fourth-quarter marketing ideas

After our meeting on Tuesday, we had a chance to review your marketing suggestions for the third and fourth quarters and would like to immediately move forward with the "Back to School" series of advertisements.

We are still reviewing the other marketing ideas you presented but wanted to give you the go-ahead on this one. Thanks for all your hard work, and we will have a decision on the remaining ideas within a week or two.

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7 ways to use ChatGPT at work to boost your productivity, make your job easier, and save a ton of time

  • ChatGPT won't replace your job anytime soon. But it can make it a little bit easier.
  • With its impressive functions, the buzzy AI chatbot could give some workers a "productivity boost."
  • Insider compiled a list of seven ways workers can use the AI tool to help do their jobs.

OpenAI's ChatGPT and similar AI tools may not replace jobs anytime soon . But they can help workers across many industries – from tech to media – do their jobs better and more quickly. 

"It's almost like a bit of a productivity boost that some of these occupations might get," Anu Madgavkar, a partner at economic research firm McKinsey Global Institute, told Insider.

The buzzy conversational chatbot – which attracted one million users soon after its launch last November – has been used to generate real estate advice , provide tips on how to start a business , and even write music in the style of individual artists , all with varying levels of success. 

Investors have been pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into industry-specific generative AI tools out of the belief that these have the potential to solve problems that, say, hospitals and marketing departments may encounter.

Sam Altman, the CEO of the firm behind ChatGPT, would agree, as he previously said that "generative text is something we all need to adapt to." 

"We adapted to calculators and changed what we tested for in math class, I imagine," Altman said during an interview with StrictlyVC in January . "This is a more extreme version of that, no doubt, but also the benefits of it are more extreme, as well."

Mark Muro, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute who has researched the impact of AI on the workforce, echoes the sentiment. 

"It's absolutely true that AI applications like ChatGPT can very much improve workers' lives," Muro told Insider.

Workers should be careful when using AI tools, as the tech can be prone to misinformation , and it can remove the human touch from tasks like writing. Most companies also haven't established formal rules around employee use of the AI tool, though firms like Microsoft – a major partner and investor of ChatGPT's parent Open AI – have recently given employees the green light to use the chatbot for work purposes, as long as they don't share sensitive information with the site.

Here's how you can use ChatGPT and AI to help make your work life easier.

Story was originally published in February 2023.

Use it as a Google alternative for research

write business memo

How many times a day do you Google something at work? With ChatGPT, that may become less common. 

In fact, the search-engine giant is reportedly worried that you'll eventually put your queries into ChatGPT instead. The company issued a "code red" over the bot's potential threat to its search business.

"Google may be only a year or two away from total disruption," Gmail creator Paul Buchheit tweeted on Wednesday , adding that AI will be able to "instantly do what would take many minutes for a human" to do using a search engine like Google .

While ChatGPT isn't always accurate — its knowledge only goes to 2021 — it can analyze data from millions of websites to try and answer whatever question it receives. Plus, it gets smarter the more it's used .

Rather than providing users a series of links to sift through — many of which are high up on the page simply due to advertising spend — ChatGPT provides the user with a quick answer. And if the answer is too complicated, ChatGPT can explain it in simpler terms if you ask it to. 

Having quick access to information could ultimately make your job more enjoyable by freeing up time for idea generation. 

"Some of the more boring parts of the job may disappear," Oxford economist Carl Benedikt Frey told Insider. "We may begin focusing more on generating the right ideas, asking the right questions, things that are more interesting."

Use it to write essays, speeches, cover letters, songs, and employee evaluations

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As many students with essay assignments have already realized , ChatGPT can be quite useful as a writing tool. 

While some teachers are trying to crack down on AI's use, UPenn professor Ethan Mollick recently told NPR that he's requiring his students to use ChatGPT.

He said he thinks it can help students generate ideas and improve their writing , adding that the tool could help save time when writing letters and emails, as well.

"There's a lot of positives about it," Mollick said during the NPR interview. "That doesn't minimize the fact that cheating and negativity are there, but those have been there for a long time." 

Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of online course provider Coursera, told CNN he uses ChatGPT to write work emails and even speeches. 

"I use it as a writing assistant and as a thought partner," Maggioncalda said.

Creatives looking for inspiration for their books or songs have also asked ChatGPT to produce some rough drafts for them . 

TikTok user @frontlineleadership , who works as an executive coach, said that he even used ChatGPT to write employee evaluations and was satisfied with the outcome.

"I only had to make slight adjustments here and there," the TikToker said in a January post. "It literally saved me probably 12 hours of work."

"ChatGPT is a game changer," he said.

Use it to analyze vast amounts of data

write business memo

Many roles involve various forms of data analysis, and ChatGPT can process a lot of information quickly. 

"Analyzing and interpreting vast amounts of language-based data and information is a skill that you'd expect generative AI technologies to ramp up on," Madgavkar told Insider . 

