Want to share an important piece of information? Make sure everyone knows about that upcoming meeting? Is there a congregation of soccer moms getting together at the local Starbucks after work? Is Friday casual dress day and you need to tell everyone they can lay off the business casual? Great! That means you need a memo to be sent out! Memo Day celebrates something that has been a sacred (or loathed depending on who you ask…) source of communication within the business world, the memo!

History of Memo Day

The history of the memo goes back much further than you might suspect! The word ‘memo’ comes from the latin ‘memorandum’ a word that means, appropriately enough ‘It must be remembered’. The purpose of a Memo was to aid memory by putting notification of events and observations in written communication. Originally this was done with hand-written communication, and then developed with mechanical writing forms like the printing press, typewriter, and printer, and now into the digital age with email! It can sometimes be forgotten that before the world of instant messaging and emailing that the world revolved around physical communications. 

The term memorandum has become so fundamental to business and other official communications that there are specifically classified forms of memorandums. Consider the Policy briefing note: this little memo actually serves an incredibly vital role in the development of policy by judicial and governmental bodies. Once a political analysis of a situation or condition has been done, it’s transmitted to those who make the decisions in the form of a policy briefing note! 

That means every day our lives are affected in countless ways by memos, and you definitely have not seen all the ways in which a memo impacts your life on a daily basis. Whether you get a raise, a particular product gets developed, or that zoning request goes through could all be determined by the humble memo.

Ever been in a court case? Prior to your actual day in court, information was provided to the judge in the form of a ‘bench memorandum’, containing a brief overview of the case including lawyer’s arguments and other information needed to come to a decision about the case as a whole.

How to celebrate Memo Day

To celebrate Memo Day, it all starts with sending someone a memo! It really is that simple. Whether it’s in the form of a Post-It note on the fridge, a message in their lunchbox reminding them of a Doctor’s appointment, or an email to your boss reminding him to send out the memos to the rest of your co-workers, make sure you get a memo out today! But, this all may be great, but you may be wondering how do you write one?

The format of a memo is simple. You write “Memo” or “Memorandum” at the top, followed by a To line, a From line, a Dateline, a Subject line, and then the actual body of the message. Traditionally, you would print out a memo and distribute it to the relevant parties inside your small business. The best ending for a memo is a clear closing action, stated in the last paragraph. And, be very clear about what you want your reader to know or do after reading the memo, which makes it easy for your reader to respond.

Just like that, you have written your first (or maybe multiple) memos! You can play around with it too, as you are not sending the memo to be official. Add what you like, be creative, the whole idea of Memo Day is to have fun and play around with the humble memo, and celebrate something that never really gets spoken about but impacts many factions in life, every single day.

Not sure what kind of memo to send? It’s time to do a little research! You have Directive memos, where instructions are given. Then there are the Status or progress report memos, where you report on the status or progress of some project or event. Lastly, but by no means a conclusion of the types of memos, you have the Field or trip report memos, where you document key information about events that occurred in the field or during a trip. So, go out and research, and pick what type of memo you are going to use when you go out and send your memo for Memo Day!

Memo Day celebrates all forms of memos, from Grey Literature to Bench Memorandums! With the digital age in full swing, it can be a really nice change to send someone you know a physical piece of communication in the form of a memo. Not only are they personal, but also unexpected, and bring some light to whoever you send them too (Of course, that all depends on what you write inside it!).

So go out, and celebrate Memo Day with sending someone, or many people you know, a personal and memorable memo!

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