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It All Has to Go Somewhere


A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place


floating storage logosIn case you haven’t noticed, we’ve been talking about electronic records a lot lately. The fact of the matter is, the vast majority of the University’s records are created or received electronically, and printing them out for storage creates more risk than reward. The good news is there is a vast array of different electronic storage solutions available to us at the University of Washington. The bad news is there is a vast array of different electronic storage solutions available to us at the University of Washington.

“So which one’s the best?” We’ve developed a guide to help you winnow down the wealth of choices. Taking into account security and privacy concerns, the lifecycle of your records, and the ability to manage the location centrally, our new Choosing the Right Electronic Storage Location resource will help you ask the right questions to decide what solution works best for you. And if you’re still unsure or you’re looking at a platform that doesn’t appear in our guide, we’re happy to answer your questions via email, over the phone, in a Zoom meeting… anywhere but in paper.


ROT Squad Bulletin

ROT: Redundant, Obsolete, or Transitory

ROT can really add up over time until it gets to the point that it becomes a problem for both your legal compliance and your sanity. You don’t need those distractions. Stay ahead of ROT before it gets in your way.

Today’s Tip:

We always have the best of intentions for cleaning up after ourselves, but we're busy folk and inactive files can quickly become an out-of-sight, out-of-mind problem. As bad as putting off records cleanup can be for ourselves, it becomes even harder when we foist the responsibility off on others. After all, who else is more qualified to clean up the records you created than you? You’re familiar with the content of the files and the structure of the folders. You know what was merely a draft, what was a template, what was received as a courtesy copy, and what was simply for reference. But what if you leave your position without cleaning at all?

Russian nesting dolls in increasing sizes








We’ve been thinking of it like series of Russian matryoshka dolls. Let’s say Joe retires, and instead of deleting the ROT and properly filing anything that needed to be kept, he just saved everything in a folder called “Joe’s Files”. Then, because his office didn’t have a good off boarding process, this same situation repeated itself a few times, without anyone taking the time to determine which, if any of the records had value and were worth saving. Now Toni has to wade through all of Joe’s files (and Kumar’s, and Vlad’s, and Anita’s) looking for important records and deleting the ROT.

Don’t make Russian dolls out of your files! Start out by consulting our Structuring Electronic Files resource. As our resource points out, save your records by function instead of by who created/worked on it. For example, create folders titled “Procard Receipts 2020” or “Annual Reports 2020” instead of “Joe’s files.” And when a colleague is getting ready to leave, it’s time to stop playing with dolls and consult our Off Boarding resource.

If you can relate to this example and you aren’t sure what to do with records left by a former colleague, schedule a ROT Squad consult today.


Click here to watch the video on this new University-wide initiative.


Barbara Benson

Cara Ball

Emily Lemieux

Michael Mooney

Lynn O'Shea