Records Management Services has created the following resources, tutorials, and tips to assist University employees in their record keeping.

RMS Self-Assessment

Take our Records Management Self-Assessment and learn where you or your office falls on the records management compliance scale. Evaluate your current situation and get advice on working toward a more compliant future state.

Retention Email Network Drives

23 Things to Delete in 2023

As you move forward with a ROT-free 2023 (ongoing deletion of Redundant, Obsolete, Transitory records), please note that all records pertaining to ongoing or pending audits, lawsuits (or even reasonably anticipated lawsuits), litigation holds, or public disclosure proceedings must not be destroyed, damaged, or altered until the issue is resolved and you are explicitly advised that such records may be destroyed.

Email Calendars Outlook Network Drives

23 Ways to Up Your Records Game in 2023

Up your records management game with our top 23 Things to Do in 2023. Go all-electronic, streamline your systems, and increase your records management knowledge.

Email Calendars Outlook Network Drives Retention

Records Authorities and Records Coordinators

In order to ensure every UW department and unit complies with state and federal laws and regulations relating to the records, information and data they create, receive, manage, and use, our office relies on Records Authorities (RAs) and Records Coordinators (RCs) to act as liaisons for their units.


Optical Character Recognition

Optical Character Recognition, or OCR, recognizes text within digital images. The process of converting a scanned image into recognizable characters can make scanned documents searchable and more accessible. Learn how to convert and search PDF files using Adobe Acrobat Pro.

Retention SharePoint

Destruction Holds

Upon receiving a destruction hold notice, it is vital to identify and preserve all materials related to matter. This resource provides detailed guidance on how to reorganize your electronic records subject to a destruction hold.

Email Gmail Outlook Network Drives Retention SharePoint

Recommendations on File/Folder Naming Conventions

Establish a file/folder naming convention that balances being robust enough to help you organize and find your information while still being simple enough that it can be used by the whole office.

Email Network Drives

FT, Records Management, and the Disposition of Finance Systems

Retiring or remediating a finance system due to FT? Plan how the remediation or retirement of each system will occur. This includes identifying what records need to be kept in the existing system, what records can be deleted and what records will be migrating to another system.


Tip Sheet: Going Paperless

As you switch your office’s processes from paper to electronic or improve your existing electronic processes, consider these tips and examples.

Quick Reference Network Drives

Flowchart for Processing and Managing Email

Working at the University of Washington typically means sending and receiving a lot of email on a daily basis. Because of the volume, it can be difficult to stay on top of, and making decisions on what to delete and what to keep can take a significant amount of time out of your day. This flowchart is designed to help you process (appropriately file or delete) and manage (properly retain and destroy) email quickly and efficiently using a "touch it once" methodology.

Outlook Email

Choosing the Right Electronic Storage Location

An important component of managing your office's electronic records includes storing them in an appropriate location.

Email Network Drives SharePoint Retention

Best Practices for Folder Structures

Design a file plan that makes it easier to find what you are looking for while following the legally-approved retention period for your records. Includes sample file plans by type of record.

Network Drives Retention Quick Reference

Measure Email Volume in Outlook

Use these step-by-step instructions to measure the volume of your email in Outlook. Knowing your email volume will help you focus your energy when you're cleaning out ROT (Redundant, Obsolete, and Transitory emails), can help you demonstrate success after a cleanup, and can help you choose how to structure your Inbox folders in the future.

Email Retention Outlook

List Your Folder Structure in Windows

Create a list of all folders in a directory using the Windows command prompt. Use this inventory of existing folders and files to restructure your shared drive or target ROT (Redundant, Obsolete, and Transitory records) for deletion. Knowing what you have is the first step in identifying obsolete, overly-nested, or poorly-named folders and files.

Network Drives Retention

Quickly View Shared Drive Volume

Use these brief instructions for Windows File Explorer to quickly check the data size and number of files and folders in your shared drive. This is a great tool to measure progress when simplifying file systems and reducing ROT--Redundant, Obsolete, and Transitory records. Need advice on managing your records and destroying ROT? Consult with the RMS ROT Squad

Network Drives Infographic

Saving Webpages For Retention or Holds

Follow these steps if you need to save an independent copy of a webpage for retention purposes or when it is subject to a destruction hold.  This resource shows how to save a copy of a webpage and its components, including video or other embedded files.


Best Practices for Team Communication Platforms

Tools like Slack and MS Teams free us from emails but present unique challenges. Here's how to maintain compliance with UW legally-approved retention policies while efficiently using these platforms.

Quick Reference Retention Infographic

Cloud-Based Applications Best Practices

Offices and departments at the UW can use cloud applications to store university records provided that the records are managed properly. This resource helps offices and departments to establish best practices around records retention, usability, privacy & security, account management, implementation, and provider contracts. 

Retention Quick Reference Infographic

Structuring Electronic Files

A guide on how to create and maintain a digital filing system. Includes tips on figuring out what you have, keeping records organized and easily found by your entire office. Learn how to:

  • Involve your stakeholders
  • Analyze existing records
  • Develop a new filing system
  • Inform users/training
  • Implement and purge annually

Network Drives Retention SharePoint

Quick Reference Cards

Whether you just started at UW or have been here for years, managing records is a fact of life. Print and display our Quick Reference Cards in your workspace.

Retention Quick Reference New Employee

Records Retention in SharePoint (Video)

Using metadata and content types, SharePoint Information Management Policy Settings allow you to set a retention period on folders in SharePoint and automate deletion of records that have met their retention requirements.

SharePoint Retention

Managing MWS/Nebula Drives

This infographic contains basic facts and management tactics for UW employees using Nebula.

Network Drives Infographic

Applying Retention in Outlook

UW-IT created a list of choices for Outlook that -- with an easy click of your mouse -- can apply an approved retention period to your e-mail.

Outlook Email

Outlook Rules

Rules in Outlook allow you to automatically perform an action based on the characteristics of an incoming message. This tool can be used for a wide variety of functions.

Outlook Email

Automatically Delete Messages in Outlook Using AutoArchive

The AutoArchive tool allows you to automatically delete messages based on policies of your choosing. This is a great way to regularly clear out the large portion of emails with no specific retention without having to think about it.

Email Outlook

Outlook Quick Steps

Quick Steps allow you to take a process that requires multiple steps and combine them into one easy action. There are many possible uses for this tool, such as flagging a message and moving it into a folder, or forwarding a message to your entire work team, or creating a calendar item based on the message.

Outlook Email

Sharing Outlook Email Folders

If you use Outlook to view your UW Exchange email, you can share email folders with other UW employees. Creating a shared folder will give the individual(s) you specify access to the emails, contacts, tasks, or notes contained in that folder. You may remove access to a shared folder at any time.

Outlook Email

Cleaning Up Conversations in Outlook

Every time you reply to a message, you end up including the text of all the previous messages in the conversation, filling your inbox with duplicate information. Outlook's conversation tools can assist with a quick cleanup of duplicate messages. Use Conversation View to view all messages in a conversation together, and use the Conversation Cleanup function to delete the duplicate text.

Outlook Email

Cleaning Up Outlook Calendars

The retention period for calendars is 1 year after the end of the calendar year. This can be a difficult retention to implement unless you are very familiar with how your email client works. Learn how to clean up your Outlook calendar in this resource.

Outlook Calendars

Saving an Outlook Calendar

Because calendars have a specified mandatory retention period, action must be taken to preserve these records (including metadata) when an employee leaves a department or the university. In Outlook, one way to accomplish this is to export a copy of the employee’s calendar to a PST file.

Outlook Calendars