Transitory Records in E-Mail
DOE Administrative Records Schedule 23 (Records Common To Most Offices) helps us to determine how long to keep those things that come across our desk, and that land in our inboxes. Refer to the following guideline and if applicable, throw away (or shred), or delete.
Transitory Files. (GRS 23, item 7)
Records of short-term interest (180 days or less), including in electronic form (e.g., e-mail messages), which have minimal or no documentary or evidential value. Included are such records as
- Routine requests for information or publications and copies of replies which require no administrative action, no policy decision, and no special compilation or research for reply;
- Originating office copies of letters of transmittal that do not add any information to that contained in the transmitted material, and receiving office copy if filed separately from transmitted material;
- Quasi-official notices including memoranda and other records that do not serve as the basis of official actions, such as notices of holidays or charity and welfare fund appeals, bond campaigns, and similar records;
- Records documenting routine activities containing no substantive information, such as routine notifications of meetings, scheduling of work-related trips and visits, and other scheduling related activities;
- Suspense and tickler files or 'to-do' and task lists that serve as a reminder that an action is required on a given date or that a reply to action is expected, and if not received, should be traced on a given date.
Destroy immediately, or when no longer needed for reference, or under a predetermined schedule or business rule (e.g., implementing the auto-delete feature of electronic mail systems).