Whether it is a tax return, company information, personal data or any other type of document that your company deems important, you need to be able to digitally organize and protect it. To make this happen, you need to have a streamlined system in place that allows you to consistently organize important documents without investing too much time and effort. Here are the three steps that you need to take in order to make this happen:
Step 1: Implement a streamlined process for converting all of your documents to digital files
Before you can manage and organize important documents digitally, they need to be digital in the first place. This applies to all of your documents. If only half of your documents are digitized, confusion will ensue regarding your ability to organize because you are forcing yourself to manage and synchronize two completely different document organization approaches. All that said, converting all of your current and future paper documentation to digital files is easy once you have the right system in place. Here is what you need to do:
Have all of your current paper documents professionally converted to digital files
Chances are that you have more paper documentation than your entire workforce can carry. Converting all of these documents on your own would be a time consuming process that would significantly distract from your ability to do your job. That is why you should hire a professional document conversion service to get the job done quickly and correctly.
Invest in a long-term conversion system
Although it is less efficient than digital documentation in just about every way, paper documents will continue to exist for a long time. Because of that, you should expect to continue to receive paper documents long after you made the full conversion to digital. Invest in a high volume document scanner that allows you to quickly convert incoming paper documents into digital files without any hassle.
Step 2: Invest in good document management software
Your document management software will be the foundation of your document organization system. This is because it will provide you with all of the capabilities you need to access and manage your documents. To this end, many of the latest document management software solutions provide automation capabilities so that they can independently manage the documents for you. Without these capabilities, you would be left sifting through thousands of files by hand every time you need to access something (hardly an efficient or reliably effective way to organize important documents).
Step 3: Index your digital documents on your document management system
Although a properly established document management software solution will do much of the legwork regarding your document organization endeavors, you still need to index your important documents beforehand. This is due to the fact that many of your document management software's capabilities are derived from making documents easily searchable. The software cannot properly do this if it does not know how documents should be organized.
The initial process of indexing can be the most complicated part of the document organization process because you have to tag and organize documents based on your chosen categorizations. Although this process can become a chore, it is important that you do not underdo it. A poorly indexed filing system will have limited effectiveness and this is likely to cause significant organization problems in the long run. If you are having trouble finding the time or capacity to properly index your digital files, you can seek professional help.
Get organized sooner rather than later
Your host of digital documents can quickly pile up, so it is critical that you organize your important documents as soon as possible. Start by determining your needs and if necessary, starting to talk to the right people at your business to get the ball rolling.