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Old 02-21-2014, 09:43 AM   #21
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Interesting replies and thanks.

I have been out of a Mega Corp for 25 years now and working either on my own (Sub S corp or Sole Prop.) or as an employee for a firm that consults to industry and wanted to hear what's the "standard" or suggested protocol for e-mail retention. I was not aware that SOX required e-mail retention.

Since leaving Mega Corp, I have worked in business consulting and the firm(s) I worked with had legal counsel that recommended that we only have a project engagement letter and a final client report in our work files. In other words, destroy all project files and e-mails that were generated during the course of our work. This was to lessen our possible liability in case of a lawsuit or other legal action where documents, notes, etc generated during the course of a project could become "evidence" in a legal action and slanted negatively towards our "standard of care" or "scope of work".
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:56 AM   #22
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So much email is cya and documenting actions that it seems a company would want to save it indefinitely, not necessarily on the employee's hard drive, right? It probably will live forever somewhere else anyway?

I used to purge home email but don't really bother anymore.
Well kinda, this retention policy stuff was hitting the public Megacorp I worked for during my last year.

Some of the training indicated you only wanted to keep documents for the minimum time required by law. The thinking, as it was taught to us: The company was required to disclose everything it had. If you had an email 5 years old, but only requires a 1 year retention you had to disclose it. If it contains information that legal would rather not disclose, it could work against the company.

So they were training everyone on the legal retention policies, and which of your corporate retention folders you were to file it under. All of our emails were stored on a redundant SAN so no hard drive issues.

Talk about a pain hundreds of emails a day(after the rules sorted out standard emails), now I'm deciding how long does this have to be kept for? What a waste.

I just used it for research, I remember this issue we had 3 years ago at customer X, now customer Y has an issue that sounds the same. What did we do 3 years ago?
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Old 02-21-2014, 12:10 PM   #23
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Work e-mail: One of the last things I did before retirement was to go through 26,000+ saved e-mails, mostly saved for CYA. I transferred any that my supervisor or replacement might need (probably no more than 50-100) to my supervisor just before leaving, in organized folders so that anything necessary would be quick and easy to find. I deleted the rest, probably more than 25,900 e-mails. That was fun and exhilarating. Going through all these e-mails one by one is what I did to keep busy after I started being phased out.

Home e-mail: Being female, I may have a different viewpoint than a man might have when it comes to saving e-mails. I have saved every single e-mail that my beloved Frank ever sent me over the past fourteen years since we met. We met through an online dating service and I even have his first, introductory email. We have sent almost daily e-mails since then. Once in a while I go back and re-read them for nostalgic, romantic, gosh-hasn't-it-been-a-great-fourteen-years reasons. I would no more delete them than burn my photos!
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Old 02-21-2014, 12:53 PM   #24
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No fan of storing mail. When I worked I kept email based on need, an admin support had access to my email and kept a file of work related mail to meet legal requirements. No personal mail on my work email account. I only kept records that pertained to taxes, compensation, or legal issues. After celebrating 10 years of ER I deleted much of that, keeping only the legal stuff, which I'll keep 'til senility takes over.

Personal email - I keep lots, once or twice a year cull and discard most, keeping the financial stuff. Also some family related (you never told me ...blah blah). I throw out old mail not because of the cost of storage but because keeping it makes me feel a bit like a hoarder.
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Old 02-21-2014, 03:26 PM   #25
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When I worked I used MS Outlook and would regularly get several hundred emails per week. I set up an index of folders and filed important emails there. I deleted all junk immediately. The folders were very helpful! Every six months or so I would go into the folders and purge everything older than six months, unless it was crucial, in which case I kept it indefinitely. Of course, before ER, I deleted everything.

At home I use gmail and my purges are less frequent. But I also get far fewer attachments. I save all receipts as PDFs.

That's been my system also for the past 15 years or so. I had probably more than 40 different folders. It was fun deleting it all when I ER'ed.
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Old 02-21-2014, 03:33 PM   #26
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I delete junk emails immediately and keep everything else (personal emails, receipts, etc...).
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Old 02-21-2014, 05:04 PM   #27
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When I ran MegaOrg's network (1800+ PCs), we had a few people who didn't just keep every e-mail they ever received. They also printed out every single e-mail they ever received (including "Hi, going for lunch"), and filed the paper copies. If these people ever lost a .PST file from four years back in a disk crash (we limited backed-up network drive space, so people would hoard their precious old e-mails in a .PST on their PC's hard drive), it was as if they'd lost a limb.
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Old 02-21-2014, 05:18 PM   #28
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I use web based mail but I don't save much. I have about 12 folders and things that I want to keep go to the appropriate folder. But non of them have a lot in them, some a few things and some maybe 20 but that would be a lot. I have one folder that's called Keep These and that's where the misc stuff goes like when I joined here, I still have that sign up email.
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Old 02-21-2014, 05:35 PM   #29
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When I ran MegaOrg's network (1800+ PCs), we had a few people who didn't just keep every e-mail they ever received. They also printed out every single e-mail they ever received (including "Hi, going for lunch"), and filed the paper copies. If these people ever lost a .PST file from four years back in a disk crash (we limited backed-up network drive space, so people would hoard their precious old e-mails in a .PST on their PC's hard drive), it was as if they'd lost a limb.
Our SAN guys just used it as an excuse to buy more disk. They had 100s of PB. There was a target date of when they would hit EB threshold(10 to the 18th). How fun to just spend money.
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Old 02-21-2014, 05:46 PM   #30
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Work emails, I save emails for current projects and archive older projects. I immediately delete all emails I'm copied on that have nothing to do with me, corporate newsletter, auto reply emails, and jokes.........please no 50 jokes-a-day. If I could, I'd block our jokester at work but they send real work occasionally.
At home I delete almost everything. I do save email online orders. I have saved emails from my best friend that passed away two years ago. I re-read her emails and feel like she's still online somewhere. I have one friend that sends 10 or 15 jokes every day. I don't even read his emails because he never says anything......just sends jokes.
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:02 AM   #31
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For personal e-mail, I archive everything except spam/ads. Gmail makes this easy.

For work, I save anything that I might need to refer to again.
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