Email or e-mail, short for electronic mail, is the name for text messages sent over the Internet and picked up by the user online or downloaded through a mail client using push or pull technology, depending on the device and program receiving the messages. Archiving refers to a storage plan whereby items are arranged in a logical and accessible manner. It can also refer to making a backup copy of material. Email archiving refers to a methodical filing system for email that removes it from the server and backs it up safely.
The best thing to do first with regard to email archiving is to consider your options. Decide whether it is sufficient to have your emails archived in the cloud, or whether you need them archived on your machine or in hard copy. Perhaps certain material needs to printed out, while other material can remain in electronic form. If the emails are to be archived on your machine, decide whether you will make a backup on an external hard drive and also whether anything needs to be saved in a form other than the file format of your mail client, for example, saved in PDF file format.
Generally the second step in creating an email archiving system is to create a hierarchy of storage folders within your email client. In doing this, you might separate personal email from business email, and make sure folders you will need to access more frequently are easy to reach. Keep in mind that folders can be reorganized and renamed, so once a project that was top priority is completed, you may want to have a way to archive it within the folder system, such as putting it in a folder called “Completed Projects” with the year. Consider whether creating filters to sort incoming mail directly into folders will serve you well: some people swear by this feature; others never use it.
One of the best tips for email archiving is to delete unwanted email immediately upon receipt or upon seeing it in your inbox. This can save you time because you will never have to review it again, and help prevent unnecessary material from reaching the archive, where only material of value should be stored. Alternatively, if it suits you better, you can do mass deletion prior to archiving. You may be able to set your mail client for when mail should be deleted from the server, but periodically, it’s a good idea to visit your ISP website, see what’s actually on the server, and clear out, as needed. If you enough empty server space, you can choose to leave important emails there as an additional archive.
In business situations, complying with regulations, security, and efficiency are key elements of making email archiving decision. Enterprise email archiving can be managed by software applications made for that purpose and with features made to address business-specific issues. These include the ability to manage the virtual paper trail and delete messages that are not needed any longer.