Re: How long to keep work samples?

Subject: Re: How long to keep work samples?
From: Kat Nagel <katnagel -at- EZNET -dot- NET>
Date: Wed, 12 May 1999 14:33:55 -0400

Monica wrote:
>I've been in the business for 12 years, both freelance
>and as a direct employee. I've saved major manuals and
>other projects I've worked on during this time. [snippetysnip]
>I'd love to hear how you've successfully "thinned"
>your samples.

I'm facing the same task.
13 years of freelancing...
Packrat genes...
Baaaad combination.

When we moved 4 years ago, I filled a room in the new house---wall to wall,
floor to ceiling, just a narrow path through the room---with file cabinets
and cardboard crates. Since it all fit in an unused room, and I could
close the door on it, the only time I thought about all that STUFF was when
I had to retrieve a particular file to write a proposal for a similar
project or to extract a writing sample for a targeted portfolio.

Now, we are beginning to renovate the second floor of the house, shifting
our bedroom temporarily to the third floor, moving my office across the
hall, and moving Andy's office to (you guessed it) the room that I call
'file archives' and HE calls 'the junk room'. <sigh>

To avoid the pain of discarding even the tiniest pieces of my own stuff
(doesn't EVERYBODY save their grade school book reports?) I'm working
through the piles, pretending it's someone else's accumulated paper
mountain and that I've been hired as a document management consultant.

~ Recent projects (<4 years)---keep proposal, any drafts with handwritten
notes, returned review copies (complete), final draft, published copy (if I
got one), all letters, invoices, expense records, email messages, project
notes; keep all electronic files
~Older projects (4-7 years)---keep proposal, 1st and final drafts,
published copy, letters, invoices, expense records, project notes; keep
electronic files for original material from client, proposal, final draft,
all graphics files, project notes
~Ancient history (8+ years)---keep proposal, final draft, published copy,
invoices and expense records; keep electronic files for proposal and final

At least one pound of paper must be recycled for every pound re-filed.

At the moment, it seems to be working well as long as I don't get bogged
down in actually reading the stuff.

Kat Nagel
MasterWork Consulting Services katnagel -at- eznet -dot- net
"Every year, back comes Spring, with nasty little birds
yapping their fool heads off and the ground all mucked
up with plants." --Dorothy Parker

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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