Think first, then write 4: now start writing

Think first, then write 4: now start writing
In this fourth and final post in the series on planning your business writing task, let’s look at the actual process of writing, or drafting, your document. 4. Now start writing “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by” – Douglas Adams I don’t know about you, but I’ve ...

Think first, then write 3: create an outline structure

Think first, then write 3: create an outline structure
In the last two posts on business writing we looked at writing yourself a clear brief and researching your readers. In this third step, let’s look at designing your structure, and some of the tools and techniques you can use to organise your content. 3. Outline your structure Often, organisations have preferred templates for their ...

Think first, then write 2: your readers shoes

Think first, then write 2: your readers shoes
In the last post we looked at writing yourself a clear brief – identifying the why, who and what of your business writing task. In this post we’ll look at the second step – analysing what your readers need and want from your content, whether it’s a blog, report, email or user guide. 2. Step into ...

Think first, then write 1: what, why and who?

Think first, then write 1: what, why and who?
So you have a business writing task – a report, proposal, blog post or email. There’s a deadline. What do you do first? Stare balefully at a blank computer screen? Write two paragraphs and then delete one of them? Make a cup of tea? If so, you are certainly not alone in the world of ...

No more commas?

No more commas?
A news story caught my eye this weekend. An American scholar has suggested that the comma could be abolished without harming the English language, according to an article in The Times. This, I imagine, will cause some debate amongst academics, writers, editors and readers. John McWhorter, associate professor of English and comparative literature at Colombia ...

Inspiration for your business blog content

If you manage a business blog, you’ll know how challenging it is to come up with ideas for quality blog content. There are hundreds of content services, plug-ins and applications out there, but here are some of my favourite (and free) tools. 1. Google alerts Set up Google alerts for your keywords to find web ...

5 quick ways to improve your LinkedIn profile

I’ve been doing some research for a workshop for L&D professionals on how to write a better LinkedIn profile. It was quite a revelation – I’d thought my profile was OK. It turns out I’ve been missing out on some handy tricks and tips. And a quick look at some of your profiles suggests I’m ...

5 quotes to improve your writing at work

Writing at work requires a different skill set to writing academic essays or fiction. Here are five of my top quotes, from writers and business leaders, to help you get your point across more effectively. 1. “You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere” – Lee ...

Managing email at Ferrari

Managing email in the workplace is not easy. But few organisations have taken such drastic measures as Ferrari. The Italian car manufacturer announced earlier this month that its employees would only be allowed to send internal emails to a maximum of three people. A spokesman said that sending irrelevant emails is “one of the main ...

Number format in UK business documents

Not sure which number format to use in your UK business document? Many people find this confusing, and there is a lot of contradictory advice out there. Remember – consistency is important, so if your company has a style guide, use that. If not, these guidelines will help clarify some of the most common problems: ...
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