"If you're an academic, it's quite nice that you don't have to do statistical analysis by hand," Benedikt Frey said. "You can produce a lot of more stuff."

It could also help those trying to use data to make investment decisions, Muro, a senior fellow at the Brooking Institute, previously told Insider . 

"AI can identify trends in the market, highlight what investments in a portfolio are doing better and worse, communicate all that, and then use various other forms of data by, say, a financial company to forecast a better investment mix," he said.

Use it for scheduling tasks, planning, and time management

write business memo

Getting your busy work schedule organized may be time consuming — but ChatGPT and other forms of AI can help make the process go a little bit smoother. 

Economists at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) conducted a study in 2022 on the skills that AI can replicate and found that AI tools can handle scheduling and task prioritization — in many cases, even "better than humans." 

"Scheduling work and activities seems a perfect AI problem," the study said . 

Some users have tried this out with promising results. Micah , a Youtuber that makes videos exploring AI, posted a video demonstrating how he used ChatGPT to automate his work scheduling.

After he asked ChatGPT to create a daily work schedule that includes tasks like finishing a performance report and scheduling a meeting with his boss, the chatbot was able to spit out an hour-by-hour breakdown of a potential schedule in a matter of seconds.

He then asked ChatGPT to reprioritize certain tasks, but ChatGPT suggested that "it may not be feasible" to do so given his time constraints. 

"This is one of the underrated things ChatGPT can do," Micah said. 

When looking for a second opinion: Ask it how to start a business, make strategic decisions, and support customers

write business memo

If you're a current or aspiring entrepreneur, ChatGPT may be able to help you think through the process of starting a business. 

Insider's Jennifer Ortakales Dawkins asked the chat bot a variety of questions and found it to be a useful tool for generating ideas, estimating startup costs, and outlining a business plan. 

Coursera's Maggioncalda told CBS MoneyWatch he uses ChatGPT to think through business challenges and strategies. 

"I ask ChatGPT to become aware of where my biases and blind spots might be," he said. "And the answers it gives are a really, really good starting point to check your thinking."

Even Amazon employees who tested ChatGPT said it does a "very good job" of answering customer support questions and is "very strong" at answering queries around corporate strategy. 

Turn it into a coding assistant

write business memo

Oded Netzer, a Columbia Business School professor, thinks AI will help coders rather than replace them. 

"In terms of jobs, I think it's primarily an enhancer than full replacement of jobs," Netzer told CBS MoneyWatch . "Coding and programming is a good example of that. It actually can write code quite well."

Specifically, ChatGPT is capable of quickly generating lines of code to resolve certain coding problems. One TikTok user, @asap_blockie, asked ChatGPT to identify the error in some code he was working on as part of his job, he said in a December video . 

"It spat out what was wrong with my code," he said. "And then I copied that and pasted it in, and then it worked." 

But coders should proceed with caution when receiving help from an AI, as some users have found that ChatGPT incorrectly answers coding problems.  

When work isn't going great: Use it to apply for a new job or to negotiate a raise

write business memo

Finally, if you're not happy at your job, ChatGPT may be able to offer some support. People are using it to craft their resumes and cover letters as they undergo their job searches. 

"It will make you a cover letter so you don't have to waste your time anymore," Jonathan Javier, CEO of the career consulting company Consulting, said in a January TikTok video . 

If you're fairly happy at work but feel like you're underpaid, ChatGPT might even be able to help you get a raise . Insider's Sarah Jackson asked ChatGPT for advice to help her prepare for a theoretical salary negotiation, and two career coaches told her she'd probably be able to get a raise if she followed the AI's script. 

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  1. √ Free Printable Business Memo Format

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  1. How To Write a Business Memo in 4 Steps (With Examples)

    How to write a business memo. Follow these steps to help you write your next business memo: 1. List the purpose of the memo in the introductory paragraph. Readers should know instantly what you're communicating to your audience in the introductory paragraph. You need to craft the content of your memo to address questions that employees may have.

  2. Business Communication: How to Write a Clear Business Memo

    From: Include your name and title. Date: Write out the complete date (for example, June 30, 2017). Subject: Make the subject brief and descriptive. Most business memos skip the greeting (such as "Greetings, Ms. Lawson") and immediately go into the body text.

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    You should write a memorandum when you need to relay official business items efficiently. The aim of your memo should be to inform, bring attention to a problem, or answer a question. The following purposes are suitable for a memo: broadcast internal changes disseminate news share an upcoming event update public safety guidelines

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    A memo (also known as a memorandum, or "reminder") is used for internal communications regarding procedures or official business within an organization. Unlike an email, a memo is a message you send to a large group of employees, like your entire department or everyone at the company.

