Organising information

Why organise information?

Organising the information we hold helps us:

  • find the information we need quickly so that we can work efficiently and effectively 
  • be sure information is safe
  • comply with legislation including the Freedom of Information Act  and the Data Protection Act

Four steps to organising information

Identify what you need to keep

There is no need to keep all information indefinitely. We have advice on how to identify what you should keep and what you can delete or throw away.

Decide where to keep it

University information should usually be stored in University owned space.

The University provides a number of different storage options. Using University space means that if you are unexpectedly absent we can access information needed to carry on work or for legal reasons.

The IT Helpdesk can offer full support on storage provided by the University including retrieving lost documents or passwords.

Label items clearly 

All files and documents, including paper and electronic, those that are shared and those that you use yourself, need to have file names that are meaningful and that anyone can understand.

Good file names are:

  • Objective - "Information Assurance Office Team Chart 2020" instead of "current team chart"
  • Meaningful - avoid private shorthand abbreviations or very general names like "minutes", notes" 
  • Concise - avoid rambling descriptive title, but ensure you include enough information to allow you to identify the likely content from the name
  • Standardised - be consistent in any abbreviations, date formats and names you use
  • Function based - use names that tell you what something does, rather than its current name

Use folder names to remind you how long to keep the contents for, and to flag items that are restricted and need extra care to keep them secure.


You should set aside regular time to check over your files, including your emails.

  • Identify what is no longer needed and delete or destroy it.
  • Check that items are correctly labelled and filed in the right place.
  • Add new folders or allocate new names to folders if you need to. 
  • Check that restricted items are clearly marked.
  • If you are sharing folders then make sure the right people have access. If someone no longer needs access make sure you remove it as soon as you can.


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Contact us
Information Assurance Manager
Telephone: 01206 872285