The amount of electronic information has grown exponentially over the past decade. Local (C: Drives) and network drives are becoming digital graveyards. An effective records management program will provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to ensure that electronic files are properly managed.

  • Folder structures and names. Creating an electronic folder structure that meets the needs of each department and ensuring that the folders within the structure are logically named are critical for accurate electronic filing, retrieval, and file maintenance (clean-up).

  • File naming conventions. After you have created the proper electronic folder structure, it’s important to ensure that your files are also named in an appropriate manner. A rule of thumb for naming your files is that you should be able to determine the contents of a file without having to open it. This means avoiding cryptic names such as abbreviations, acronyms, and numbers.

  • Maintenance. It is important to regularly review your folders and files to determine what is no longer needed. Microsoft Windows allows you to determine the last access and modification dates of a file. This is a good starting point in determining whether a file can be deleted. However, employees should always reference the organization’s record retention schedule before deleting any files in order to determine if the file is eligible for deletion.