12 Formal Synonyms for “On a Side Note”

It might help to come up with another way to say “on a side note.” It’s an effective phrase formally, but there are some better-suited formal alternatives. This article will explore the best ones. These synonyms will help you sound more formal in an email:

  • Incidentally
  • As an afterthought
  • As a quick note
  • Also
  • Quickly
  • By the way
  • By chance
  • Parenthetically
  • While on the subject
  • If you could
  • As it happens
  • Do you mind

Formal synonyms for “on a side note” are “incidentally,” “as an afterthought,” and “as a quick note.” These alternatives work well in a formal email. They show that you’re interested in extra information, but it’s not quite as important as the first thing highlighted in the same email.

Formal Synonyms for On a Side Note

1. Incidentally

“Incidentally” is a great synonym for what to say instead of “on a side note.” It works formally to refer to an “incident” that might not be as important as the first thing you spoke about.

It checks to see whether someone is happy to look into the “incident” you raised with them.

  • Dear Albert,
  • I need you to get these documents filed as soon as you can. Incidentally, did you hear back from Sharon about the meeting?
  • All the best,
  • Sam

2. As an Afterthought

“As an afterthought” shows that something isn’t as important as the first thing raised in an email but could still require attention. It refers someone to a new piece of information that they might be interested in helping you sort out.

It’s a good phrase in formal emails because it shows that you have added something extra. It’s up to the recipient to decide whether they want to act on the “afterthought.”

  • Dear Peter,
  • I need to see you in my office later today. As an afterthought, it would be great if you could bring along some documentation about this.
  • Kind regards,
  • Kingston

3. As a Quick Note

“As a quick note” shows you have something “quick” to add. Using “quick” here shows that something isn’t all that relevant or important and should only require a brief window of attention.

You should use this in a passing comment. It allows someone to learn something new, even if you don’t deem it all that relevant.

  • Hey Isaiah,
  • We need to discuss these things before we’re able to continue. As a quick note, I would appreciate your discretion on these matters.
  • Yours,
  • Daniel

4. Also

“Also” adds more information. “Also” doesn’t directly state the importance of the information, but using it in a formal email implies that it’s not all that important.

Using “also” like this allows you to check with something before providing information. It might help them understand the relevance of the situation to determine whether they’ll help you with it.

  • Dear Marge,
  • It would help if you could get these reports issued as soon as you have time. Also, have you heard back from Taylor?
  • All the best,
  • Darren

5. Quickly

“Quickly” is a decent alternative to use. It shows that you have a “quick” piece of information to share as an afterthought. The adverbial usage here implies that the information isn’t all that important, as you only thought of it “quickly.”

It’s great to use it in formal emails to check whether someone can help you with something. If not, it’s not often a problem because it was only a “quick” suggestion.

  • Hey Sam,
  • I think you should come to the office again at six to go over these findings. Quickly, do you know of anyone else who could help?
  • Yours,
  • Mike

6. By the Way

“By the way” is slightly less formal but still works well. It adds an element of unimportance or surprise to an email to check whether someone can do something less important than the original thing stated.

“By the way” is included in emails when you have an extra task for someone. They don’t have to agree to do it, but it’s good to share it in case they feel like it.

  •  Dear Abbie,
  • I need you to set this event up for the next few weeks. By the way, have you got any ideas for parties outside of the workplace?
  • All the best,
  • Tim

7. By Chance

“By chance” checks to see whether someone can do something extra for you. You can use “chance” to find out whether someone is able to help you with something, especially if you don’t deem it all that relevant to the rest of the email.

You might also do it to check on a previous task set for someone. You can say, “by chance, did you complete the earlier task?” to find out whether they got around to something that’s not all that important.

  • Dear Roger,
  • I told you all about this the other week. I’d appreciate some cooperation here. By chance, did you find the files I asked about?
  • Kind regards,
  • Adam

8. Parenthetically

“Parenthetically” is an old-fashioned phrase used to add information that isn’t as important as the previous one. It’s an adverbial introduction that works similarly to using “parentheses.”

It comes from the same root word as “parentheses.” It’s not common today because most formal writers think it sounds too jarring.

  • Dear Rachel,
  • I have a few ideas that will work for you. Do you want to hear them? Parenthetically, what are you doing over the weekend?
  • Best wishes,
  • Dean

9. While on the Subject

“While on the subject” suggests that something is almost as important as the previous point. It is used when you have something extra to add, though you didn’t think of it as the most important thing to share.

“While on the subject” gives someone a chance to think about the second piece of information. They don’t have to act on it as quickly as the first piece, as it is usually included as a footnote or afterthought – implying it’s not as important.

  • Dear Charlotte,
  • I needed to see these files earlier today, but I’ll wait until later. While on the subject, has Smithy finished his documentation?
  • Best regards,
  • Paula

10. If You Could

“If you could” works well to request something from someone. It’s used similarly to “on a side note” to check whether someone is happy to do something less important in an email.

You can use it to find out whether someone is happy to help you with a situation. “If you could” checks whether someone is busy or if they have time to get something done to assist you.

  • Dear Perry,
  • Please get the team sorted out for the upcoming gala. If you could, I would appreciate your help with the financial side too.
  • Kind regards,
  • Roman

11. As it Happens

“As it happens” is a good alternative in many cases. It shows that something has come up, and it might help for somebody to jump in and help you with whatever “happens.” It’s a good term to use to show that you have an extra thing for someone to do.

“As it happens” comes as somewhat of a surprise. It’s almost as if you weren’t planning on sharing the second piece of information but decided to do so anyway. It’s a good phrase to show someone that something is fairly important and might be worth completing.

  • Dear Jerry,
  • I would like to see you in my office at ten if that works for you. As it happens, I have a few things to go over unrelated to this.
  • All the best,
  • Maxwell

12. Do You Mind

“Do you mind?” checks to see whether someone can do something that isn’t as important as the first thing in an email. It checks how busy they are and requests their attention by “minding” what they do.

It’s a suitable phrase to use in many situations. You’ll find it very effective when you want to be polite and respectful in an email.

  • Dear Scott,
  • I would love some help with these issues. Do you mind coming along and bringing some of the paperwork as well?
  • Thank you,
  • Fred

Is “On a Side Note” Informal?

“On a side note” is not informal in itself. It’s quite effective in formal writing to show that something is slightly less important than some of the information you’ve already shared.

Though some argue it’s a bit colloquial, it’s great to use. As with many things in formal writing, it depends on who you’re talking to.

Some bosses might not like seeing employees write “on a side note.” It might seem a bit cheeky, especially if the boss in question prefers formality and respect from their employees.

On the other hand, using “on a side note” as a boss shows that you’re friendly and offering some advice or information to your employees.

It’s tricky to draw the line between the two. “On a side note” is formal, but it’s definitely not the “most” formal option.

What Does “On a Side Note” Mean?

“On a side note” means something is added as an afterthought or further information. It’s similar to including information in parentheses that aren’t necessary for a sentence.

Here’s a quick example to demonstrate how it works:

  • I need you to get these files done. On a side note, I’d love to see the quarterlies early if you have them.

“On a side note” gives you a chance to explain something slightly less important than the first point.

In this example, the files are the most important thing. They are the thing you want someone to get done to ensure deadlines are hit.

The “side note” comes from the quarterlies. The quarterlies may be important in the future, but they are not nearly as important as the files right now. You only include them in case someone can get them done early; otherwise, you don’t mind waiting for them.