- Aim for 5th-8th grade readability
- Be as precise and definitive as possible
- Be personable
- End sentences with prepositions
- How to deliver bad news
- How to introduce new terms
- Keep it simple
- Use everyday contractions
- Use similes and metaphors when it’s appropriate
- Use simple verb tenses
- Write in active voice
- Write like you talk
- Word list
Use everyday contractions
We write like we talk, so use the contractions of everyday conversation. Just don’t get carried away. We don’t use regional contractions like “ain’t”, “shan’t”, “y’all” (sorry Texas), “mustn’t”, and so on. If you haven’t used it in casual conversation in the past 48 hours, don’t use it here. If you want an approved list, here you go. Don’t turn nouns into contractions. And beware: contractions get tricky when it comes to translation. So work with your regional content designers and language managers to decide how to handle them.
We’ll get you every deduction and credit you’re entitled to.
Ready to create an invoice?
It’ll help later, we promise.
Thanks! We’ll send you an email when we know more.
We will make sure you get every deduction and credit you are entitled to.
Y’all fixin’ to create an invoice?
This’ll help later, we promise.
Thanks! An update’s on the way.
Your feedback’s valuable to us.
End sentences with prepositions—most of the time
It’s fine to end sentences with prepositions. We prefer it, in fact. Just be careful not to slip into something that’s too informal. If you’d never say it in conversation, then don’t write it that way.
What are you looking for? Who should this invoice go to?
Where is it?
For what are you looking? To whom should this invoice go?
Where’s it at?
Don’t overuse exclamations
Show your enthusiasm with exclamations. Just make sure they sound like a natural reaction to the situation. They work best with single words and short phrases. Don’t ever use a double (!!) or triple (!!!) exclamation. If you’re that excited, use visual supplements like color, illustrations, and motion to amplify the excitement. And don’t use two or three exclamatory words in a row.
Nice! You completed your first payroll run.
Well done! You created your first invoice.
Congratulations! You’re ready to make online payments.
Way to go! You created your first Profit and Loss.
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Do you really want to delete these transactions? Yikes!
Uh-oh! We couldn’t sync your app with QuickBooks.
Voila! Here’s the customer you’re looking for!
We found 10 more transactions like that one!!
Get the first 30 days free!!!
Sign up for QuickBooks Connect before it’s too late!
Sign up for QuickBooks Online and get your first month free!
Use similes and metaphors when they’re appropriate
A metaphor puts one thing in terms of another. A simile does it by using “like” or “as” to make the comparison. They’re useful when you want to explain something technical or difficult in terms that are more friendly and approachable. Feel free to use metaphors anywhere you have the room to explain something. Just be careful with these. What sounds good to you may not resonate with others.
Everyone needs sleep, even our servers. They’ll be down for maintenance 9:00–9:30 PM PT, so you can both get some shut-eye.
Think of interest rates and APR like a bill at a restaurant. The interest rate is just the cost of the food. But APR includes the food, tax, and tip.
Unlike real life, here you can easily visit your past. Just select the year you’re interested in to step back in time.
Our servers are like insomniacs—every so often they need a medically-induced Nap.
Think of an interest rate like the price of gas when you pay with cash, APR when you pay with a credit card.
Ready for a blast from the past? Step into our time machine and check out last year’s data.