Are you well aware of what a memo is? Could you give a memorandum writing definition just on the spot? Have you ever thought about its key purposes and how they have been created? And one more of the questions that needs answering: “Are memos still relevant nowadays?” For you to know, memos are recognized as the most helpful tools when it concerns workplace communications among employees and the management, but nowadays, they have been applied from time to time. Many organizations have been doing all possible to become paperless, and some firms that do not tend to utilize digital tools that allow leading to fewer numbers of memos at work overall. Thus, the questions are, “What is the role of memos?’ and “What are their pros and cons?”

What Does the Term “Memo” Mean?

The majority of people are well aware of the term meaning, but the key purposes and the fields of application should be paid special attention to? Our specialists have done their best to explain every piece of info concerning memos in detail in the following article. A memo is referred to a physical tool of communication: a printed letter, which is distributed with a certain intention within a firm. Memos are applied for a huge number of purposes, for instance, to inform the personal of the company of the ongoing or urgent issues that should corrected or solved as quickly as only possible, to share different piece of news, or simply to announce that some kind of change will take place in the nearest future. They are extremely essential and versatile papers, but in the majority of cases, they are usually printed and released internally.

The biggest competitor of memos is emails. One of the key reasons is that memos start disappearing from offices as emails are paid much more attention to. It is convenient and easy to send emails, no matter who a sender and a receiver are. It is unnecessary to print and then distribute thousands of memos if there is email at handy.

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Why are memos typically sent?

  • to remind the employees about certain updates and tasks to do urgently
  • to give a new task that has to be completed by every employee by the end of the day
  • to give explanations of a new strategy or a new policy of work bonuses
  • to inform the departments about their low performance level and request for immediate improvements.

What you need as a leader is a memo that is concise and understandable. Have a look at effective tips you can easily follow!

Keep in Mind Just Five Ideas to Write a Memo

Write a memo

Tip #1: Do not start writing a memo before you can phrase a short and clear idea of what you want.

A rambling memo will irritate your employees and that is not what you need! First of all, ask the following questions:

  • “Is this memo needed now?”
  • “The employees will spend some time on reading this memo – it is really urgent now?”
  • “What would be my reaction to this memo?”
  • “Is it clear that I want a single action from the people?”

Work on the wording of the memo again if you see that some of the answers are still not satisfactory.

Not effective memos are better not to be sent as they do not contribute to the overall efficiency of the working process. Send them only after you made sure they are well written!

Tip #2: Make an emphasis on the “key info” as soon as you can.

If even the memo header is too long and complicated, who will be interested in reading the whole text? Do not underestimate the value of the header. Try to maximize its value but minimize the number of words used in it:

From: Ben Nevis
To: Production team.
Reason: Update on the April production needed by 2pm

Do not make the employees scroll their inbox messages in their smartphones and tablets. It takes time and does not add to positive emotions.

Tip #3: Make sure the text is short.

You have already followed two previous tips, and you know that an effective memo makes your readers to take a single action. Do not add excessive details! Be quick and get to the action section at once!

Get straight to what you want to say without any comments, unnecessary details or sophisticated phrases. Be clear in your thoughts and ideas. You can even make your memos fun to add their efficiency. Why not?

Tip #4: Work on the clear wording. Repeat the main idea. Make it bold to avoid all kinds of inconsistencies and inaccuracies. The readers should see the action mentioned in one sentence in the last several words.

Your idea of what you expect from the people should be exact and clear. Place it at the very end of the memo:

Send an email with an update on the latest numbers by 3pm today!

You will be amazed at how many people will react accordingly if your request is sent in a clear manner and with an exact identification of the necessary action.

Tip #5: Tell the people that they do not have to do anything, if it is so.  

If you do not expect any actions from the people, let them know about that. Do not make your team members wonder what you want them to do. Save their time! Just leave a note:

No action required.

Everybody will appreciate that you care about their time and efforts.

Essential Information on Memo

Essential Information on Memo You Should Known

Are Memos Always Aggressive or Negative?

Though it is not always the issue of focus, in the majority of cases, memos are treated in a negative way. They are regarded as not warm and involving. They avoid including greetings. They are often aggressive, intimidating, strict, and depressing. To tell the truth, memos are very formal documents if compared to other means of written communication. 

Currently, managers are more focused on the application of direct communication. They prefer to have verbal type of communication with their subordinates verbally, as each person can put questions and get answers immediately. Low morale and poor engagement are considered burring issues, and sending memos can result in the gossip and heated discussions. It should be noted that an email can also be aggressive and lead to a negative effect on a workers’ performance. However, the perception of such papers is more negative and influential than that of digital types of communication.

Are Memos Still Relevant in Becoming Paperless and Freer?

Nowadays, many companies aim to become paperless. You may ask about the key reasons for doing this. Firstly, they want to save money and thus reduce their waste of paper. Secondly, digital data storage implies saves not only money and resources but also time and efforts of the thousands if not the millions of people.

Are Memos Still Applicable?

The answer to this questions is, “Yes.” You can come across the printed memos in some companies, but in others, such a type of memos has never been in use. One of the key reasons that memos have still been utilized by many companies is that they are paid attention to. They are professional, formal, and support a great variety of formatting styles. For instance, for those messages that should have a lasting effect, the email noise informs about a physical memo in order to attract the employee’s attention. It cannot be lost in the packs of inbox. Memos are treated as a great option for different news boards, as they can be pinned up for each employee to see them with ease, unlike emails that are, in the majority of cases, delivered directly to one’s inbox.

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Are Memos Still Relevant to Utilize in the Workplace?

Is it worthwhile to rethink the role of memos? Definitely, yes. There are many instances where memos can be applied the right, convenient and relevant context. If you want your senior managers and co-workers to pay attention to the memos sent by you, you should ensure that they are well versed and applied sparingly. Consider that memos can lose their power if utilized too frequently. Always back up your information digitally.

The above article focuses on some essential pieces of information concerning memos application. In case you have more questions, please feel free and refer to our specialists working at

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