Email Management Overview

Email Visulaization

Is email a records? Well that depends...

...what we have to understand is that email is not a record type or series, but is a means of conveying information similar to the United States Postal Service. As such its retention is based upon the content of the email message, not the fact that it is an email message.

What is email?

An email (electronic mail) message is comprised of the following components:

  • textual message
  • metadata (To, From, Subject, Time, Date, System, etc.)
  • attachments

As such each component is part of the record or non-record, as the case may be. In many instances, email has taken over the role of "general correspondence" and memorandums, as well as the telephone message. If an email message meets the criteria of a record, it must be managed as such with as much effort and vigilance as one would a "traditional" record, however, keep in mind there are only a small percentage that we have to manage for any significant period of time.