Have you ever received an email that stated “enclosed, please find,” and found this to be confusing? Technically, saying something is enclosed and telling someone to find it seems rather redundant. Most people agree with this sentiment, however, “enclosed, please find” is still commonly used in email correspondence today.
Phrases like “attached please find” and “enclosed please find” can commonly be found in business writing, but why are they so popular? Some people go as far to write “enclosed herewith please find,” which is even more verbose.
Creative Ways to Mention an Attachment
Now that it is clear that “enclosed please find” is rather clunky and old, you may be wondering how you can notify your recipient that there are important files in a message.
Luckily, there are plenty of variations to mention an attached file or document while maintaining a natural tone. For example:
- Here is
- Enclosed is/are
- Attached is/are
- See the attachment below
- We have enclosed
- I have attached
- The attached proposal includes
- The enclosed document shows
- Please review the attached diagram
- The attached spreadsheet covers
- Please use the enclosed envelope to
How to Mention Your Attachment
When notifying someone of various email attachments, you may want to take formality into account. If you are writing with a more formal tone, such as with a professional email, you may want to stick to simple ways of mentioning attachments.
Generally, using words that are clear and concise without being too personal is a great way to denote an attachment. For example:
- The attached proposal includes a business plan and budget.
- Please see the attached presentation for today’s meeting.
- Please see the attached resume and cover letter for your consideration.
If you are writing in a less formal tone, it can be useful to show a bit more personality and less jargon in your writing. For instance, using first-person indicators such as “I” can break down some of the formality while still letting your recipient know there is an attachment. For instance:
- I have attached the relevant information needed to finish the invoices.
- Here is the promotion form I received today, it can be found below.
- I have given you the attached samples of my work in the email below.
Why Do People Use “Enclosed Please Find“?
You may be wondering whether legal documents require a formality that only “enclosed please find” and similar phrases convey. Well, legal writing expert Bryan Garner calls “please find enclosed” and similar phrases “archaic deadwood.”
Garner points out that such phrases have been condemned in business writing texts since the late 1800s. In his HBR Guide to Better Business Writing, he cites an 1880 text in which a man named Richard Grant White wrote, “A more ridiculous use of words, it seems to me, there could not be.”
Let’s echo Richard Grant White’s cadence and confidence: “A more ridiculous use of words, it seems to be, there could not be.”
In your work do you still see “please find attached” and other old-fashioned phrases? Feel free to share your frustration here.
Related: “Please See Attached”