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Cider, Cardigans, and Cleanup

Make onboarding and offboarding easy

One easy way to make sure that the records in your office are managed properly is to incorporate links to our trainings into your office's regular procedures.

Do you have a departmental intranet site with useful links? Or perhaps you have checklists of steps for people to complete when onboarding and offboarding? If so, consider including the links below!

When people join your officeadd these trainings to your office’s green arrow reading enter red arrow reading exitonboarding process:

Introduction to Records Management

University Email Best Practices

When people leave your office, add this training to your office’s offboarding process: Offboarding: Cleared for Takeoff

Trivia question of the month

yellow sign retro style DID YOU KNOW?Yes, we know… we frequently highlight the importance of managing our email inboxes and it seems like we can’t stop talking about it. And that’s because we also know how easy it is to forget that emails are records.

Most of us think about email management in terms of messages we've already sent and received. However, it is a good habit to begin the thought process before we've even created an email. For example, we can ask ourselves if it is absolutely necessary to communicate something in an email at all or if maybe a different mode of communication is more appropriate. This leads us to our question this month…

When writing an email what is another action you can take to ensure it will be properly managed after you sent it?

  1. Create each email as if it were being published in the Seattle Times
  2. Limit the content to one subject
  3. Choose a good subject heading
  4. All of the above

Want to challenge your co-workers? Feel free to forward this email to them and see if they know the answer. Scroll down to see the answer below.

Website updates

A yellow sign with black text and screwdriverDescription automatically generatedYou may have noticed some recent design changes to our Home Page and General Schedule page. We made these updates in an effort to enhance our website users’ experience. Please reach out to us at or talk to Lynn at 206-685-6573 if you’re having trouble finding anything on our website or have suggestions for changes. We are here to help!

Clean up your inbox with intention

You may be wondering how to go about freeing your inbox from redundant, obsolete and transitory junk (ROT). Depending on your inbox, the idea of a clean-up may seem anxiety-inducing and overwhelming, maybe not entirely top of mind either, but it is important. As a state agency, everything the University community creates is considered a record regardless of the physical form or characteristic… including emails.  A great way to get it done is with intent and a little bit of planning.

Leverage Your Work Calendar. Dedicate a time slot to clean up your email, even if it’s only for 15 minutes at a time. A little bit of time is better than no time at all.

Create a Routine. Set up a recurring calendar event to keep yourself on track and develop a habit. You can do it on the same day each week or change it up as long as you stick to a plan.

Learn Best Practices and Prepare. Before your next planned session, refer to these handy, ROT Squad-approved email deleting party search tips to make the most out of this time. For example, did you know you can disable Zoom meeting attendee notifications? Learn how to do this and many more useful tips.

Get your Office or Department Involved. You don’t have to do it alone. If you prefer company or simply need someone to hold you accountable, why not turn your email cleanup session into a communal work event? Sometimes it helps to invite a colleague or two (or the entire office…) for encouragement. Make sure you share the deleting party search tips above with your colleagues. Speaking of email deleting parties… Due to popular demand, we created a 34-minute recorded email deleting party to use at your convenience.

Think About Timing. You can purposely time these clean-up events around common time-based triggers/cut-offs (e.g., after graduation, end of fiscal year, end of academic year, etc.). You can pull related emails into specific folders and set a custom retention on those folders. You can head over to our Best Practices for Folder Structures to learn more about dealing with email folders.

Reward Yourself. Remember to give yourself a reward afterwards. Why not take yourself (and your colleagues) out to lunch on those days, or listen to your favorite song, buy yourself a book… We want you to take a small break, feel energized and content about the progress you’ve made!

Unsure about the retention requirements of an email? Consult UW’s General Retention Schedule and make sure you also check and see if your office may have a unique Departmental Retention Schedule.

You are also always welcome to send us an email at for any comments or questions.

Trivia Answer: d. All of the above. – Pretending like the email you’re about to send is going to be published in the Seattle Times may sound a little intense but, as UW employees, our emails are indeed subject to Washington State law, RCW 40.14, which applies to the preservation and destruction of public records. To help you navigate email management as UW employees, we’ve created a University of Washington Email Policy. If you haven’t read through it yet, we highly recommend that you do.

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


Barbara Benson

Emily Lemieux

Lynn O'Shea

Sean Whitney

Laetitia Rhodes Kaiser