Email has become the backbone of communication in today’s fast-paced digital world, which is crucial for individuals and businesses. However, with more frequent exchanges of messages and a rise in the number of emails every day, it has become challenging to manage and retrieve important information on need.
That’s where email archiving comes into play. You can utilize its power to keep the important emails aside from the regular email conversations in your mailbox.
In this post, we will understand what is email archive, its significance, and the things that are different between email archiving and deleting.
Hence, here you will learn about a tool that will help you effectively handle your digital correspondence.
Table of Contents
What is Email Archiving?
Email archiving is a process of systematically storing and preserving emails for a longer duration of time for access and retrieval on demand. The process involves various steps like capturing, indexing and storing the email messages along with the attachments and metadata in a secure place and in an organized manner.
There are various reasons because of why companies, as well as individuals, do email archiving. These reasons may include regulatory compliance, knowledge preservation, legal discovery, and storage management.
At its core, email archiving includes capturing and storing emails separately or in the system to use whenever required in the long term. It is done through specialized software or services that are already connected to your email servers, and these servers help in keeping the important emails in a structured format. Archiving an email can be done in real-time or within scheduled intervals as per the demands of the organization or an individual.
The archiving process consists of capturing the email content and adding the message bodies, attachments, and other metadata, including sender, recipient, date, and subject. In order to make sure that the data is efficiently stored and retrieved, the service provider makes sure that the captured emails are indexed so that they are always available for quick search and retrieval.
Retrieval of the archived email depends on several criteria, which include sender, recipient, keywords, and the data range.
Why Should You Archive Your Email?
Email is an indispensable communication tool for businesses and individuals; therefore, email archiving is significant today. One may have to or decide to use the power of email archive solutions for several reasons, and the most important ones of them are stated as follows:
Enhanced search retrieval
With the increased use of email, there has been a significant rise in the number of emails you exchange daily. As a result, finding specific emails or attachments becomes more complex, consuming a lot of time.
Using an email archiving solution provider with certain advanced search capabilities makes it very sophisticated for you to look at emails based on several criteria, including sender, recipient, date, or keywords.
Additionally, it will significantly improve your productivity and save the valuable time you would otherwise spend scrolling your whole inbox to find a certain email.
Data protection and disaster recovery
With the increase in technology, the attention to detail by employee is also being neglected. There is a high probability of losing your data today because of accidental deletion, hardware failure, or malicious attacks on your system.
By using email archiving solutions, you can add a new layer to protecting your email data which will help you safeguard your email from such risk factors. You can create regular backups and store your email securely, ensuring that your emails are recoverable during a disaster and helping you continue your business without disturbance.
Storage management is an important thing that you can achieve with the help of email archiving solutions. Email servers offer you a fixed storage level; therefore, overloading the inbox can lead you to have performance issues, including slow search and server crashes.
By archiving your emails, you can manage storage in your email server, and it will also function optimally.
You must move your older or less frequently accessed emails into the archive folder, as it will help you manage the mailbox size while not facing any problems with optimizing data accessibility.
Today, with increased risk factors of data loss, there is regulatory compliance in several industries, including healthcare and finance.
Archiving your emails ensure you comply with the rules and regulations by preserving the necessary records and data. If you maintain an organized archive, it will be much easier to retrieve and provide evidence of communication in case you require it during audits, legal proceedings, or regulatory investigations.
Your email archive folder can be highly useful in preserving valuable knowledge management resources. By archiving your emails, you can keep a record of historical conversations, decisions, and agreements, enabling you to keep a reference of past discussions and recover important information as per the requirement.
Such a feature of email archiving becomes highly helpful when employees exchange rules; this may be used when an employee decides to leave the organization or when a new employee is joining the team who can get high advantages from the past data available in the email archive folders.
Personal productivity and efficiency
Email archiving is an important tool that is nowadays also being used by individuals, and the major reason behind the same is productivity and efficiency. Using email archiving features helps you increase personal productivity and efficiency through a well-organized archive folder.
When you are using email archiving to organize your data in your email, it becomes easier to focus on highly important emails while reducing clutter and distractions.
Additionally, it also becomes easy for you to prioritize tasks, revert back to important emails promptly, and maintain a streamlining of workflow. It also allows you to use filters and rules that help you automatically archive certain types of mail, which can optimize your email management processes.
Legal and E-discovery support
Emails can serve as critical evidence in legal disputes and investigations. Suppose you have an organized email archive folder. In that case, it allows you to have an efficient e-discovery process where you can retrieve and search emails that may be required during litigation.
This capability of email archiving solutions can help protect your organization’s interest, streamline the legal process and provide accurate documentation in case of need.
How should you archive your emails?
There is always a particular way of doing things, which also applies to email archiving. You must keep two things in mind before archiving your emails, and you will find details about the same further down.
The Steps Involved in Archiving email
You must follow the given steps for email archiving:
- If you use Gmail as your email service provider from your desktop, select the emails you want to archive using the check box on the left.
- Swipe the messages to the right or left in your inbox if you use a mobile device.
- On your desktop, click on the archive option on the toolbar, and your messages will be sent to the archive folder. On your mobile device, you will have to follow the selection procedure if you want to send multiple emails to the archive folder.
- If you want to see the archived emails in Gmail, you have to click on the all mail tab on the left, and your archived emails will also be shown to you.
Once you understand what is email archive, it is important to note that on various email service providers, there are various steps involved.
