Developing a System To Deal With Email
Developing a system to deal with email is another matter, as most people do not treat electronic mail as records until they need access to a long lost correspondence. As with other forms of electronic documents, some people resort to printing email and storing them. Archiving your email is one option, which while not foolproof, is a good start.
Since I do not want to incur the expense of a dedicated system, I have two email accounts that I use only to send my important emails to for safekeeping. I do nothing else with these addresses but send the correspondence I want to keep.
Disaster and Your Records
Protecting your valuable records can make all the difference between being back up and running quickly and total disaster if you lose vital data. Having backups of all electronic records is important, but you should also have alternate sites for keeping both electronic and paper records.
You can access the cloud, using online storage or do your backups through companies such as Mozy and Carbonite. If your small business has lots of records, a facility such as Iron Mountain is also worth considering. I have also found that Google Drive is a great way to backup important files and those I am currently working on. Not only does this keep my files safe, it makes access easy if I am able to get online.
Being able to tame your records management effort is not just important for tax purposes. Remember that just about every aspect of life results in some record or other being generated. Many of these we need to keep for a while and knowing how to do this effectively is important for retrieval purposes. If you cannot find the records and information when you need it, you may as well not have it.
Moore, Jack. Agencies Continue to Struggle with Records Management. (2012). National Archives News. Accessed April 4, 2013.
Padgett the Small Biz Pros. Recordkeeping for the Self-Employed. (2013). Accessed April 4, 2013.
TAB. 4 Tips for Managing Your Electronic Records. (2013). Accessed April 4, 2013.