How to Make The Most of Your Written Communication

Published on 09/11/2019


We live in a technological age, but that doesn’t mean that good, old fashioned written communication has disappeared just yet!

Whilst we might write fewer letters and notes by hand than before, to the point where most of us feel strange when we pick up a pen and attempt to actually write something, we still need to use the same skills, knowledge, and etiquette when writing digital communication, such as emails.

When was the last time you typed a letter at your office desks, printed it out, signed it, and sent it in the mail? It’s probably a while ago now, but it’s something we still tend to do every so often. However, more likely, you’ll type a letter, digitally sign it, and then email it to the recipient these days. It’s the same thing but simply done in a different, arguably more efficient way.

The most common types of written communication used are:

  • Letters
  • Notes
  • Memos
  • Reports
  • Emails

Whilst memos are used extremely sparingly these days, they’re still in circulation to a certain degree. However, it’s more likely that letter and emails are on your weekly, if not daily, to-do list. 

So, how can you ensure that you don’t lose the charm of old fashioned written communication, whilst it transfers itself over into the digital age?

It all comes down to etiquette. 

What is Etiquette in Written Communication?

Due to the fact that everything we do from our executive office chairs is digitalised, that means we can often lose the human side of things. The great thing about the old fashioned way is that we knew we were speaking to another human, and as a result, we watched tone, language, and the way a piece of communication was presented.

Because we focus so much on our email inboxes, some of that human touch has gone out of the window. Emails can often come over as curt or rushed, and it’s usually because we have so much to do in our working days that it’s easy to just rush out a quick note and press ‘send’, without really taking the time to look over it and check how it actually reads, and how another person might take it. 

Check out this infographic which outlines a few rules when it comes to email etiquette. 

Source -

By maintaining the same etiquette guidelines as before and using the technological means we have available, our written communication methods can remain high quality and ensure that we transmit information in the way it is supposed to be sent. 

Of course, the downside of written communication in paper form is the need to create a manual filing system in your modern office cupboard. The plus side of digital communication is that it’s either stored automatically in the ‘sent’ folder of your inbox, or it can be stored on your hard drive, or in the Cloud as a form of digital storage.

Everything has its advantages and disadvantages and no particular route forwards is perfect. When it comes to making the most of your written communication however, it pays to be a little more mindful about how the information you’re transmitting comes across, just as you would have done a few years ago if you were actually writing a letter, printing it out, checking it and signing it by hand.

Is Written And Printed Communication a Thing of The Past?

In some ways yes, but it still has its uses in some situations. Many offices are attempting go paperless, in an effort to be more environmentally friendly. In that case, printing is not needed, or only in extremely necessary situations. As a result, most communication is emailed, rather than printed out.

In many ways, it’s a good thing because it means you don’t have to wait for communication to land on your desk, via pigeon post! We receive the information we need far quicker and that streamlines the entire working process as a result. 

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