Emails can quickly pile up in everyone's inbox. Here are a few transitory records that are easy to delete. Sort or search by specific keywords, and if the supporting transaction has been completed, delete it.
- ARIBA notifications
- Workday notifications (also any PERMS, OPUS, OWLS or older system notifications)
- ProCard/CTA authorizations (ProCard/CTA Payment Reminder Deadline)
- UW-related newsletters (UW Today, UW Insider, POD, Procurement News, Meany Center, etc.)
- Industry newsletters & announcements
- Announcements (e-outage, UWPD alerts, doughnuts in the break room, etc.)
- Junk, Deleted Items, Clutter folders. These collectively represent a security, litigation, and focus risk.
- Sort your inbox by CC: If you have to act on anything or track the conversation, save the email into the appropriate folder; otherwise, delete.
- Drafts, whether attachments or in the body of the email
- Calendar invitations and acceptances, meeting announcements, and meeting agendas
- Requests for general information (What are your office hours?, What's the registration deadline?, etc.)
Congratulations! You made it through the first level of difficulty! Ready for your next challenge? Let's tackle some records that have passed their longer, defined retention period and are eligible for deletion.
- Emails with a 1-year retention period from Dec 31, 2018 & earlier (incident reports, building security, reference letters for students, etc.)
- Calendar items older than 1 year (Dec 31, 2018 & earlier)
- Search for attachments in email: Save important files to a shared drive and delete the email.
- Display emails by conversation to identify the final message in a string that needs to be retained. Use sorting to identify duplicate emails that can be deleted. Refer to our resource on Outlook conversation cleanup.
- Emails or webforms that have already been entered into a database or spreadsheet. Once the data entry has been verified for accuracy, the initial email/webform can be deleted.
- Folders on your shared drive that have met their retention
- Personnel records for employees who left your department in 2016 & earlier
- Close outdated Slack (and other team communication platform) channels. Refer to our resource on managing Slack & other tools.
It's surprising how these twenty categories can represent so many emails. How many did you delete? Enjoy your leaner, meaner email for 2020.