Memo vs. Notice — What's the Difference?
By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on August 29, 2023
Memo is an internal communication tool, while notice is a public or formal announcement.
Difference Between Memo and Notice
Table of Contents
A memo is a brief written communication commonly used within an organization to convey information, requests, or instructions to employees. On the other hand, a notice is a written announcement or warning to a wider audience, often intended to inform the public or stakeholders about something significant.
Memo generally serves the purpose of internal communication and is not meant for the general public. It might be used for various reasons such as conveying decisions, providing guidelines, or giving feedback. Notice, conversely, is more outward-facing. It can be seen on bulletin boards, in newspapers, or posted in public places to inform a broader group about events, changes, or warnings.
The style and tone of a memo are often straightforward and might be informal, especially if it's meant for a team or a specific department within an organization. The tone of a notice, however, is more formal since it caters to a larger audience and might have legal implications.
When it comes to the format, a memo usually has a header indicating the sender, receiver, date, and subject. The body of the memo follows this header. A notice, however, might not always have such details. It simply carries the essential message and might be accompanied by relevant logos or authority signatures.
While both memo and notice are means of communication, their purpose, audience, style, and tone differentiate them. A memo is internal and can be informal, while a notice is public and often formal.
For internal communication within an organization.
To inform the general public or a wider audience.
Employees or specific departments.
General public, stakeholders, or specific external groups.
Tone and Style
Can be informal and straightforward.
Usually formal and more structured.
Includes sender, receiver, date, and subject.
Main message with potential logos or authority signatures.
Updates, feedback, or guidelines for staff.
Event announcements, warnings, or public guidelines.
Compare with Definitions
A brief written message or report.
Sarah sent a memo to the team about the upcoming meeting.
A formal announcement or warning.
The company posted a notice about the upcoming renovation.
An internal communication tool within organizations.
The CEO issued a memo detailing the new company policies.
A written or printed news announcement.
There was a notice in the paper about the town hall meeting.
A reminder or record for personal use.
I wrote a quick memo to myself about tomorrow's appointments.
Information or warning about something in advance.
We received short notice about the changes to the event schedule.
A document outlining specific instructions.
The project manager provided a memo with guidelines for the new project.
A written or printed announcement
A notice of sale.
An informal note or report to a person or group.
The HR department released a memo about holiday leave applications.
To treat with attention and civility; as, to notice strangers.
A short note; a memorandum.
Notice or perceive;
She noted that someone was following her
Mark my words
Make or write a comment on;
He commented the paper of his colleague
(informal) To record something; to make a note of something.
A public declaration of intention.
The government issued a notice about tax reforms.
(informal) To send someone a note about something, for the record.
I made sure to memo him about the client's complaints.
Respectful attention or consideration
Grateful for the teacher's notice.
A written proposal or reminder
(intransitive) To be noticeable; to show.
(programming) A record of partial results that can be reused later without recomputation.
A writing communicating information or warning.
An official notification of termination.
He handed in his two weeks' notice at his job.
Notice is the legal concept describing a requirement that a party be aware of legal process affecting their rights, obligations or duties. There are several types of notice: public notice (or legal notice), actual notice, constructive notice, and implied notice.
Become aware of
I noticed that she was looking tired
They were too drunk to notice
He noticed the youths behaving suspiciously
The act of noting or observing; perception or attention
That detail escaped my notice.
Advance notification of termination of employment, given by an employer to an employee or vice versa.
I gave her her mandatory two weeks' notice and sacked her.
I can't work here any longer. I'm giving notice.
(countable) A published critical review of a play or the like.
To remark upon; to mention.
Express recognition of the presence or existence of, or acquaintance with;
He never acknowledges his colleagues when they run into him in the hallway
She acknowledged his complement with a smile
It is important to acknowledge the work of others in one's own writing
A formal announcement, notification, or warning, especially an announcement of one's intention to withdraw from an agreement or leave a job
Gave my employer two weeks' notice.
Raised the price without notice.
The condition of being formally warned or notified
Put us on notice for chronic lateness.
A printed critical review, as of a play or book.
To take notice of; observe
Noticed a figure in the doorway. ].
The act of observing; perception.
He took no notice of the changes, and went on as though nothing had happened.
(countable) A written or printed announcement.
Shall we post a notice about the new policy?
I always read the death notices in the paper.
(countable) A formal notification or warning.
The sidewalk adjacent to the damaged bridge stonework shall be closed until further notice.
(uncountable) Prior notification.
I don't mind if you want to change the venue; just give me some notice first, OK?
(dated) Attention; respectful treatment; civility.
(transitive) To become aware of; to observe.
Did you notice the flowers in her yard?
To lavish attention upon; to treat (someone) favourably.
The act of noting, remarking, or observing; observation by the senses or intellect; cognizance; note.
How ready is envy to mingle with the notices we take of other persons!
Intelligence, by whatever means communicated; knowledge given or received; means of knowledge; express notification; announcement; warning.
I . . . have given him notice that the Duke of Cornwall and Regan his duchess will be here.
An announcement, often accompanied by comments or remarks; as, book notices; theatrical notices.
Attention; respectful treatment; civility.
To observe; to see; to mark; to take note of; to heed; to pay attention to.
To show that one has observed; to take public note of; remark upon; to make comments on; to refer to; as, to notice a book.
This plant deserves to be noticed in this place.
Another circumstance was noticed in connection with the suggestion last discussed.
An announcement containing information about a future event;
You didn't give me enough notice
The act of noticing or paying attention;
He escaped the notice of the police
A request for payment;
The notification stated the grace period and the penalties for defaulting
Advance notification (usually written) of the intention to withdraw from an arrangement or contract;
We received a notice to vacate the premises
He gave notice two months before he moved
A sign posted in a public place as an advertisement;
A poster advertised the coming attractions
Polite or favorable attention;
His hard work soon attracted the teacher's notice
A short critical review;
The play received good notices
Discover or determine the existence, presence, or fact of;
She detected high levels of lead in her drinking water
We found traces of lead in the paint
The fact of observing or paying attention to something
It has come to our notice that you have been missing school
Their silence did not escape my notice
Notification or warning of something, especially to allow preparations to be made
Interest rates are subject to fluctuation without notice
A displayed sheet or placard giving news or information
The jobs were advertised in a notice posted in the common room
What is the primary purpose of a memo?
A memo is used for internal communication within an organization.
Are notices legally binding?
Some notices, especially those related to legal matters or official declarations, can have legal implications.
How long should a notice be?
The length of a notice varies based on its purpose, but it should be concise and provide all necessary information.
Can memos be informal?
Yes, memos can be informal, especially if meant for a specific team or department.
Can a memo be sent via email?
Yes, in modern settings, memos are often sent via email, though they retain their formal structure.
Can a notice be given verbally?
While notices are typically written, verbal notices can be given but may lack the formality or legal standing of written ones.
Is it mandatory to have the sender's name on a memo?
Typically, memos include the sender's name for clarity and accountability.
Who is the typical audience for a notice?
Notices are usually meant for the general public, stakeholders, or specific external groups.
How is a notice different from a flyer or poster?
A notice provides formal information or announcements, while flyers or posters can be promotional or artistic.
Are memos outdated in the digital age?
While the format has evolved, the concept of memos as a means of internal communication remains relevant, especially in email form.
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Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.