Google Email is the most used email service provider, and therefore, we have clarified the steps you need to follow to archive your emails in this email platform. You may also check out Archive Emails in Outlook for Mac
The Right Strategy for Archiving Emails
There is a particular strategy that you must follow in order to archive your emails properly and in a well-organized manner. The tips you must consider for an organized email archiving strategy are given below.
- The first thing you must keep in mind before archiving your emails is to define clear guidelines on what type of emails must be archived and the Duration for which the emails will be kept in the archive folder. You must keep in mind several factors because of which the archiving policy may be formed.
- These factors include regulatory requirements, industry best practices, and business needs. You must develop a retention schedule to make sure that there are consistent archiving practices.
- Today, you can find several email archiving solutions in the market. Make sure to select the most reliable one for your organization’s needs. You must get some of the important features like automatic capture of inbound and outbound emails, metadata preservation, robust search capabilities, and scalability to accommodate future growth.
- You can also prefer creating a logical and consistent folder structure to categorize your archived email correctly.
- It is better to use relevant metadata, including a recipient, sender, subject, and data, so it becomes easy to retrieve or search the emails you need. Prefer using tags or labels that will help you further classify emails as per their content and importance.
- Implementing email retention policies as per the requirement of emails could be an excellent strategy to be added to your email archiving policies. You can use archiving solutions to delete or purchase emails after a specific retention period automatically. It will ensure that regulations are complied with and unnecessary accumulation of outdated and irrelevant emails is prevented.
- It is also best to perform regular data integrity checks on your archived emails. It will ensure that the integrity and accessibility of your archived email are intact, and you can do so by periodically testing the restoration process. Double-check that data within the archived email remains intact so you can correctly re-store it in case of system failure.
- Sometimes, the emails you archive may contain sensitive and confidential information. Implementing various security techniques like data encryption to protect archived emails from unauthorized leakage is better. You may apply access controls, encryption technologies, and authentication mechanisms to keep the integrity and confidentiality of the archived email safe and sound.
- Establishing backup and recovery procedures is also an important thing that you must do in order to keep the data in your archive emails safe. It will help you safeguard your archived email data against data loss, and you can use a redundant storage system to protect against catastrophic events or hardware failure. Also, prefer running regular restoration checks to ensure the data is intact.
What's the Difference Between Deleting and Archiving Emails?
Purpose and Outcome
Deleting an email is the process of permanently removing it from your inbox and any other folder. Once you delete an email, it will be transferred to the trash or deleted items folder, which automatically deletes the email after a specific period of time which is set by the user.
The basic purpose of deleting an email is to eliminate them, declutter your inbox, and free up storage space.
Archiving an email, on the other hand, is the process of moving that particular email to a separate folder which can be labeled as an archived or user-defined folder. An archived email will no longer be visible in your inbox, but you can get access to it in the archive folder.
Archiving helps you retain important emails and attachments without creating a mess in your primary inbox and provides a more organized and streamlined approach to email management.
Retrieval and Searchability
Once you delete, an email will only be recoverable if you have a backup created in your system for the same. Once it is gone, it’s gone for good, and there is barely any method that you can use in order to recover it back.
If you have accidentally deleted an important email, getting it back is a highly difficult or even impossible task. Especially when you permanently delete it from the trash folder.
Consequently, make sure to be highly cautious when deleting emails to avoid losing important information. On the contrary, archiving emails are kept aside for future retrieval. You can get access to the archive of the email whenever needed, and it provides you with a highly sophisticated approach to searching for specific messages.
Email service providers give your search functionality through which you can easily locate archived emails based on several criteria, including senders, keywords, and others. It makes the task of retrieving email much more sophisticated, and you can get access to important information, including contacts and valuable conversations, as per your requirement.
What is the Difference Between Email Archiving and Email Backup?
Creating a backup of email refers to the process of making a duplicate copy of an email and keeping it in a separate location. The main purpose of creating an email backup is to protect against data loss.
Due to increased risk factors like software glitches, hardware failures, accidental deletion, and even malicious attacks, email systems have become more vulnerable than ever before. Hence, if any of these occur, you will always have a backup to retrieve your data from.
When you create a backup of an email, it typically copies all emails and their attachments and keeps them in a separate storage location which can be an external hard drive, a network server, or a cloud-based storage service provider.
The backup process can be automated or scheduled as per the user’s requirement. It depends on the user’s preferences if he wants to go for an automatic or manual email backup process.
Contrary to email backup, email archiving is the process of systematically organizing and keeping your emails for long-term retention. The main target of sending emails to the archive folder is to keep the data organized and stored for regulatory compliance, legal requirements, and knowledge management.
Management of the volume of emails, along with improving storage efficiency, is the target of archiving emails, and it also helps in facilitating quick and efficient search and retrieval of specific emails and attachments whenever needed.
When it comes to email archiving, the system captures and stores the whole email along with its attachment in a central repository. This central repository can be separate from the email server itself.
Email archiving solutions have a typical method of indexing emails to make it easier for the user to search for specific messages based on criteria including recipient, sender, subject, and date.
Email archiving has several additional features, including tagging, advanced search filters, along with retention policies to manage email life cycles automatically.
Now that you understand what is email archive, it should be easier for you to use its power to organize your mailbox.
It helps remove clutter from your inbox and keeps important emails and attachments safe in a separate folder on the email server. Hence, everyone must know how to archive email and use its capabilities to enhance their productivity and efficiency.