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Top 10 Non-Records to Delete or Destroy

ROT = Redundant, Obsolete and Transitory Records (ROT)

Important Note:  All records that pertain to litigation, on-going legal proceedings, or even the anticipated litigation must not be destroyed until you receive permission from general counsel. 

  1. Deleted items – Empty deleted items and recycle bins.  If that makes you too nervous, delete all but the last 30 days of deleted items.
  2. Calendar responses in your email – Invitations, acceptances, meeting announcements, meeting agendas, Zoom invitations, and other scheduling notifications.  Your calendar will still contain the relevant information so you can delete the responses received in Outlook.
  3. Published reference material – If you didn’t create the publication, delete it as soon as it is no longer relevant or needed.  This includes notifications from other departments, external sources, magazines, flyers, announcements, etc.  If you created them, make sure a copy of the publication is shared with your campus archivist.
  4. Newsletters/Listservs – Including internal and external newsletters that you did not create.
  5. Formal and informal announcements – System outages, drills, routine IT maintenance work, donuts in the break room, etc.
  6. Duplicates and Drafts– Delete duplicate records that are recorded in multiple systems or locations and drafts (emails and documents) that are no longer needed. 
  7. Folder Clean-up – Delete folders on your shared drive, SharePoint, Google Drive, or Outlook that have met or exceeded their approved retention period. 
  8. Extracted information – reports that are printed from a database that can be recreated as needed.
  9. Personal emails – Anything unrelated to university business
  10. Sent items – Sort your sent items and delete any emails that are not needed.  Sort by date, subject, to, and attachments to make this task simpler.


Reviewed 2023-10-20