People have become too used to emails hitting their inbox. And because they are easy to miss or delete, they may not always be the best option for your message. An internal memo might be a better choice, especially if what you need to say is important. Writing a memo rather than an email may seem daunting, but it isn’t – especially when you use our free memo templates that break it down into step-by-step pieces.
A memo, or memorandum, is a brief written report from one person or department to another. It’s often a form of mass communication rather than a one-on-one. An interoffice memo may communicate an organizational directive or change in policy or procedure, or combat the company grapevine with its rumors and hearsay.
When Should You Use a Memo?
A memo is the right form of communication when you want to:
- Issue a directive
- Provide information
- Communicate semi-formally
Email is rampant in the business world. It’s not unusual to get dozens or even hundreds of emails every day. Which makes sense, given the purpose they serve; if you are writing a quick communication that you know will be deleted, email is a great option.
However, when what you need to say is more important than an email warrants, send an interoffice memo to your staff instead. And if you are writing to someone outside of your organization, a business letter is an even better option.
Memos should not be confused with a private placement memorandum, which is a legal document supplied to investors when selling stock securities in a business, or a credit memo, which is a credit note given to a buyer.
Different Types of Memo Documents
You can use a number of different types of memos in your business.
- Internal memo – A communication between members of, or groups within, a single department
- Interoffice memo – An internal communication between two or more departments; similar to an internal memo, but with one or more added departments
- Office memo – Another name for an internal memo
- Business memo – A formal correspondence between two parties within a company
- Policy memo – A directive sent by the head of a department to all employees communicating a change in company policy
- Operational memo – Similar to a policy memo, an operational memo issues a directive to all employees discussing a change in operational procedure
- Memorandum of agreement – An agreement between two parties describing a working relationship. Unlike most memos, a memorandum of agreement is a legal document
- Memorandum of understanding – A memorandum of understanding is the same as a memorandum or agreement
Memos should be a concise communication with a clear purpose to a person or group of people. It typically has a specific format—but don’t worry, our free memo templates have done all of that for you, so that you don’t miss anything important.
The heading is arguably the most important part of your memo. Without a good lead, readers may decide it’s not worth their time to read your communication. The heading typically lets readers know the date, subject, and recipient of the memo.
To: This is the recipient(s) of the internal memo. Use only the first name if it’s an informal communication, and the first and last name and department if it’s more formal. If the memo is meant for an entire department, address it to that specific department .
From: Memos are usually from a specific person. Use the same level of formality that you used on the recipient line.
Subject: Be specific so that your readers know whether or not they are interested in reading your memo. Instead of saying “Important Information” say “Important Information regarding XYZ Company’s Stock Purchase Plan”
Body of the Memo
The first section is the purpose of the memo. It gives readers the context for the communication and contains a brief highlight on the reason for the memo. In the introduction to your internal memo, let readers know the situation or event you are addressing.
The main body of the memo is going to be the message, including background information and the resolution. This section may include statistics, examples, or reasons so that readers understand how the decision was reached.
Conclusion or Action
The final paragraph will be clear on what action is being taken so that all readers understand. It may include a directive, call to action, or what other actions can be taken.
Before Hitting Send
- Proofread your document – Since it’s a professional business document, ensure that it doesn’t contain any typos or spelling errors.
- Check your terminology – Does the document contain words, abbreviations, or acronyms that everyone will understand? Use the definition or a different word if it’s going to cause confusion with readers.
- Use white space – Make sure paragraphs aren’t so long that you lose readers. Break long paragraphs into shorter ones and consider adding bullet points or sub-headings.
- Get rid of emotion – A memo should be factual rather than emotional. Replace emotionally charged words with objective ones in order to retain your professional demeanor.
- Logical – The memo should be logical and easy to understand. Does it flow in a methodical manner or is the information all over the place? Don’t make assumptions about what background information readers bring.
- Length – A memo should not be very long. If it’s much more than a page, you should either write more succinctly or switch formats.
- Is a memo appropriate – If you are divulging something sensitive, a memo may not be the best form of communication. For example, if you are firing someone, you should probably tell them in person that they need to update their resume.
Free Memo Template Examples
The free memo templates below are all formatted and ready to use. Simply download the theme you want, add the appropriate text, and you are ready to send out this simple communication.
