The meeting is over, and you are sitting at your desk, staring at a handout you received from a co-worker or supervisor.
The question that confronts you is, “should I save this?”
Why do we need to digitize Paper documents?
Perhaps you’ll need it for other meetings or assignments. Perhaps you’ll remember it at some future point and wonder what became of it.
Perhaps you’re wasting too much time worrying about what to do with it, and it should be dumped in the trash immediately.
At the back of your mind is the problematic old business proverb: “Only handle a piece of paper once.”
The importance of those questions recedes in importance if you have a dependable, easily accessible, reliably indexed method of digitizing your paper documents.
You don’t have to worry about keeping any piece of paper that you’ve stored in the cloud or on your hard drive and that you know you can retrieve in a moment.
The question is, how do you get to the point of automatically knowing how to deal with documents and being able to digitize, index, and retrieve them effortlessly.
Here we will take a look at the simplest ways to digitize those annoying pieces of paper that keep trying to clutter up your desk.
In the process, we’ll view some guidelines for digitizing.
Some Principles About Digitizing Paper Documents
When we are creating documents, we don’t have to worry about whether or not to digitize them. It has become an automatic part of the process. Before we send our report along to others or print a copy, we have to save it.
The questions we do have arise from the paper copies of data, forms, flyers, brochures, and documents others present to us.
Here are some principles to keep in mind about digitizing paper documents.
- Decide how you are going to index or catalog the documents you keep. Will you use the names, subjects, or dates as references to help you find the document again?
- Remember that file explorers can search out a specific word within a document.
- What format will you use to keep documents? Some experts suggest keeping all documents in a PDF format since it is pretty much universal and can be easily translated into JPG or text documents.
- Save it, then save it again. Backing up files to multiple storage venues is a good safeguard not only against breakdowns—flash drives don’t last forever—but also for ease of relocation. Some people send themselves important documents in emails since email servers keep copies of attachments.
- Scan it and shred it. For the sake of space and the security of keeping files away from unverified users, once you have digitized a document, thus saving it in multiple locations, you can shred it with peace of mind.
- If you can’t do it right away, schedule it. Some workers, who are deluged with paperwork and need to digitize it, create a weekly or monthly “digitizing day” with dedicated time to eliminate the paper documents they have accumulated.
How to Digitize Your Paper Documents?
After deciding to go Paper Document Scanning service, most of us give little thought to the specific manner in which we’re going to digitize.
Here is a brief overview of the different basic methods we have available for turning paper into bits and bytes of data.
Smartphones and tablets can download apps that allow cameras in the devices to scan documents.
In reality, many Droid and Apple devices have a built-in ability to scan and translate text documents or upload them to other applications that can turn them into PDFs, for instance.
It should be noted that this is best for dealing with a small number of pages. Of course, this is a viable alternative when office equipment is not available, and data from a printed document needs to be appropriated.
It’s also possible to take photos with the camera on a smartphone and translate eventually that into a text document. This is a laborious process that is not conducive to regular use.
These relatively inexpensive devices are quite useful for collecting digitized files for medium quality reproductions of paper documents. Again, flatbeds are best used for small numbers of pages since each document must be placed on the glass by hand and removed once the scan is complete. By their design, they tend to take up a fair amount of space.
Multifunction Scanners (MFD)
Somewhat more expensive but having a smaller footprint on your desk are multifunction scanners. The advantage of MFDs, apart from their size, is that many pages can be loaded and scanned simultaneously.
The Out-Sourcing Alternative
Despite living in a “paperless age,” the number of paper documents we accumulate daily seems only to be growing, sometimes exponentially.
Many professionals rely upon digitizing firms that come in regularly and translate documents into digital formats.
Typically, these companies can do the work on-site to alleviate worry about the security of the data.
It can often be arranged so that such firms will scan, index, demonstrate the secured and saved files, and then shred the original documents.
Digitizing our daily deluge of documents serves several purposes for us. It contributes to our organizational skills, frees us from filing, removes clutter from our workspaces, and speeds our workflow.
Once we establish a routine manner of digitizing the paper that comes our way, we will have one less continuing concern as well.
Would you like to receive a free quote for Document Archival Services? Call +1.855.722.6669 or eMail us at [email protected].