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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    Email/attachment policy (Any)

    I am working with clients to develop polices regarding the storage of email and attachments. These are mid-size law firms that send/receive a lot of email, much of which has attachments. Most have a public folders "Client Data" structure for storing email. Some of the concerns are:

    > It is time consuming and depends on users to move emails to the correct public folder. The attorneys have to do this for both incoming and sent items. Many times the emails go back and forth a few times.
    - Do you have recommendations/suggestions/policies to make this process easier and more reliable? Do you have policies as to what/when emails should be moved?

    > What about the attachments? Do you keep them in the email or save them out? If you save them out, do you leave a link/message as to where they are saved. I know Attachment Executive by MAD Solutions http://www.madsolutions.com will help to automate this process. Do you have policies on this?

    > What/how/when/to where to archive? After the matter is closed, what should we do with this folder? Export it to a PST file into the client's data folder on the file server?

    One of my concerns with this system is that we have two separate storage locations and structures. On the file server we have all the Word/Excel docs. On the Exchange Server/public folders we have the emails - which may/may not have attached files or links.

    I guess I am looking for overall input/advice on how people are managing this information.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Email/attachment policy (Any)

    We are a few months behind you. Our goal will be to get e-mail into our document management system in as efficient a manner as possible rather than to have multiple stores. What belong in and what doesn't, when and how it's going to be profiled, and other issues, are "TBD." I will be interested in hearing your results.

  3. #3
    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: Email/attachment policy (Any)

    We talked about this approach but there were a couple of things the users didn't like.

    1. When doing a save as of the e-mail message, the file type options differ depending on the format of the message. (For some reason they did not want to save everything as "msg" file.) Saving as Txt and HTML does not inlcude attachments not any reference that there was an attachment. RTF saves the attachment.

    2. Users liked the ability to easily sort/group emails by dates, subject, sender in Outlook.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Email/attachment policy (Any)

    The needs of different firms will vary. We use WORLDOX as our DMS, and the new version (which we have not yet installed) will import e-mail messages in a proprietary, read-only archive format as an alternative to .MSG. (You can read about this in the WORLDOX 2002 Configuration and Administration Guide, downloadable from the documentation page.) There is an option to link messages to their separately profiled attachments, but it is rather vaguely explained; I haven't seen a live demo yet.

    While it is attractive to be able to sort by sender or recipient, there are many annoying things about the way Outlook does this. For example, when there is a second recipient, that will appear after all records for the recipient alone. Also, there is no easy way to sort by company or client, even though that information might be present in the domain name of the recipient address or their contact/address book record. Nor can you at the same time sort on a person as both sender and recipient, in other words, "correspondence with X." Sometimes the sender sends from different addresses, etc. Outlook's subject lines often bear little relationship to the content, but at least they do help keep a thread together. Finding a way to replicate this functionality within a DMS is tricky; maybe not possible. On the other hand, the DMS can group messages by client/matter/project/responsible-attorney. To me this is much more helpful than "urgent deadline in France" to someone who used to work in marketing... in that case, in Outlook, I'd be full-text searching and off to the kitchen for a refill.

    In the end, the challenge always seems to be to serve the workgroup as a whole without ruining any individual's life. I hope we find a way to do it, and that you do, too.

    (P.S. One of my clients offers an e-mail sorting/indexing/categorizing product named BoilerBase. The software access POP3 mailboxes or Netscape/Eudora mail message stores, or any message stores in a certain UNIX format). I don't think there's an Exchange version today, and I'm not sure if there's one coming. But you could ask. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> )

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