You want to issue a warning or share some important information with your boss, a client, or a co-worker. But is the phrase just a heads-up appropriate for a professional email?
We’ll address this question below. In addition, we’ll show you how to politely give someone a heads-up or keep them updated using 9 alternative phrases.
Is It Correct to Say “Just a Heads-Up”?
It is correct to say just a heads-up when you want to inform or warn your colleague about a certain situation at work.
This phrase is rather informal, so it wouldn’t be suitable to include it in a professional email to a client or your employer.
However, if you have a friendly dynamic with your coworkers, you can use this phrase to quickly let them know that something is happening.
Have a look at the email examples below to see how you can use this phrase in practice:
Just a heads-up; Mr. Mordem is in a bit of a mood today, so approach with caution.
All the best,
This is just a heads-up about the client.
They have several outdated accounts, so dealing with their issue might be tricky.
Next, we’ll look at the correct grammar of just a heads-up to avoid any mistakes in the future.
Mistake: Failing to hyphenate heads-up
- Incorrect: Just a heads up.
- Correct: Just a heads-up.
In the phrase just a heads-up, “heads-up” is used as a noun. Hyphenating this phrase in its noun form is the most technically correct way to write it since “heads up” is usually used as an interjection to warn others of an approaching object, like a ball of Frisbee.
In practice, both versions are often used interchangeably, so the grammatical difference has all but fallen away. Nevertheless, if you want to be as correct as possible in your emails, it is best to hyphenate “heads-up” in the phrase just a heads-up.
So, we know that just a heads-up is a correct phrase. But if you’re looking for a more professional way to let someone at work know what’s going on, you can use one of the alternative phrases we’ve compiled below.
9 Alternative Ways to Say “Just a Heads Up”
Check out these 9 other ways to say just a heads-up in your work correspondence:
- I wanted to inform you
- Please be advised
- Just to let you know
- For your information (FYI)
- I just wanted to warn you
- Kindly note
- In case you haven’t heard
- If you weren’t already aware
- I wanted to bring to your attention
1. I Wanted to Inform You
You can use the phrase I wanted to inform you in an email to your boss.
This phrase is a good way to let your employer know when something pertinent is taking place in relation to the workplace or a client. It comes across as rather formal, so it’s a safe option when you’re speaking to a superior.
Have a look at the email sample below:
Dear Miss Atieno,
I wanted to inform you of a recent development in Mr. Claudette’s case.
Please suggest a time at which you would be available to meet.
2. Please Be Advised
Another more formal alternative to just a heads up is please be advised. You can introduce important information with this phrase.
As this phrase has a formal tone, it would be appropriate to use it in a professional email to a client or customer.
In particular, you can use it when you are imparting information about the nature of your company and the services you provide.
Dear Mr. Omondi,
I have attached a pamphlet setting out our fees below.
Please be advised that we only offer pro bono services to local residents.
3. Just to Let You Know
Just to let you know is another way to say just a heads up when you are informing your coworker about a work-related issue.
If you tend to keep your inter-office emails with your colleagues more casual, you can use this phrase to issue a warning to one of your peers, regardless of the nature of your relationship.
Therefore, let’s see an email example that includes this phrase:
Just to let you know, I have arranged a Teams meeting with Mrs. Watson’s representatives.
I’ll update you once I’ve learned more from them.
4. For Your Information (FYI)
The phrase for your information usually precedes information that is helpful but not pertinent.
Therefore, you can use this phrase when you’re informing a colleague about something, but no immediate action needs to be taken from their side.
If you’re speaking to a colleague you don’t know very well, you should write out this phrase as for your information.
However, if you have a friendly dynamic with the receiver, you can shorten this phrase to the acronym FYI to save time.
Let’s see a couple of examples with this phrase in tow. First, we’ll look at an example using the full phrase:
I have attached a summary of what I found for your information.
Let me know if you could use anything else.
Next, let’s see a more informal email using the acronym FYI:
FYI, Zoe will be meeting with Miss Lupin tomorrow afternoon.
All the best,
5. I Just Wanted to Warn You
I just wanted to warn you is a more straightforward way to say just a heads up. It is informal and uses plain phrasing. Therefore, you should only use it when you are speaking to an equal at work.
You can use this phrase to let a colleague know about something that may impact them personally.
It’s good to look out for your fellows, regardless of how close you are, and this phrase alerts them to anything happening in the office promptly and effectively.
Have a look at the following sample email:
I just wanted to warn you about Mr. Zisman’s guide dog.
I’ve heard you have a slight allergy to fur, so you may want to take an antihistamine before the meeting.
All the best,
6. Kindly Note
Kindly note is a polite phrase that you can use in a formal email to a client or customer.
This phrase asks the receiver to take heed of the information following it, and the use of “kindly” adds some necessary courtesy for a professional email.
Dear Miss Monet,
We have received your request.
Kindly note that refunds may take up to 10 business days.
7. In Case You Haven’t Heard
You can start an informative email to a colleague with the phrase in case you haven’t heard.
As the wording of this phrase suggests, you can use it to keep your co-worker updated about a situation just in case they hadn’t been made privy to it already.
This phrase is fairly tonally neutral, so you can use it when you’re speaking to a colleague you aren’t particularly close to.
Let’s see this phrase in an email example:
In case you haven’t heard, Mr. Bloom has rescheduled today’s meeting to Wednesday.
8. If You Weren’t Already Aware
The phrase if you weren’t already aware is essentially just a slightly more formal synonym for the phrase above.
You could use this phrase in a group email to your employees or staff members to keep them in the loop about office-wide ongoings.
Starting your message with if you weren’t already aware allows you to include members who already know and those who have yet to be informed. This is certainly simpler than finding out who needs to be told individually!
Thus, see how we’ve used this phrase in an email sample:
If you weren’t already aware, I wanted to remind you that we will be closing the office early on Friday afternoon so those staff members who choose to do so can attend the wake in Midland Park.
9. I Wanted to Bring to Your Attention
Last but not least, I wanted to bring to your attention is a great professional alternative to just a heads up that you can use in an email to your employer or another superior.
This phrase is formal and tonally neutral enough to include in an informative email to someone higher up in the work hierarchy. It allows you to share pertinent information without being too urgent.
Therefore, let’s see this phrase in our final example:
Dear Ms. Argent,
I wanted to bring to your attention the recent exchange between Mr. Orwell’s representatives and our finance team.
Please consider the email alone and let me know how you would like to proceed.