Is a Paperless Office Your New Year’s Resolution?

It’s that time of year when we promise to improve ourselves in the next year. While the most common resolution is losing weight from all the holiday treats; some people try to get more organized as a New Year’s resolution. Part of this is taming the paper beast that can overcome your document management system. What comes to mind for most people is moving to a paperless filing system. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Data Storage

The fist step in moving towards a paperless office is having a storage solution. While the primary copy of the records will likely be on your computer you also need to make some preparations to keep backup copies. It is not hard to imagine the heartache of losing all of your important documents with one failed drive. The rule to follow is always have at least three copies, on at least two media, in at least two locations.

Different media refers to different methods of storage. So if the first copy is on a hard drive then the second should be on CDs or a USB drive. Then you need to have at least one copy in a second location. You can trade backups with a friend. Or look to a cloud storage service to keep a copy of your documents. This is a convenient option because they do continuous backups so you don’t need to manually do the work once it’s set up.

Electronic Document Management

After you have a place to store the data then you need to have a solution for managing the electronic documents. Just because they are electronic does not automatically make them easier to find. Either purchase and electronic document management software package or set up a system that works for you. This can be as simple as putting some intelligence into the naming of the file. This process is called indexing and is a vital step to the digitizing project. It should be easy to recognize what is a tax document and what is a warranty. Then set up folders to organize all of the documents. 

Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

OCR is just the process of turning the digital images of the documents into text documents that can be edited. There is OCR options available with most scanners you can purchase and also in Microsoft Office. This is important for files you need to edit but not important if you are just keeping the documents for an archive. 

Document Scanning

Now that you have all of the foundation for your paperless office in place you can start the physical digitizing of the records. For the average home office the normal process is to purchase a document scanner. You want to buy one that can meet your capacity requirements. If you have a high percentage of documents that are double sided you should look at getting a scanner that can handle this without manual intervention. Also look at the capacity of the document feeder. No one wants to feed in the documents one at a time unless the job is just a few pages.

This is just fine for a home but does not scale well if your project is to go paperless at a business. The time it takes to set up every document and then do the indexing is prohibitive. This is when it is time to bring in a document scanning service. They have the expertise and equipment that make a big project manageable. This saves the need to buy a high speed scanner and some temporary employees to operate it.

Go Paperless Today with Help from Record Nations

It is impossible to make you office completely paperless. Have a solution in place to scan all the documents that continue to come in the mail. If they are immediately digitized then it prevents paper from building up again.

If you going paperless was your New Year’s resolution and you need some help, call us at (866) 385-3706 or fill out the form on the right. We will get FREE QUOTES within minutes, and we can answer any questions you might have.