The other day I was cleaning out may email box and having to do the difficult job of deciding what to delete and what to save. Although I'm somewhat heartened by the fact that Google, Facebook, and the government are all tracking my electronic footprints, I'm nonetheless fairly certain they won't be able to help me find a particular email exchange or transaction.
No, not early pregnancy test. My Electronic Paper Trial.
Yes, I said electronic paper trail. I know it sounds oxymoronic but that is in fact what it is. In the old days, the regular paper trail was your basic defensive position to CYA --- Cover Your Assets.
There are many times, particularly in business, where it's important to be able to prove who said what to whom where and when. And a paper trail was a good way to do it. A memo exchange perhaps. Certified Letters. Or a cancelled check from your bank when the bankcard company complained you didn't make a payment.
Electronic paper trails are more difficult. With more and more people paying for stuff online and even with gas station receipt printers malfunctioning, it's easy to get dinged for stuff you didn't know about or have to defend something you did that you now have no permanent record of. Not to mention that whole electronic identity theft thing.
So that's why I save nearly every email. And a huge amount of my hard drive is dedicated to the hard task of EPT CYA.
Plus, saving my email helps me retrieve attached files that got destroyed or lost somewhere else on my computer. Like when I overwrote something important because I pushed "save" rather than "save as."
My Electronic Paper Trail has saved my "saved as" too.
America, ya gotta love it.