Routine E-Mail Messages and Memos

E-mail; memos; reply messages; request messages; confirmation emails; memorandum; netiquette; attachment; spam; security; forward; reply; carbon copy; blind carbon copy; are all examples of words relating to communication in today's modern world. If you are wondering "How to write an effective email?" or "How to write effective memos?" follow this summary guide to start on the right track.

Careful thought should be given when writing routine email and memos. Begin by collecting and organizing your thoughts in a brief outline. Your goal should be to make your ideas understood in the quickest and easiest possible way. Choose a subject line that will summarize the central idea, make it brief and clear. Write a subject with meaning. Generic subject lines can be discarded by spam filters.

Start your message by using an opening statement which expands and amplifies the central idea of the subject. Be direct. Provide the most important information at the beginning of the message.

The body should concentrate on explaining and providing background information. The information in the body should be arranged logically in short sentences and small paragraphs. This will enhance readability. Bullet and/or numbered lists can be used to further improve readability. 

When closing, end definitively. The conclusion should include relevant action information, dates and deadlines, or a brief summary. Alternatively if neither of the above seem appropriate end with a few closing thoughts.

Avoid attachments unless specifically requested or absolutely necessary. Viruses are an unfortunate reality which can cause serious problems for your computer and for your contacts.

As a final point, never send a message while upset. Consider that your message will create a permanent record. Be polite and professional. When writing routine email and messages one should be cautious as memos and emails often travel beyond the intended audiences.