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    Subject: Keep the subject brief and clear. Body: Concisely summarize the issue. The tone of business memos tends to be fairly friendly and informal. A signature is usually not included, but it may be appropriate depending on your message or your company's style. How to write a business memo

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    Writing a Business Memo Memos are meant to be brief, clarifying, single-subject documents. They may be delivered via email or sent through inter-office mail, but regardless of the form, the memorandum (aka "memo") will always follow a formal organizational pattern.

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    1. Bill Gates on Surfing the Internet Tidal Wave In 1995, aka the infancy of the digital world, Microsoft CEO Bill Gates sent out an executive memo on an impending internet tidal wave. Aside from being an interesting glimpse into history, this document serves as an outstanding example of what a memo is designed to do.

  9. How To Write a Business Memo (With Template and Examples)

    To write an effective business memo, follow these steps: 1. Write a detailed subject line To ensure your readers know exactly what to expect from the memo, write a detailed subject line. The subject line can tell your audience how important the message is and give them guidance on where to file it in their email folders.

  10. What Is Correct Memo Format? (With Template and Examples)

    Tips for writing an effective business memo. Writing a business memo requires proper formatting, a professional tone and attention to detail. Here are some tips for writing a business memo: Subject. Make your subject line as specific as possible. For example, if you announce a holiday, consider including the name in the subject line.

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    A memo, or memorandum, is a written document that businesses use to communicate an announcement or notification. While memos were once the primary form of written internal communication in a business, they are now commonly sent in the form of an email.

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    Use ChatGPT at work at your peril, experts warn, even if it's for something as simple as writing or editing a memo, and even if the result is accurate. "It's a laziness alarm," said Aram ...

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    Part 1 Starting the Letter 1 Use a conservative and common font style. Business letters tend to be typed in a Helvetica, Arial, or Times New Roman font because they're easy to read. Avoid script or cursive fonts to remain professional. [1]

  14. How to Write an Effective Memo (Free Template) [2023] • Asana

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    1 Avoid language that is too casual. Generally speaking, your language should be straightforward and simple, yet professional. You should avoid taking too conversational of a tone in your memo, or else it won't sound as credible. [1] For example, avoid writing things like "Hey guys! TGIF, am I right?

  16. How to Write a Business Memo

    Tips on How to Write a Business Memo. Use a clear, concise writing style that is easy to understand. Make sure the tone is appropriate to the subject. For instance, while a memo about a business decision would be formal and professional, a memo announcing the date of the company's Christmas party should probably use a more festive tone.

  17. How To Write A Memo: Format And Examples

    Tips for Writing a Business Memo. Be straightforward. A memo communicates information within a company simply and directly. When you're writing the body of a memo, be as straightforward as possible. Unlike in a business letter that begins with pleasantries, you want to only include information relevant to the purpose of the memo.

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    Tip #1: Know your audience Tip #2: State the subject right away Tip #3: Be concise and precise Tip #4: Maintain a professional tone Tip #5: Provide a summary, if the memo is long Tip #6: Pay attention to formatting Tip #7: Review before sending Conclusion: Keep it short and sweet What is a business memo?

  19. How to Write the Different Types of Request Letters?

    Address the letter to the hiring manager or the person in charge of recruitment. Use a formal salutation, such as "Dear Mr./Ms. [Last Name]." Begin the letter by stating the specific position you are applying for and how you learned about the job opening. Mention any mutual connections or referrals, if applicable.

  20. How To Write The Best Company Memos

    If you send the memo to a group of people, such as a department, you can simply put the department name in this field. FROM: Write your name here, and job title if necessary. DATE: Include the month, day and year of the current date. SUBJECT: Write a brief, one-sentence summary of the memo's contents.

  21. Business Letter Format With Free Template

    But, if you want to use an indented format, right-align your address, date, closing salutation and signature. The rest of the elements will be left-aligned. Font. Use a professional font such as ...

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    Whether you print your memos or send them digitally, finding a way to make them striking can help ensure they get read upon receipt. Explore designer-created memo templates to find a customizable design with which to start. Sharing a memorandum with your business? Consider starting with a memo template that shares a theme with your business.

  23. How To Write A Business Memo + PDF Template

    Memos are often written on company letterhead. to start your memo drop down 1.5 inches from top of letterhead and add the "To" field. Author note: a business memo should not exceed two pages. To: Name of Person and Title in Organization From: Your Name Date: Month, Day, Year Subject: Be very specific

  24. Writing the Basic Business Letter

    Sample Letters Writing the Basic Business Letter Parts of a Business Letter This resource is organized in the order in which you should write a business letter, starting with the sender's address if the letter is not written on letterhead. Sender's Address The sender's address usually is included in letterhead.

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    Finally, it should include a concluding paragraph which summarizes your interest and invites the hiring team to contact you. Be descriptive in your cover letter, but also concise. Fully 70% of ...

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  27. Use it to analyze vast amounts of data

    The letter F. An envelope. It indicates the ability to send an email. An curved arrow pointing right. ... provide tips on how to start a business, and even write music in the style of individual ...