How to Write a Professional Memo (In ten minutes or less)

by Contributor; Updated September 26, 2017

Memo, short for memorandum, is the often-used format of internal business communications. Knowing how to phrase and organize a memo efficiently can be tricky. The instructions that follow focus on the more formal version of the memo — one likely to be printed and distributed or sent in an official email.

Step 1

Identify your purpose and your audience and decide on the appropriate tone. If your purpose is to talk about a new company policy, use a strict tone. If your purpose is to inform your co-workers of the upcoming company party, go lightly.

Step 2

Use the correct and commonly accepted format. This can vary by company or organization, but often includes many similar aspects:"To," "From," "Date" and "Subject" elements, each followed by a colon and the corresponding text.

Step 3

Keep the memo short and to the point. It's generally best to keep memos to one page. Separate each paragraph by a line space. Do not indent paragraphs. Remember to leave around two inches at the top for the company logo/header, which will often print or appear on written memos.

Step 4

Choose your words carefully. The number of words you may use is limited by space.

Step 5

Form a message that clearly and concisely express the concern you wish to convey.