How Do I Properly Annotate an Attachment in an Office Memo?

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In the business world, a memo follows a specific format and requires a particular writing style to encourage readers to take action after reviewing your information. Writing and annotating attachments in emails is more flexible, but you should follow the same format used in traditional memos for a professional appearance. With the increase of email communication in interoffice situations, learning how to properly annotate and attach documents can prevent your memos from ending up in the "spam" folder. You can note an attachment both in the body and at the end of the memo to encourage further discussion between you and the recipient.

Write the rough draft of your memo before adding any additional attachments to the document. Make sure you begin by using proper header format including "To," "From," "Date" and "Subject" at the top. Email memos do not follow the same format as a printed copy, so proper margins are not required to format an effective e-document.

Press "Enter" twice (to skip two lines) and start writing the body of the memo; this should introduce the problem, context and required tasks while mentioning as many details as possible. Create an outline of the memo in your word processor. Write the details of the memo by opening with a clear, concise explanation of the memo then follow with the context which led to your discovery of the issue. Break the problem down into bullet points for easy reading.

Keep sentences 20 words or less and paragraphs three to five sentences each; use transitional devices to make the document flow. In the middle of the body, be sure to mention that there is an attachment to the email; this should already be evident through the paperclip icon located on the side of the email message, but it is still important to make a note of it in the body before finishing the memo.

Write the closing segment of the memo by stating the how the reader can contact you to start the project or fix the problem. Make sure you state specific details of your availability, intentions of the meeting and possible solutions before mentioning the attachment once more. Press "Enter" four times and write "Attachment" at the left margin of the email. The format is as follows:

Attached: Financial Analysis, July [X], 20XX


Double-check that your email contains the attachment before sending it. Mention the attachment once in the body and once at the end, with proper annotation. Complete a thorough review of the memo to make sure all ideas are present. Send reasonably sized attachments to ensure delivery to the recipient's inbox. Write with actionable verbs to encourage readers to take a position in helping you resolve your issue.


Do not send the first copy of the memo without revision or proofreading.