Assuming that you have already decided your email is a University record that needs to be kept, establishing a simple filing scheme based on either records retention guidelines or some other useful file structure will provide an efficient way to organize, retrieve, delete, or preserve your email messages.
These simple guidelines are suggested for the individual email user. If email messages are intended to be stored on a network server for multi-user access, organization schemes and folder titles should be set up in consultation with system administrators and others accessing that email.
Do you have any recommendations for naming file folders?
When choosing a folder title, it is important to use a name that accurately describes the messages you will file there (example: “travel requests and reimbursements FY 2003/2004”). Some people may find it easier to retrieve specific email messages if they are filed chronologically. In this case, folders can be set up by date (example: “March 2004”), but you may also need to include more information in the email subject line for easier retrieval. Other personal filing schemes are perfectly acceptable, as long as they fulfill the function of aiding in the retrieval, retention, and/or deletion of University records.
The search capabilities in some email applications lessen the value of an organized folder structure and make it almost irrelevant. How one retrieves their email is based on personal preference, but remember that somebody might inherit your email one day and will probably appreciate a logical filing structure.
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What should I include in the subject line of an email message?
You should include enough information to help the receiver(s) assess the message's value and importance. For example:
In some cases, a receiver need not read beyond the subject line.
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