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Outlook is not a record keeping system. Email records should be saved from Outlook into shared folders according to their content and managed in a consistent manner to all other corresponding records. Emails and their attachments can be records of value they should be filed according to their content just like any other document. If the email is not relevant for business purposes it should be deleted.

An email is important if it:

  • Has long term administrative or historical value.
  • Contains information, advice or explanation not duplicated elsewhere.
  • Relates to decisions taken and has evidential value.
  • Was drafted as a result of policy or legislation.

Only confidential or sensitive emails should be saved to your U drive/Home directory.

All email records are subject to the Authority’s retention schedules according to their content.

Do not send attachments by email unless it’s unavoidable e.g. the document is confidential, as there is a huge duplication of documents held on the authority’s servers.  Attachments are detrimental to your mailbox storage space and of course this results in increasing the size of  your mailbox. You should send a link to a document instead of an attachment.

E-mail is part of the corporate record of the Authority and as such is liable for disclosure in response to information access requests under the following legislation:

Managing your inbox

Your main email folder is the Inbox. Your Inbox is located inside of your mailbox along with the other folders that are created by Outlook to store information. Other folders that contain email include Deleted Items, Drafts, Outbox, and Sent Items. Knowing how much space is being taken up by them is your first step towards keeping your mailbox trim.

You may want to check the size of individual messages. The message size field can easily be added to your Inbox, Sent Items, or any other Outlook mail folder.

To display the message size field:

  1. Right Click on any field header in your messages pane.
  2. Select Field Chooser. Scroll down the list of fields until the Size field is displayed.
  3. Then drag and drop the Size field from the Field Chooser list to the area between any of two grey field headers to add the Size field to the message pane

Knowing individual message size can help you as you work to control the overall size of your mailbox. In your Inbox you can group messages by size.

To arrange email messages by size:

  1. Select View/Arrange by/Size. Your messages will be sorted into groups such as Tiny (< 10 KB), Small (10 - 25 KB), and so on.

Any messages over 500 KB will probably have attachments. You should consider whether or not you need to keep the attachment with the message, as saving it and then deleting it from the message (or simply deleting it from the message if you already have a copy of the file) will release space on your Mailbox.

You should save your emails and/or attachments to the Council File Plan.

Saving your attachments:

  1. Open the message
  2. Right click on the attachment
  3. Select Save As
  4. Change to your folder on the CFP
  5. Click on Save

Deleting your attachments:

  1. Open the message
  2. Right click on the attachment
  3. Select  Delete

Just like with PSTs you can organise your emails into folders within Outlook.

To create headed folders within your Inbox or Sent Items Folders:

  1. Right Click on the Inbox or Sent Items folders
  2. Select New Folder
  3. Give your new folder a meaningful name e.g. 2010 Requests  May   (not ‘John’s stuff’).  You can repeat this process for folders within Inbox or Sent Items sub folders.
  4. Drag your email to the relevant folders.

How to automatically empty deleted items when exiting Outlook:

  1. From the Tools menu, select Options...
  2. The Options dialog box appears.
  3. Select the Other tab
  4. Select Empty the Deleted Items folder upon exiting
  5. Click Apply

Page updated: 05/09/2019 16:29:00