1. File distinct series or types of records
separately. For example: file correspondence in one drawer,
directory, or alphabetized section; minutes in another; financial
records in a third; and reference or subject files in a fourth.
Each of these series will have a different "life cycle" or
retention period in your office. Having distinct series will
make it easier to pull out those series ready to be sent to
the Records Center or destroyed.
2. At the beginning of each year, start new files for correspondence,
minutes, and other annual records, transferring the past year's
files to another drawer and removing the oldest year's files
to be transferred to the Records Center.
For electronic records, copy your yearly correspondence
to floppy disks, zip disks, or a CD and send the disks to
the Records Center. Please send your records to the Records
Center in ONLY one form. Do not send both
paper and electronic records. We will keep only one set of
3. File organizational correspondence by organization, not
by the correspondent's name. File personal letters by the
4. Different types of correspondence--institutional, departmental,
non-workers--can be filed in one large alphabet. Each type
can be easily differentiated by using different color tabs
and tab positions. For example, correspondence with overseas
divisions could be filed using pink tabs in the center of
the drawer. Next to these could be General Conference departments
using blue tabs. On the left could be miscellaneous correspondence
using alphabet tabs, and so forth. A similar effect can be
achieved by using directories and subdirectories in your word
5. If an item is temporary, mark it for later destruction
upon receipt or filing. This can be done by using some type
of stamping device or other type of flag. Do not put yourself
in the position of having to separate "permanent" records
from "ephemeral" or temporary records at some future time,
when you or someone else will have to restudy the whole file.
Separate or mark each record at the time it is produced or
filed, while it is still fresh in your mind.
It is easier and less time consuming to file "temporary"
electronic records in a separate directory. If you have not
already done this and the temporary files are small, it is
more efficient to send all your electronic files to the Records
6. Certain records, such as correspondence or minutes, can
be transferred to the records center after only a couple of
years. Subject or reference files should not be transferred
until the topic is no longer current and the folder is not
needed for reference. File record series with annual cut-off
dates separately from those with indefinite cut-offs. This
will minimize or eliminate sorting and revamping files at
the time some records are transferred to the Records Center.
Since electronic records such as correspondence are copied
to a disk and the original file remains on your hard drive,
you can send the disk(s) containing the "archived" copy of
your correspondence to the Records Center after the first
of the year. When it is no longer necessary to frequently
refer to the older correspondence it may be deleted from your
DO NOT delete older correspondence without
first establishing that a backup or "archived" copy exists.
The Records Center must have certain information in order
to be able to retrieve your electronic files. We must know
the office of origin, the format of the file (i.e. WordPerfect,
Word, etc.; we recommend saving files in their original or
"native" format), and the date the file(s) was created.
7. Hanging folders are an efficient and appropriate way to
file records in your office. However, when sending files to
the Records Center their contents MUST
BE TRANSFERRED TO MANILA FOLDERS (accordion
folders or "file pockets" are acceptable for large files)
that are to be clearly labeled with a ballpoint pen or pencil
(other markers may run or bleed). Computer generated labels
containing bar codes are also acceptable. Files received in
hanging folders WILL be returned.