“For your reference” can appear in formal emails and situations. You might not know much about it, so this article will help you understand the ins and outs. We’ll cover the definition and some alternatives that might help you get to grips with it.
What Does “For Your Reference” Mean?
“For your reference” is a common email phrase used to refer someone to some information. You do not ask for immediate action or replies when using “for your reference.” Instead, it just shows that you would like someone to “refer” to something if it is relevant or important to them.
These email samples will help you get to grips with it:
- Dear Jonathan
- Please see attached file for your reference. It should have everything you need for the plans.
- Kind regards,
- Dear Paula,
- I have attached my resume for your reference. Please let me know if there’s anything else you need.
- All the best,
- Dear Mitch,
- I have included the transcription just for your reference. You may read through it if it helps.
- Best wishes,
Generally, “for your reference” comes when attaching a file. It shows that the file can be “referenced” by the recipient, but you do not expect them to reply to it in any way.
It’s a good way to show that something might be relevant to someone, even if it’s not entirely important. It lets the recipient decide whether they’ll use the information.
Now that we’ve explained the meaning of “for your reference,” it’s time to look into a few other options. If you’re uncomfortable using the phrase as is, we’ve gathered some alternatives to give you other options of what to say instead of “for your reference.”
Other Ways to Say “For Your Reference”
Other ways to say “for your reference” are “for your information,” “please note,” and “for your records.” These are great formal alternatives to include in a written email. They show that something is important but does not require direct action from the recipient.
1. For Your Information
“For your information” is a great example of another way to say “for your reference.” It provides someone with information that might be relevant or useful to them.
You may use this phrase in formal emails when you think someone might benefit from knowing more information. They do not have to act on the information straight away. They don’t have to act on it at all if they don’t think there’s a reason to do so.
- For your information, I have attached the files spoken about last week. I hope these help you to figure out your next steps.
- I have included the addresses for your information. If you can find a way to utilize them, that would really help us.
2. Please Note
“Please note” is a very common alternative in formal writing. It shows you have something worth “noting” that might apply to the recipient now or in the future. It implies that information could be relevant later and might not be that important now.
It encourages the recipient to take a mental or physical “note” of something. This usually encourages them to pay attention to the words that come after “please note.”
- Please note that these documents have a few issues, and I have attached a file relating to those problems.
- Please note I have created a database that should help explain most of this. Is there anything else you’d like to see from me?
3. For Your Records
“For your records” is a great synonym here. It shows you have something for somebody to keep in their “records,” which could be a real or intangible thing (depending on the person).
For example, very organized people keep records of everything so they can reference them later. Likewise, bosses and superiors will keep many records to keep on top of the workload.
Other people might not find records as useful, though. They can keep a note of the situation, but they might not physically put that note in the “records.” This is a more intangible approach to “for your records.”
- You may want to keep a copy of this note for your records. It should be saved to help you understand what comes next.
- I want you to have this for your records. I believe it will come in useful later, though you may find it worthless.
4. To Help You
“To help you” suggests that the information is helpful. You should use this when you think the thing you’re providing someone for reference will help them at some point.
It suggests that you have important information someone should refer back to. This will allow the recipient to keep it in mind for future reference if there comes a time that it applies to them.
- I’ve included a few files relating to our discussion to help you. I think that’s everything you need to know before moving forward.
- I’ve done all of this to help you later. You can look through one of my files if you need to refer back to anything.
5. Please Look At
“Please look at” is a great formal alternative that directs someone’s attention to a new point. It shows that you have something worth “looking at” that might be useful for referencing later.
This allows the recipient to familiarize themselves with the contents of the important thing. They don’t need to do anything else with it, but at least they’ve had the chance to look into it.
- Please look at the notes if you need to refer to something about this situation. They include everything that could go wrong.
- Please look at all the information if you get the chance to do so. I think it’ll be good to teach your team what comes next.
6. I Have Attached
“I have attached” is a great way to provide someone with more information. It shows that you’ve “attached” something to an email you’ve sent, giving someone a chance to “review” or “reference” the attachment.
The attachment will vary in importance based on the context. It’s up to you to decide whether you want the recipient to pay attention to the attachment’s content or if you don’t think it’s all that important.
- I have attached a few files relating to the meeting. Do you have any questions about these files before continuing?
- I have attached everything you asked for. Please don’t hesitate to contact me again if you need anything else.
7. For Reference
“For reference” is an impersonal synonym that removes the use of “your,” allowing someone to get the reference straight away. This shows that you have something useful to provide someone, even if it won’t help them with the current situation.
“For reference” is impersonal because no pronoun is used. This makes it ideal for formal communication when you don’t know the recipient well or would like to remain respectful or abrupt. It shows that there is something to “reference” if they need it.
- For reference, these are the options that will work best. I don’t think anything else will work well in this regard.
- I have included the notes for reference. You don’t have to read through them, but they might help you in the future.
8. For Future Reference
“For future reference” is a slightly different alternative that works here. You should use “for future reference” to show that something might not be useful now but will certainly be useful in the future.
It’s great to use a phrase like this when you know someone will use the provided information. It shows that you realize the information might not be useful, but you’re confident something will come up later that will be more useful to the recipient.
- I have noted this down for future reference. It should help you come up with a few useful alternatives later.
- For future reference, these are the new rules we will follow. They should include everything we need to run you through.
Is It Polite to Say “For Your Reference”?
“For your reference” is polite and formal. It shows you’ve included information that you’d like someone to “reference” if it applies to them.
It’s polite because it doesn’t force someone to look into the information or reply to you. Instead, it shows that the information might be useful, but you don’t expect anything back from the recipient.
What Is the Abbreviation for “For Your Reference”?
“FYR” is the abbreviation of “for your reference.” It is common to see it in email subjects when someone is sending follow-up information relating to a previous discussion or email chain.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.