What is the best formal way to document when you called someone and did not succeed to get hold of him/her?

I am usually documented the case as calling Mr X but no answer, but have the feeling could be much more better than this simple words.

  • 1
    What is the document? I would not use the same words in my diary as I would, say, a call log at a help center.
    – J.R.
    Commented Aug 20, 2018 at 0:34
  • document that I must record all my actions; I want to know just to expand my knowledge Commented Aug 20, 2018 at 0:36

3 Answers 3


You can note your unanswered call down in several ways, including:

No answer

No reply

No response

See a previous similar question and the answers to it at:

What are the differences between response and answer?


It depends on whether you called the person via a direct-dial phone (one where Mr X would answer himself) of via a telephonist or personal assistant.

For a direct-dial phone, you could say

but I got no answer
but he did not answer
but he did not pick up

If you had to go through and exchange and nobody answered, you could say

I called Mr X's office but I got no answer
I called Mr X's office but nobody answered

If you did speak to somebody else, then it is better to say

but I couldn't get hold of him

or, if the person who offered a reason for his unavailability, you could quote the reason

but he was not at his desk
but he was on holiday
but he was out to lunch

  • 1
    One more that could be used: "We tried reaching you to no avail."
    – Kavita
    Commented Oct 14, 2019 at 18:16

I called Mr. X but nobody answered.


I called Mr. X but nobody picked up (the phone).

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