Understanding Memos: Purpose, Types, Features, Sections, and Writing Tips

Meaning of Memo – Surely Reader is no stranger to what a memo is. If Reader thinks that a memo is usually written on a small note paper or sticky note and then pasted on a book or an item as an important note to be read, that thought is not wrong.

Broadly speaking, a memo is indeed a reminder or a brief note about a problem that is being discussed. But it turns out, the memo is not just a simple note because the memo has two functions, which are official and unofficial.

Then, what is the meaning of the memo? What about the official and unofficial functions of a memo?

Well, for Reader to understand that, let’s read the following review!

Meaning of Memo

According to Keraf (1980), the memo stands for memorandum and has various meanings, namely (1) memorandum means an informal note or reminder letter, (2) memorandum means a statement of diplomatic relations, and (3) memorandum means a form of communication aimed at to advice, instructions, or explanations.

Meanwhile, based on KBBI (Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia), this memo or memorandum is a form of communication that contains suggestions, instructions, or explanations in the form of notes. In addition, memos can also be used as a statement in diplomatic relations.

Not only that, a memo or memorandum can also be used by the leadership of an organization or company in an effort to deliver a short message in the form of a notification or request in an organization or company.

Well, based on some of the definitions that have been explained, it can be concluded that a memo is a form of communication through short messages that are usually in the form of suggestions, notifications, requests, and written in a note.

In practice, it is very rare for employees to give a memo to their superiors, especially in an organization or business enterprise.

Meanwhile, in the legal realm, a memorandum report usually has one to three pages only. If there is more than one page, efforts should be made to summarize it so that the reader does not have to read the entire information.

Purpose of Memo Writing

The purpose of writing a memo is to request or provide information to someone to be addressed. For example, Ana wants to write a memo to her father that she is going to college, so the purpose of writing the memo is to notify her father that she is going to college.

Types of Memos

Previously, it was explained that the memo was official and unofficial. Official memos are usually written by companies with important contexts or matters. While on informal memos, written personally. Well, here is the description.

1. Official Memo

As the name suggests, in an official memo the context is definitely an important matter. Usually this type of memo is used as a statement as an official link between the leader and his subordinates, in a company, institution or agency.

2. Informal Memo/ Personal Memo

Next is an unofficial memo or it can also be called a personal memo. It is called so because usually the contents of the notification are unofficial matters, and are addressed to friends, relatives, family, even the closest people.

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Characteristics of a Memo

Memos are fundamentally different from notice boards. Well the following are the characteristics of a memo.

  • Contains suggestions, instructions, or explanations about something
  • The information presented is clear and relevant
  • In an official memorandum, it has parts like a letter, but simpler
  • In an unofficial memorandum, the identity of the office is not included (name of the office, telephone number, office address)
  • Delivered horizontally (parties with equivalent positions), as well as vertically (from superiors to subordinates, or vice versa)
  • The language used is shorter, more concise, and simpler

Sections of the Memo

Previously, it was explained that a memo is a short message. Despite this, memos still have certain parts, especially in official memos. Well here is the description.

  • Head part

Just like humans, a memo also has a head that is located on top. The head of this memo consists of the memo header, the name of the sender, and the name of the recipient of the memo.

  • Content section

The next part is the body of the memo which consists of the information to be conveyed by the sender to the recipient.

  • Closing Section

The last part is the closing part or the foot of the memo. The footer of this memo consists of the date the memo was written, the signature, and the clear name of the memo maker.

Signing is very necessary, especially on official memos, because it shows that the information contained in the memo is important information in an official context.

General Structure In A Memorandum

When talking about the memorandum, the context must be official. Although memos and memorandums are actually the same thing, many people think that memos are related to informal contexts, while memorandums are related to official contexts.

1. Memo letterhead

This section later contains a brief explanation related to from and for whom the memo was made. The header of the memo usually contains the name of the maker, the purpose of the memo, the subject of the memo or topic, and the date.

In the placement of dates should be actual.

2. Introduction

Next is the introductory structure located in the first paragraph of a memo. This introduction contains information about the purpose of the memo without being verbose. For example, a sentence such as “I am writing this memo to request approval regarding…”

It should be known that the memo is to-the-point information, so that the delivery should also be to the point.

3. Details

The next structure is detailed. In this structure contains details of the purpose or subject of the memo which can be placed in the paragraph after the introduction. Similar to the introductory structure, the details should also be simple.

For example: ” Along with the growth of the company and business, we have a new target market as of today … … 2022, so as the main director, I decided to separate the video and promotional content team from the marketing division. Furthermore, this team will move as an independent division effective from today ”

4. Closing

In the last structure of a memo, it must contain the contact number of the party that can be contacted in relation to the contents of the memo. For example, a memo containing permission to use the building for a festival event, then the closing part should have the contact of the relevant official clearly when the permission is approved.

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An example sentence: ” When permission is approved, please be willing to contact the Business Manager via the following email address… For his attention, I thank you and have a good job “.

Tips for Compiling a Memo

Specifically for an official memo, the compilation should use effective standard language, because the use of this memo is in an official context.

  • When you want to write a memo, it’s best to write it briefly and concisely, straight to the point.
  • Use language that is appropriate for who will receive it. When the receiver is someone with a certain position, use standard and effective language. However, when the recipient is the closest person in an informal context, can use everyday language but must be polite and clear in content.
  • Don’t forget to include the name of the memo maker clearly so that the existence of the memo can be accounted for.
  • Also include the recipient’s name so that the memo is not misdirected.

Sample Memo

Sample Official School Memo


Jl. Citizen No.127 Tanjung Karang Barat

Tel. (081) 332344 Email: [email protected]


From: Principal

To: Head of SMA Neo Culture Zone

I would like to discuss with you about the implementation of the Annual Festival in the framework of the 23rd School Anniversary which will last for three days. This discussion is to discuss the students so that they can better prepare for the Annual Festival.

The discussion will be held on October 22, 2019. It is requested that you and all OSIS members prepare data about the Festival’s readiness. God willing, this discussion will be held later in the day after the second break in the OSIS room. That’s it and thank you.

Bekasi, October 22, 2022



Sample Enterprise Memo

PT Eska Lokal

Jl. Jendral Sudirman No. 18 Depok

Tel. 0212121212


From: Managing Director

To: Financial Staff

Please prepare this month’s financial report. The report will be used as evaluation material with the board of directors which will be held at the monthly meeting, on December 19, 2019, at 10.00 WIB, in the office hall.

The financial report still needs a lot to be prepared, so I really hope that you and all the staff can prepare the report as soon as possible. Don’t forget to send a soft copy of the report to my email. That’s it and thank you.

Depok, December 13, 2021

Principal Director

Chandra Bayuji

Example of an Organizational Memo

Central Java Education Office

State Vocational High School 1 Solo


May 22, 2021

From: Principal

To : The entire Council of Teachers and School Staff

It is requested for the entire council of teachers and staff to participate in reminding the students of SMK Negeri 1 Solo in the movement of neatness, such as putting on a shirt, wearing uniform black shoes, and neatness of hair, this is done so that the students become trained and accustomed to always appear neat in while in the school environment and outside of school. Thank you.


Kirino Saputra

Well, that’s a comment on the meaning of memos and examples . If you often write notes on a sticky note and stick it on the fridge or table when you want to leave, that also includes a memo, which is an unofficial memo.