Effective record management has never been more important. Working with a record management service is a great way to keep your important company records safe, secure, and organized. Read on as we kick off our Ultimate Guide to Record Management, focusing on the question “what is a record?” For more information on record management, document storage, paper shredding, and more, contact the experts at Blue-Pencil now.

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The Ultimate Guide To Record Management – Introduction

What is a record?

A basic definition of a record would be recorded information that you have generated or received in the conduct of business, and which must be maintained to meet the administrative, fiscal, legal, or historical needs of your business.

Records come in all formats these days – paper documents, digital information in a database, e-mails, and photographs, for example.

It is useful to think about records in the framework of a life cycle: creation, active use, inactive maintenance, and disposition. This graphic from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania – using school records as an example – is very helpful:

The basic cycle of record management. 

Disposition, by the way, is another way of saying “the way in which something is placed or arranged, especially in relation to other things.”

Note: Not all documents are records. Examples of non-records include: transitory communications (e-mails about what time to schedule a meeting), reference materials (news clippings), duplicates of records from other departments, and rough drafts.

Digital challenges to keep in mind

It’s easy to wrap our heads around filing paper records, but we live in an increasingly digital world, and electronic records pose several unique challenges. It’s important, therefore, to be aware of these issues as you create and manage digital records.

One major issue is that as software and hardware change over time, files become obsolete and difficult to access. Make sure to keep important records in common formats (like Microsoft Word or PDFs) that are well-supported and will continue to be updated.

Additionally, make sure your documents are secure and backed up, and stored where you can access them. If you use removable storage, make sure to move the files regularly as storage devices can become obsolete. 

For more, be sure to read our article on the 9 Major Benefits of a Record Management Service.

Digital record management is a key service in 2019.

Upcoming chapters

Again, whether dealing with paper or electronic records, it’s important to know which records to keep around, which to store for future reference, and which can be destroyed and at what point that process should be undertaken. We’ll discuss this more as this Guide continues. Here’s what you can expect coming up:

Chapter 2 – Why your company needs a record management service
Chapter 3 – Record management challenges
Chapter 4 – Implementing effective record management
Chapter 5 – Cost-effective solutions to record management
Chapter 6 – Summary overview

In the meantime, you can familiarize yourself with the record management services offered by Blue-Pencil:


Trust Blue-Pencil With Your Record Management Needs!

Blue-Pencil Records Management and Document Storage services deliver secure and convenient solutions for all types of business records and document management needs in the Greater Toronto Area and Ontario.

Our off-site storage solutions will reduce your costs, free up your resources and space, and allow for easy access to what you need to meet the demands of your business in a timely manner.

Our dependable staff partner with you to work on a total records management solution with services such as active file management, vital records protection, and special services to tackle the challenges of complex information management.

“We are a small business and do not shred on a regular basis, but Blue-Pencil made arrangements that fit with our requirements. Keeping small business in mind is not always practiced by the big organizations. Blue-Pencil takes care of us too. Thanks.” – Carole Binsky

Read more testimonials here.

Click here to get a quote today!

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