Black Line memo sample
Use this document as a brief record written as an aid to the memory: memorandum, notation, note. This template is free and can be easily modified to meet your needs.
- Size: 36 KB
- Downloads: 37206
- Filename: Black-Line-memo-sample.doc
- Uploaded: 2009-09-03 13:23:00 / 2239
Blue Gradient sample of memo
Simple memo design with blue gradient boxes in the header and footer.
- Size: 39 KB
- Downloads: 17012
- Filename: Blue-Gradient-sample-of-memo.doc
- Uploaded: 2009-09-03 13:23:00 / 2253
Red Sidebar Business Memo
Formal design with red-and-black pattern sidebar.
- Size: 39 KB
- Downloads: 15424
- Filename: Red-Sidebar-Business-Memo.doc
- Uploaded: 2009-09-03 13:23:00 / 2557
Big title blue sidebar
Simple blue theme with big heading Memo and a sidebar for additional information or company details.
- Size: 36 KB
- Downloads: 11667
- Filename: Big-title-blue-sidebar-free-memo-template.doc
- Uploaded: 2009-11-21 13:23:00 / 2233
Very Simple Memorandum
Basic internal memo template in black and white.
- Size: 38 KB
- Downloads: 9017
- Filename: Very-Simple-Memorandum.doc
- Uploaded: 2009-09-03 13:23:00 / 2687
Blue and Brown memo example
Simple elegant theme; change template colours to be inline with your corporate style.
- Size: 32 KB
- Downloads: 8476
- Filename: Blue-and-Brown-memo-example.doc
- Uploaded: 2009-09-03 13:23:00 / 2258
Simple gradient business memo
Blue gradient theme with heading info inside of a simple table with gradient background.
- Size: 41 KB
- Downloads: 7179
- Filename: Simple-gradient-business-memo.doc
- Uploaded: 2009-09-03 13:23:00 / 2615
Simple lines design
Elegant formal design for an office memo template with company address, heading, and content sections divided by black lines.
- Size: 40 KB
- Downloads: 5267
- Filename: Simple-lines-free-memo-template.doc
- Uploaded: 2009-11-20 13:23:00 / 2617
Theme with brown side bar to include additional info. Use it to remind employees about latest business news, or to provide additional information about topic of the memo.
- Size: 39 KB
- Downloads: 4359
- Filename: Brown-Sidebar-Free-Memo-Template.doc
- Uploaded: 2009-09-03 13:23:00 / 2283
Simple elegant free memo sample
Very elegant and simple formal interoffice memo template with date, heading, and content section.
- Size: 33 KB
- Downloads: 4165
- Filename: Simple-elegant-free-memo-template.doc
- Uploaded: 2009-11-20 13:23:00 / 2603
Elegant Simple Memo sample
Simple employee memo template design suitable for any business.
- Size: 68 KB
- Downloads: 3966
- Filename: Elegant-Simple-Memo-sample.doc
- Uploaded: 2009-11-21 13:23:00 / 2378
Simple sidebar business memo
Simple business memo template format with document title placed into the sidebar.
- Size: 38 KB
- Downloads: 3163
- Filename: Simple-sidebar-business-memo.doc
- Uploaded: 2007-10-05 13:23:00 / 2635
Sidebar address design
Blue theme with space in sidebar (company info, news, tagline, or other information that can be the same or changed for every memo)
- Size: 39 KB
- Downloads: 2705
- Filename: Sidebar-address-free-memo-template.doc
- Uploaded: 2009-11-21 13:23:00 / 2580
Memo template word 2010
This free “Memo template word 2010″ is for Microsoft Office Word 2010 and can be used as a memorandum for business. This template has space for company name, memo subject or memo title, company info / details (address, web site, or other information), and a field for date and signature.
- Size: 29 KB
- Downloads: 2556
- Filename: memo-template-word-2010.docx
- Uploaded: 2011-12-28 16:09:00 / 2332
Confidential theme memo sample
Simple letter sample design for confidential information.
