Follow the steps below to learn how to identify records daily, how to group like records, and what to do with records when they are no longer needed.
1. Identify the records you create and receive during the normal course of business
Click here to review your Department Records Management Plan (DRMP).
2. Group like records together into record series and identify various record formats
Read below to learn how to organize your digital and physical files by record series.
A record series is a group of files or documents kept together (either physically or intellectually) because they relate to a particular subject or function, result from the same activity, document a specific type of transaction, take a particular physical form, or have some other relationship arising out of their creation, receipt, maintenance, or use.
Follow these steps to organize your records by record series.
- Group like records together (for example, you might place all accounts payable records together)
- Use categories provided by your Department Records Management Plan
- Work with other employees to agree on and standardize digital filing system structures
- Determine locations where records will be stored (for example, network drives, systems, filing rooms, or offsite storage like a record center)
- Leverage indexing and full text search capabilities with digital records
- Arrange physical records in a logical order (such as alphabetic, numeric, chronological, geographic, hierarchical, or by subject)
- Standardize digital folder and file naming conventions
- Avoid abbreviations and acronyms
- Avoid vague names
- Let your records coordinator know of any records you keep that are not described on your DRMP
3. Determine how long to keep each record set
Review your DRMP to determine how long you should keep each of your record series.
Note any instances where your plan does not meet business and legal requirements and inform your records coordinator.
4. Decide what to do with each record series when it is no longer needed
Review your DRMP to determine whether each of your record series should be destroyed or preserved when it is no longer needed.