Your reader has limited time. Do them a favour with your emails and reports and keep them as short as possible.
If a document is short (it fits onto 1 page or 1 screen) the reader can read it and remember what you want them to remember.
If you include everything in your email or document (all the context and your reasons for writing it, etc.) there’s a risk they will remember NOTHING. This is because they either won’t read it at all, or they’ll skim it looking for the important parts. That they’ll likely miss.
This means you need to know what matters to the reader and include only that in what you write. You could do this by adopting the rules of Axios’s Smart Brevity™ method:
📍 Stop being selfish. (Write for the reader, not for you.)
📍 Grab their attention. (Put the most important thing first so the reader remembers it.)
📍Write like a human. (Use the words you would use talking to a friend, not jargon.)
📍Stay scannable. (Use white space and bullets rather than large blocks of text.)
📍Enough is enough. (Leave out everything you don’t need and write as few words as possible.)
It would be pretty easy to create your own templates for reports and emails you write regularly. I’m sure your clients, managers and colleagues would appreciate receiving smarter and briefer communications from you.