- Size: 72 KB
- Downloads: 2476
- Filename: Confidential-theme-memo-sample.doc
- Uploaded: 2009-11-21 13:23:00 / 2350
Blue elegant memo
A two page memo template made with Microsoft Office Word 2007 with automatic fields
- Size: 16 KB
- Downloads: 2435
- Filename: Blue-elegant-memo.docx
- Uploaded: 2010-07-02 13:45:00 / 2720
Simple elegant memo
Very basic memo word template with heading and current year in the header, and memo content below (to, from, subject, date, and the message itself).
- Size: 31 KB
- Downloads: 2425
- Filename: Simple-elegant-memo.doc
- Uploaded: 2010-07-02 13:23:00 / 2606
Telepro Memo Template
Formal and simple corporate memo template with many formatting styles that also can be used as corporate letter template.
- Size: 48 KB
- Downloads: 2405
- Filename: Telepro-Memo-Template.doc
- Uploaded: 2010-03-29 13:23:00 / 2676
Simple confidential memo template
Use this document as a memorandum, notation, or a note on confidential information distributed within your organization.
- Size: 75 KB
- Downloads: 2209
- Filename: Simple-confidential-memo-template.doc
- Uploaded: 2009-11-29 13:23:00 / 2599
Technova Innovation Memo Template
Simple and elegant business letter format that can be used by any company. Just add your logo, change fonts and colors. This template works with styles for fast and easy editing.
- Size: 77 KB
- Downloads: 2004
- Filename: Technova-Innovation-Memo-Template.doc
- Uploaded: 2010-03-29 13:23:00 / 2674
Elegant Outlined Memo
Very simple and elegant office memorandum example with border lines to separate heading from content section.
- Size: 39 KB
- Downloads: 2002
- Filename: Elegant-Outlined-Memo.doc
- Uploaded: 2009-11-21 13:23:00 / 2376
Blue border memorandum template
Simple theme with blue page border, date, and heading. Content components include to, from, subject, and memo message section.
- Size: 31 KB
- Downloads: 1425
- Filename: Memorandum-template.doc
- Uploaded: 2011-12-28 13:23:00 / 2495
Header waves simple design
Creative design with green waves in both header and footer fo the document.
- Size: 60 KB
- Downloads: 8400
- Filename: Header-waves-simple-memo.doc
- Uploaded: 2010-05-10 13:23:00 / 2466
Elegant floral theme. Use this template for an announcement, or a flyer for wedding, flower shop, or any other business.
- Size: 95 KB
- Downloads: 6446
- Filename: Floral-memo-template.doc
- Uploaded: 2010-05-27 13:23:00 / 2409
Blue waves memo letter example
Elegant, creative and artistic, yet very corporate format sample.
- Size: 76 KB
- Downloads: 5717
- Filename: Blue-waves-memo-letter-example.doc
- Uploaded: 2009-11-20 13:23:00 / 2277
Technology theme with abstract blue lines in the footer; styles are used to make template editing easy.
- Size: 1 MB
- Downloads: 4665
- Filename: Flexible-technology-memo-template.doc
- Uploaded: 2010-05-04 13:23:00 / 2403
Free memo template with a clock
Memo template to announce events, issue reminders, or any other time-related news.
- Size: 468 KB
- Downloads: 4483
- Filename: Free-memo-template-with-a-clock.doc
- Uploaded: 2009-11-20 13:23:00 / 2426
Creative writing design
Informal artistic memo with funny image creating the title of the document.
- Size: 366 KB
- Downloads: 4335
- Filename: Creative-writing-free-memo-template.doc
- Uploaded: 2009-11-20 13:23:00 / 2366
Post it Sticky Note Design
Simple one-page memo template with an image of a post-it and the word “memo” in the header.
- Size: 73 KB
- Downloads: 4017
- Filename: Post-it-memo-template.doc
- Uploaded: 2010-05-27 13:23:00 / 2536
Simple theme with green gradient on the left side.
- Size: 35 KB
- Downloads: 3369
- Filename: Green-gradient-memo.doc
- Uploaded: 2010-05-04 13:23:00 / 2456
Corporate blue waves
Creative business memo with modern image of blue waves in the bottom part of the document.
- Size: 108 KB
- Downloads: 3363
- Filename: Example-of-memo-with-blue-waves.doc
- Uploaded: 2009-11-20 13:23:00 / 2391
Corporate blue waves header
Artistic business memo with large image of waves in the header. Perfect design for single-page business document.
