Too much C.R.A.A.P.? An excess of R.O.T.?
The answer may be to remove digital clutter
We all hoard documents or info that we deem Current, Relevant, Authoritative, Accurate or Purposeful. In reality, only a small percentage of the CRAAP we keep really is necessary. Instead, it’s Redundant, Obsolete or Trivial. Holding on to old, useless data serves no purpose, and it may actually put you and the agency at risk. The answer is to start removing digital clutter.
Just like we did a decade ago or so with people eliminating hardcopy excess by converting everything to digital files, the time has come to purge our digital world, according to ITD Records Analyst Janet French.
“The amount of digital information doubles, on average, every 18 months,” French said. “The only way to stay ahead of it is to be vigilant about cleaning it up.”
This is especially true regarding outdated data, guidelines or policies, which are required to be submitted in a Public Records Request but may give a false impression for the department to battle against.
On cue, ETS has announced a round of server migrations for every ITD business group – migrations that will be much easier if folks can begin cleaning up their files ahead of time.
“Take an extra 15 minutes a few days a week and look through your files with an eye toward those things you need to keep vs. those you just want to keep,” she explained. “Set an alarm on your phone or on your computer, or go ‘Old School’ and write yourself a note, and block out those 15 minutes to do it.”
How will you know if you need to keep something? French said you first have to determine if it may be a record you are required to keep, and if so, has it expired, and does it have actual value? She has put together a nine-minute video called “Records 101” on TalentEd that explains the process. She suggests creating a “Keep” folder and only putting things in there that you know you will need, and discarding the rest.
Note: Check your records retention schedule to see your business area’s official records for ITD.
“Then it is much easier to review your files and delete as you go,” French said.
You can also reach French at 208 334-8851 with any questions.
“Why keep junk?” she added. “It just makes the new site as disorganized or overpopulated as the old one. Seriously, not all information is still of value.”
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