tl;dr / BLUF

tl;dr: Too Long Didn’t Read / BLUF: Bottom Line Up Front. The former is used to summarize lengthy text and explanations, and the latter used to enforce speed and clarity in reports, communications, and emails. Both are essentially the same.

The main idea is to minimize the amount of words while maximizing the amount of information up front, putting the most important details first. You can get very quickly to the actionable part of the information and gain more insight quickly. Both are hard to do right, but if done correctly it can save so much time.

How can we do this?

First, focus on the main message you want to convey, provide it in a way of a headline. Then, reduce the overall amount of noise and get to the bare bones needed to provide the information, but give as much context to the information as you can, and do it in one single message. Finally, include a recommendation or a call to action at the end, something to drive a desired next step.

Remember: the most successful tl;dr’s and BLUFs can stand on their own, without the need to point to anything on the full message or document. Keep it short and write memorable and repeatable statements.


tl;dr: Phishing attacks are on the rise. With the addition of the latest public listing some of our employees are bombarded with malicious emails. We are ramping up training and we will all need to retake them.

BLUF: Question. Do you have the current list of databases per organization? We are putting together a presentation for the CISO about data aggregation and the main bulk of information lives in those databases.