- Size: 136 KB
- Downloads: 3242
- Filename: Blue-waves-sample-memo.doc
- Uploaded: 2009-11-20 13:23:00 / 2279
Blue striped header
Simple memo design with an image of blue stripes in the background. Replace image and colors to fit your business needs.
- Size: 154 KB
- Downloads: 3234
- Filename: Blue-striped-header-memo.doc
- Uploaded: 2010-07-02 13:23:00 / 2273
Global company theme
Corporate technology theme with subtle blue background, waves and globe.
- Size: 142 KB
- Downloads: 3191
- Filename: Blue-Waves-and-Globe-Memo-Template.doc
- Uploaded: 2009-11-20 13:23:00 / 2256
Binary code technology theme
Technology memo theme with binary numbers image on the left side.
- Size: 68 KB
- Downloads: 2701
- Filename: Binary-code-technology-memo.doc
- Uploaded: 2010-05-04 13:23:00 / 2237
Wayland High School
Formal professional and neutral memo theme for nternal communication in business and academia.
- Size: 381 KB
- Downloads: 2692
- Filename: Wayland-High-School-Memo-Template.doc
- Uploaded: 2010-03-29 13:23:00 / 2693
Computer mouse IT theme
Great theme for IT and computer-related news. Simple design with an image of a computer mouse in the footer.
- Size: 113 KB
- Downloads: 2567
- Filename: Computer-mouse-free-memo-template.doc
- Uploaded: 2009-11-20 13:23:00 / 2348
Paper with a paper clip memo template
Memo template with an image of a paper and a paper clip in the footer of the template. Use this template for short memorandum, announcement, notice.
- Size: 76 KB
- Downloads: 2469
- Filename: Paper-with-a-paper-clip-memo-template.doc
- Uploaded: 2010-05-27 13:23:00 / 2523
World map sample
Simple memo design with an image of a world map in the background.
- Size: 188 KB
- Downloads: 2317
- Filename: Blue-wold-sample-of-memo.doc
- Uploaded: 2009-11-21 13:23:00 / 2281
Free memo template for with green and skyblue theme and watermark type memo heading on top
- Size: 30 KB
- Downloads: 2259
- Filename: Skyblue-memo.doc
- Uploaded: 2010-09-30 13:23:00 / 2646
Attractive theme with green background and angular design elements in the bottom of the template.
- Size: 86 KB
- Downloads: 2203
- Filename: Corner-lines-memo.doc
- Uploaded: 2010-05-04 13:23:00 / 2353
Orange header pin
Orange header background repeated on each memo page.
- Size: 88 KB
- Downloads: 2137
- Filename: Orange-header-pin-memo-template.doc
- Uploaded: 2010-05-27 13:23:00 / 2513
Paper clip sidebar sample
Memo template with an image of a paper clip on the left side.
- Size: 80 KB
- Downloads: 2132
- Filename: Paper-clip-sidebar-memo-template.doc
- Uploaded: 2010-05-27 13:23:00 / 2519
A simple memo with blakish blue and red theme
Red and black theme with black borders to separate memo sections.
- Size: 71 KB
- Downloads: 2100
- Filename: A-simple-memo-with-blakish-blue-and-red-theme.doc
- Uploaded: 2010-09-30 13:23:00 / 2220
Notebook background theme
One-page memo template with an image of a notebook in the background and repeated word “memo” in the header.
- Size: 114 KB
- Downloads: 2081
- Filename: Notebook-memo-template.doc
- Uploaded: 2010-05-27 13:23:00 / 2505
One-page simple memo, DNA theme.
- Size: 96 KB
- Downloads: 1996
- Filename: Chemical-theme-memo-template.doc
- Uploaded: 2010-05-27 13:23:00 / 2301
Blue mountain header
Simple memo template with blue mountain scheme and blue footer gradient.
- Size: 139 KB
- Downloads: 1995
- Filename: Blue-mountain-memo-template.doc
- Uploaded: 2010-07-02 13:23:00 / 2262
Winter Holiday memo with bright yellow background and snowflakes.
- Size: 290 KB
- Downloads: 1863
- Filename: Christmas-memo-template.doc
- Uploaded: 2009-11-20 13:23:00 / 2307