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Tips for sending memos


Office memos have probably been around as long as offices have been. The format of effective memos hasn't really changed although the mode of memo delivery has. Most businesses have adapted to the computer age and now use the computer for intra-office communication. This means that where memos use to be typed out and placed into employee mailboxes, they are now typed out and sent into employee email boxes. This is a great improvement in communication because now both the sender and the recipient have a record of the memo, when it was sent, and when it was opened.

Tip #1-train on email use


If you do use email to send your memos, you should make sure all employees are trained on using your office email system. Set standards for how often the email should be checked. Also, teach your team members to use the features available on the email. Sending office memos will be easier and more efficient if everybody knows how to mail the entire group and the difference between "reply" and "reply all". These things might seem simple to you but if you have an employee who hasn't used these features, they can be hard to figure out.

Tip #2-don't over-memo

When mailboxes get stuffed with tons of unimportant memos everyday, you can't really expect employees to read each one of them. Memos should save time, not waste time and unnecessary memos are definitely a waste of time. Make sure that every memo that gets into a mailbox is something that that recipient needs to know. Have rules and standards about sending office memos so that nobody is wasting anybody's time with inbox fluff.

Tip #3-write user friendly memos

There are a number of things to consider when it comes to actually writing out the memo. When you are creating a memo, try to follow these rules:
 One email for each topic-sometimes people don't read the entire email. If you start with a memo about the company picnic and then mention that the board meeting has been moved to a different room, a lot of your employees might not read about the room change. Once the recipient has determined what the topic of the memo is they may opt to stop reading if they are already informed, or just uninterested in the topic.

 Get to the point-nobody wants to spend much time reading long and boring office memos. If you skip the fluff and get right to the point, you will communicate the point better. Try to keep your email memos short. About 200 words is plenty, more than 400 words and it is quite likely that your employees will start skimming for the bottom of the page (that is about how many words of this article that you have already read-get it?)

 Make the memo easy to read. You can make the memo easy to read in two ways. The first way is to keep the language simple and write on a grade level that everybody is comfortable with. It is conventional to write at about an 8th grade level when writing for the public. The other way to make your memos easy to read is to organize the page in a reader friendly fashion. It can be intimidating to open a big block of paragraphs stuffed with words. Instead, break up the memo into heading, and use bullet points if you can. Headings let the reader know what to expect. Bulleted or numbered lists are easy to read and organize. Try to break your memo down into the smallest pieces possible.


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