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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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