Have you ever wondered, what is a memo? Before conference calls and e-mails, the memo was one of the most important documents inside of a business office. Even with the advent of e-mails, the popularity of the memo has not diminished. Memos remain a vital part of office communications.
What exactly is a memo?
Memo is short for "memorandum." "Memorandum" is a Latin word that means "to be remembered." Simply put, a memo is a document containing information that should be remembered. The purpose of a memo is to inform, and it is generally served to a group of people at one time. The content of a memo ranges from key speaking points in a meeting to sharing knowledge about a future project to reminders of company policy.
A memo is most often sent from a manager to a subordinate party. In some cases, the opposite is true. For that reason, an office memo is generally formal. Rarely does it address specific personalities; instead, it focuses on group goals and corporate areas of improvement.
What types of memos are there?
It's hard to group memos into types because the type of content varies, but there are several broad classifications of memos. The first type of memo is the directive memo. The directive memo serves to tell the reader to follow a certain procedure. The second type of memo is the response memo. This type of memo is generally an answer to a preceding memo (oftentimes a directive). The third type of memo is a report, which explains the progress of a certain project. The fourth, and final, type of memo is a persuasive memo. The persuasive memo is a popular type that seeks to encourage the reader to engage in specific project or activity. See also Persuasive Memo Examples.
Want to know how to sign a memo? If you're the sender, you don't have to sign, but, if you're the recipient, you may need to acknowledge that you received it.
Not sure how to write a memo? While you can always rely on memo software to guide you through the process, it's good to know the basics of writing an effective business memo.