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Should You Archive That Email or Delete It?

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Should You Archive That Email or Delete It?

Emails build up in your inbox over time, without you realizing just how many there are. The question is: what should you do with them? They can take up a lot of space, and if you’re paying for that space then it’s even more important to have a strategy for dealing with them. You have two principal options when dealing with old email messages. You can archive them, so you can always access them if necessary, or you can delete them completely. An email management system can be very useful for any business, especially if you deal with a large volume of messages.

Archiving – the Benefits

Archiving emails means you still have them but they aren’t cluttering up your inbox. Businesses often need to keep emails, since they can be needed months or even years later, as a record of activities, sales and communications. Archiving is a convenient choice for old emails. You can store them elsewhere, typically in a secure storage environment. Most email archive systems will allow you to search the database using keywords, so retrieval at a later date isn’t too much of a chore.

As you probably know, a single email doesn’t take up much space. It’s when you have hundreds and thousands of them filling your inbox that they become a problem. Of course, archiving also takes up space, and if you have a very large number of old emails and are paying for the storage, you may need to explore alternative options.

When to Delete Emails

All of us have useless emails in our inboxes. Think of those promotions for items you don’t want to buy, those unread newsletters and updates, and a whole lot more irrelevant stuff that piles up. You almost certainly don’t need the email from a colleague asking if the meeting is at 2 or 2.30 pm.

Deleting an email sends it to the trash folder, and it will sit there for a while before it gets deleted forever. Usually this is about 30 days, so you have ample time to retrieve anything that’s been deleted accidentally, but it can vary. Deleting is the easiest way to declutter your inbox and don’t hesitate to get rid of the really useless messages that pile up.

You really don’t need to archive everything……but there is an exception to this general principle. Depending on your industry, you may be required to keep full records, so make sure you know what’s expected for your business.

Email Management – How to Get Started

A good place to begin is your inbox. The messages that you should archive include business communications, receipts, account notifications and anything that has documentary value. Sometimes messages will be borderline, so you’ll need to decide whether to err on the side of caution or not.

Most of the old emails that can safely be deleted are easy to identify. You probably won’t even need to open them. All those special offers, new product notifications, newsletters and reminders (‘Sale ends soon!’) are easily targeted for deletion. You can ask yourself if an email will still be of any interest in a year’s time. If it’s not, then send it speedily to the trash.

Quikteks can help your business implement an email management system, and assist with your decision-making around archiving or deleting old mail. For more information on how we can assist your business, reach out to us at (973) 882-4644.

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