When To Keep Paper Files vs Digital Files

paper files vs digital files, go digital/paperless

Converting to a paperless office has quickly become the “it” fad for offices around the nation. As you begin cleaning out your office, and scanning your documents, the question arises, “when should you keep paper files vs going digital?”

The answer isn’t always easy, as several files have specific purposes for being in a paper vs digital form.

However, when looking at each document’s true purpose, you will be able to better analyze which documents should be kept as paper files vs digital files for your office space.

Times You Should Keep Your Paper Files

When going paperless it’s easy for you to think, “I’ll just simply convert all files from paper to digital!” This isn’t always the easiest case though.

Several files should stay in a physical format. Below are a few instances where your files are best kept as paper:

  • Small Amounts of Files – whenever you have a small amount of paperwork, the cost of converting them to digital formats is often not worth the investment.
  • Original Copies – on occasion, laws may require your business to keep the original copies of a document. These documents should be safely secured and kept in a location not accessible to just any employee.

When You Should Convert to Digital Files

On the other hand, knowing when to convert your files to a digital format is equally as important when going paperless. Below are examples of when your files are best kept digitally:

  • Ease of Access – needing access to detailed information quickly and on a regular basis is most easily done digitally.
  • Long Term Cost Reduction – having large amounts of files converted to digital formats all at once saves money in the long term – even if short term costs increase.
  • No Storage Space – running out of storage space probably means you are holding onto files that no longer need to be in a paper format. Take a look and see which ones need to stay vs being converted. 
  • Safeguard Sensitive Information – sensitive information is most secure digitally. Keeping HR files and personal records digital is the safest way to protect your information.

Using Both Paper and Digital Files

Lastly, there are several cases where it actually makes sense to keep the same document in both digital and paper formats. Don’t believe us? Check out when you should use both file systems below:

  • Permanent Documents – these include your social security cards, marriage licenses, wills, trusts, business licenses, life insurance policies, and birth certificates. These are documents that cannot be easily replaced and should be kept in both formats for that exact reason.
  • The Beginning of a Paperless Office – whenever transitioning to a document management system, you should always keep your physical files around for a while until you are sure everything is working properly.

Read more about which files you should keep in both formats on the Business news daily website.

Having A Hard Time Determining When To use Paper Files vs Digital Files? Record Nations Can Help!

At Record Nations, we specialize in partnering you with the best records management provider in your area. We can help you determine which files should say paper vs being converted to digital. From there, we turn over the project to a service provider who will help get your job done with ease.

It doesn’t cost anything to receive our consultation on your project, so nothing should stop you! Just fill out the form to the left or call us at (866) 385-3706.

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