Re: How long to keep work samples?

Subject: Re: How long to keep work samples?
From: Sally Yeo <SYeo -at- ELUCIDEX -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 11:11:04 -0700

I had a similar problem when I moved from Milwaukee to Washington in
April. I through out so much stuff it was incredible. Week after week of
huge piles of bags and boxes of paper for recycling. What helped me
(writer, English major, packrat) was that it was going to cost 50 cents
a pound to move the stuff. All tax records older than 3 years went into
recycling. All Tech Comm journals and magazines before 1994 went. (And
now I want one from 1992!) My partner still objected strenuously to what
I did bring!

Good luck,


-----Original Message-----
From: Kat Nagel [mailto:katnagel -at- EZNET -dot- NET]
Sent: Wednesday, May 12, 1999 11:34 AM
Subject: Re: How long to keep work samples?

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.
>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

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

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