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Smart Work by Dermot Crowley

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5 KEEP IT SIMPLE

I talked briefly in the last chapter about the need to keep emails. We use email to do so many things and we cannot recall everything said in them, so we have to keep a wide range of emails. You need to make the decision about what is worth keeping and what is not.

For me, the question is not so much about what you keep, but about how you keep it. How much time and effort is involved in keeping these emails, and in finding them again? I suspect a lot more than you might realise!

To avoid wasting time, it is imperative that we set up a simple filing system, one that is relevant to the needs of the modern workplace.

Most people need to keep some emails related to their role in a personal filing system within their mailbox. There is no need to grant other people access to these emails or to file them in a central filing system. This is personal stuff that they feel they may possibly need again at some point.

Some people are also required to file emails into a central group filing system. For example, many law firms and consulting firms set expectations that emails related to projects or clients are filed in a central document management system. This means many different people may be filing emails into the system, and many different people may need to find emails in the system. This complex scenario, requiring a whole-of-organisation approach, is beyond the scope of this book.

The strategies outlined in this chapter are designed to help people set up simple filing ...

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