Catching up//Re: How Long to Keep Files of Completed Projects

Subject: Catching up//Re: How Long to Keep Files of Completed Projects
From: Katherine Noftz Nagel <lists -at- masterworkconsulting -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 13 May 2012 20:04:48 -0400

On 2012-05-03 10:02 AM, LTC Writer wrote:

How long do you keep files of completed projects? Is there a legal
requirement to keep them?


I've worked on-site for clients in regulated industries where there were specified record retention periods for everything from email messages to document drafts to candy wrappers. For their projects, I kept drafts as long as told me to keep them, and not a minute longer.

I've worked on-site for a few clients where management memory was vanishingly small but the "you changed something without authorization" penalties were draconian. For their projects, I filed all drafts--and all marked-up review copies, and all meeting notes, and transcripts of all voicemail messages--until the project was over and I'd been paid. What they did after that wasn't my concern.

For my own freelance stuff, I've always kept everything. It has come in handy when an old client wants a revision of something I did for them 10 years ago, or a new client asks for something that sounds familiar. Scanning through old review copies and notes has saved me loads of time and aggravation.

I am currently rethinking my process, though. Just spent the better part of a full week rescuing my 40+ year accumulation of work files from three huge attic rooms in preparation for roofers coming in to do a complete tear-off of four leaky layers of warped shingles and the soggy wood underlayer. Not looking forward to dragging all those boxes back when the new roof is finished!

Kat Nagel, Owner
MasterWork Consulting
*please send offlist replies to katnagel -at- masterworkconsulting -dot- com*

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How Long to Keep Files of Completed Projects: From: LTC Writer

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