Get It In Writing!

This is a term that you may have heard of in a fun way or in a business situation. In a fun way, people will often ask for it writing if they think a commitment made to them is too good to believe. In a business way, it is often asked to get quotes and agreements in writing so there is less chance of argument on what is suppose to be done and for how much.

You may wonder how this applies to you. It is inevitable that at some point in your life, someone will make a commitment to you verbally and then ignore the commitment. The situation will then be your word against their word. You will quickly realize that it is difficult to resolve issues with a verbal agreement – it can be done and verbal agreements can and should be enforced but a written agreement is much easier to work with.

Your may experience situations when a commitment may be a promise made to you which was not kept. You may have a business situation where someone tells you they will fix your bike for $20.00. When you pick it up they may ask for $50.00 or they will keep it.

How do you get started?

Consider this as a skill that you need to learn. You have to start somewhere, with some good and bad experiences, you will develop an approach that works for you. In business, lawyers provide a lot of assistance in developing contracts (written agreements) and business people learn from their experiences to develop agreements for their businesses. You can buy templates for standard agreements and you can just start from scratch and make an agreement that makes sense.

What do we mean by getting it in writing?

it refers to a commitment – to an agreement – to a contract- to representations

Writing simply means to have to recorded on paper or in an electronic form like an e-mail.

Why do you want it in writing?

  • to make sure a commitment is not forgotten
  • as a reminder of a commitment made
  • to make sure there is a clear understanding of what is committed to

Who are agreements made with?

You make commitments every day – “I will do it” or “I’m going to… yes (simple word but it is a commitment as is “no” (commitment that you will not do something). You make commitments and people make commitments to you;

  • parents
  • siblings
  • friends
  • teachers
  • people you do work for or make commitments to you
  • people who do work for you or make commitments to you

Examples of agreements that you may want to get in writing.

  • Allowance,
  • TV or internet privileges,
  • commitment to something that is very important to you
  • an agreement to shovel snow, cut grass, to do some other types of service for someone,
  • plan for your time – homework, sports, music, friends etc.,
  • privileges out of your house,
  • chores and other responsibilities expected of you,
  • going to a friends and return time.


There are lots of reasons to get it in writing and it is a skill that you will learn over time.  It is a good skill to start working on now. You can practice this skill in a fun way with your family and you can use it in more serious commitments. Use this skill wisely and be careful of what you put in writing – you may be held accountable for it – you may have to do it.