Question on record-keeping

Subject: Question on record-keeping
From: "Virginia J. Link" <LINKVI -at- MAIL -dot- STATE -dot- WI -dot- US>
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 16:18:38 -0600

I am looking for suggestions/input on how much written materials other
technical writers keep after incorporating (or rejecting) edits. Do you
keep all written reviewers' comments (to CYA)? If so, for how long? If
not, what happens if someone comes back to you in the future wanting to know
who said what or made X change to the documents? Do you toss them all
without a look backwards? (If yes, do you have photographic memories, which
allow you to reconstruct the trail if called upon to do so?)

And the same goes for source materials (memos, system change reports, etc.).
How do you keep them for reference after using them: all source materials
together in one folder/file for a specific release? Sorted by topic? For
example: we are working on Release 97-01 of one of our manuals. It will
include revisions of several chapters of the manual. Each chapter may have
10 or 15 different but related topics in it. If you keep the
sourcematerials, would you keep the papers/materials in a file called
"(Manual Title) Release 97-01" or in separate files ("Chapter 7; 97-01") or
by topic ("Medical Support," "Income Withholding,")?

Also, in the soft files, I usually embed some comments (invisible on the
printed page, but helpful for tracing the origins of particular passages,
edits, etc. later).
WordPerfect lets me do that very nicely. Does Framemaker have a similar

Thanks for any suggestions. If you reply to me privately, I'll summarize to
the list. We're moving and I have to weed out files. Just thought I could
get some useful tips from other writers on their methods.

Virginia Link
linkvi -at- mail -dot- state -dot- wi -dot- us

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