Tuesday Tips - Digitize Your Documents with Ease

Document Management

The advantages of going paperless have many businesses flocking to join the no-paper movement. But others are hesitant: after all, paper has been an office staple for hundreds of years, and changing the entire structure of workflow isn't a challenge to take on lightly. Going paperless isn't as hard as it sounds, and once you've done the initial legwork, you'll reap benefits for years to come.

The basic steps you'll need to take to go paperless are:

  1. Get a scanner
  2. Get a shredder
  3. Digitize your documents
  4. Implement a new document organizational structure and workflow

Those first three steps are easy to do—but don't be intimidated by the last one. As complicated as #4 sounds, we can help make it simple. Let's review these steps in more detail.

How to Go Paperless

Now, it's important to note that "paperless" is still a relatively loose term in today's business world. It's not easy to go entirely paperless when some clients want paper bills and invoices, and while you'll receive plenty of paper in everyday transactions. However, you can reap the security, flexibility, and convenience of digital documents without banishing paper entirely from your office. Here's how.

1. Get a Scanner

This is an indispensable first step if you're digitizing a lot of files. If you already have a printer with a scanner, you'll need to evaluate how up-to-the-task it is. For instance, a flatbed scanner will make your process incredibly long. You need a scanner that you don't have to "babysit," and that can handle the entirety of your archives.

2. Get a Shredder

Some businesses forget that you'll need to dispose of your paper documents once they're digitized—and you'll need to find a shredded that cross-shreds to ensure security.

3. Digitize Your Documents

This is the part that can be time-consuming, but the office intern will no doubt find it thrilling.

4. Implement a New Document Organizational Structure and Workflow

Once your documents are digitized, they'll be easy to search and share. However, without an organizational structure and digitized workflows, your office won't be more productive; you'll just swap the problems of paper for digital problems. Invest in a document management system and get professional help digitizing your processes.