Memos are a great way of effectively conveying your message to many people. But what good is it if nobody understands what you are trying to say. Think of how many reams of paper with tiny black and white print cross over your supervisor’s desk each day. If you want your memo’s to stand out from the crowd, apply these winning methods for memo writing.
Before you begin writing, identify the purpose of the memo. Are you documenting a meeting? Do you need someone to take action? Are you addressing a personnel issue for an employee’s file? Make sure you clearly state that specific purpose in one sentence at the very beginning of the memo. No one has time to muddle through several paragraphs to figure out why you wrote the memo. For example:
“This memo documents our understanding of the terms of the agreement discussed at our meeting on ….”
“Please accept this memo as XYZ Company’s written authorization to change the payment terms from 30 days to 45 days.”
These short to the point “what is the purpose” sentences will set the tone of the memo right from the start. Your reader will have a clear understanding of what to do next.
The style of your memo is dictated by your audience. If you are writing a memo to the Regional Sales Director, use a formal format, such as justified paragraphs, rather than an informal format. Lean more toward a conservative writing style. Include people’s last names and titles. Avoid abbreviated words. On the other hand, if you are sending a memo to your assistant to order supplies, you can keep it pretty casual.
Effective use of the “RE:” is just as important as writing a clear “what is the purpose” statement in your memo. A busy manager will quickly look at the “RE:” to determine the urgency and importance of the memo. Your “RE:” should bring about immediate attention. Rather than writing: “RE: ABC Company’s Sales”, be more descriptive like: “RE: Proposal to Increase Sales at ABC Company”. This will put your memo at the top of the pile.
In the high stress, fast-paced corporate world nobody has the time or the patience to read long memos. Keep it short – not just the memo, but the sentences and paragraphs also.Bullets are good visual tools to help simplify complex subject matters. They are also useful in drawing attention to a certain point you are trying to convey to your reader. If you are short on time, bullets are an effective way to communicate your message in the least amount of words.
If you are in the market for a different car, have you considered buying a used car? There are some very good financial benefits to buying a used vehicle. Of course, if you are the type who only wants new vehicles, then this information will be food for thought for you, while people who would consider buying a used car, will find this information exciting.
Let’s take look at the overall financial impact of purchasing a new versus a used car. For this example, the new vehicle will cost about $28,800 and the used vehicle will cost $15,200 over the next 5 years. We will also assume that after you finished paying for the used vehicle that you continue to put into the bank the same amount as the car payment. At the end of 5 years, here’s how much your net worth will have increased. These numbers do not include any interest on the savings.
You will notice that your overall net worth has actually increased even though you bought a vehicle that was worth initially less. This is the power of saving money. Our goal at MsFiscallyFit.com is to educate you on how you can be “Fiscally Fit” in all areas of your life.
Many people have a tendency to shy away from used vehicles. They are scared of buying “someone else’s problem”. When shopping for a used car, only consider reliable sources to buy from. You can purchase extended warranties on newer used vehicles from reputable dealerships in your area.
Check publications on used cars such as Consumer Reports for ratings on different used cars and find a reliable model. Also check Kelley Blue Book for retail and wholesale prices for used cars. You can also go online to find this information and do some comparison shopping without leaving your house. Here are some helpful web sites:
NOTE: These web sites are listed so you can start your research. MsFiscallyFit.com is not affiliated with these web sites and this is not an endorsement by MsFiscallyFit.com. The information at these web sites is not guaranteed to be accurate. Use of these web sites are at your own risk.
www.kbb.com – Kelley Blue Book
Pricing information for new and used vehicles.
www.edmunds.com – Edmunds.com
In this information rich site you can search out vehicle prices on new and used cars and find cars through their Market Place.
www.autobytel.com – Autobytel.com
Easily search our database of Certified Pre-Owner vehicles. All of our vehicles have a photo, and you’re protected by a 72-hour money-back guarantee, a 135 point inspection, and a 3 month/3,000 limited warranty.
www.carsdirect.com – CarsDirect.com
Find used car listings from newspapers across the country and pre-owned vehicles from your local dealers, too. CarsDirect.com is the fast, simple way to shop for your next car.
www.imotors.com – iMotors.com
Purchase a used car exactly how you want it. They will sell you the car you select and they guarantee it to be below Kelly Blue Book pricing.
(originally published 2/20/2000)