Aha Handbook

Written Communication Etiquette

How to communicate effectively with writting.

1. Think first

  • Before sending an e-mail or a message, ask if it is necessary 

  • Can the message be best relayed via email, phone, Slack, or in person? 

2. Include and inform only the relevant participants

  • When sending a message, be sure to check the recipients and make sure only the necessary parties receive your response

3. Bottom Line Up Front

  • Put your recommendation at the top to facilitate rapid decision making

4. Be succinct by using numbered bullet points

  • Two or more items should always be numbered, not bulleted 

5. Subject lines must be clear and explicit with key action words

  • Subject line is either “FYI” or “Action Required” — help your team differentiate based on priority
  • All “Action Required” emails should specify a completion date and time 

  • Break e-mail into multiple paragraphs (when needed). Include “Objective,” “Next 
Steps,” so that the readers know what you are trying to relay 

6. Attachments

  • When sending attachments, consider file formats so recipients can view the files without formatting issues (e.g., PDF)

7. E-mail signatures

  • Set your email signature on desktop and phone to reflect the team’s format