Growing concern for our environment has pushed many businesses to convert over to paperless offices. It’s also helpful with keeping overhead costs down and saving on the space needed to store paper files. If your business is looking to switch over, here are a couple of tips to help you get started.
Switch to online bill payment and paperless statements.
Not only will you save on the money needed for stamps, it can also save time and help your business run more smoothly. It easier to track payments, you can set up payments in advance, and even schedule regular monthly expenses such as rent and utilities. Some banks give incentives for customers that go paperless. Statements can easily be viewed online or downloaded to your computer.
Create a standard system for naming files.
When looking for files you want to make the process as easy as possible. You can end up wasting a lot of time looking for files because of inconsistent naming or mislabeling. You should come up with standard practices for naming files and stick to it. Keep it short and descriptive, also including dates for documents that may be re-occurring such as meeting notes is a good idea.
Use a scanner that has a optical character recognition (OCR).
Without OCR, your scanner is making what experts call “dead graphics.” If you want to use a program that uses keywords within documents to perform searches they will not work. The documents will be treated as images only and will not register the words. The more documents you have the harder it will be to find documents by the file name only. It could be a real time saver to be able to search by keywords, also in case something is mislabeled it can still be found.
Look into mobile document management technologies.
Chaining files to your office computers and network could hinder productivity. Cloud based technologies make it faster and more convenient for to access files from any location. They also make it easier to be shared and worked on by multiple people. It’s especially helpful for those that often do business on the go, have multiple locations or employ remote workers.
Perform regular cleanup and get rid of old or unnecessary files.
It can be very tempting to save everything because you are no longer worried about space restrictions. However, you do still need to consider the amount of digital storage space you are taking up. In addition, just like with paper files the more you have to go through the longer it will take to find what you are looking for. Even when performing searches it could take longer for your computer to scan for and find your keywords if it has to go through a couple thousand files.