Going paperless is on the to-do list of most business owners. Making the switch to digital and cloud-based services is getting easier, but there is still the lingering challenge of what to do with the older paperwork and files lurking about the office. Reclaim your office space once and for all with these tips for digitizing your archives.

It’s time to get scanning

Time is money, so streamline your digitization process as much as you can. Start by investing in a good quality scanner with a large feeder and duplex options. Scanning your archives page by page on a flatbed scanner wastes time and effort. You will also want to think about the format and location of where you want to save your newly scanned documents. PDF/A is always a good option, and usually the standard default format, as this file type is robust, well supported and can be easily searched.

Determine a storage location

In terms of storage location, saving your data to your local servers or devices is one option, but if you opt for this approach, make sure that you make backups on a daily basis. A cloud-based service usually includes multiple and regular backups as part of its offering, but it never hurts to play it safe. Think of your storage location as the company, “library”. By assigning a central location accessible by everyone in the company, you have taken a huge step not only in digitizing your documents, but also mobility.

Create a library that makes sense to you

Having your archives digitized is only helpful if you can readily access the information you need when you need it. Develop a naming convention that makes sense and devise a meaningful series of folders, subfolders and tags that will allow you to easily find what you’re after. Be aware that the structure of your archives will change over time as new material is added or the personnel of your company change. Conduct regular searches of your archives to make sure you can pull up what you need. If you can’t, chances are you’ll need to reconfigure how your archives are organized.

Create a new organizational workflow

Now that you’ve gone to the effort of digitizing your archives, it’s time to adopt a new digital document structure and workflow so that can organize and archive seamlessly as you go. Investing in a document management system (DMS) is a great start and seeking professional guidance on how best to develop and implement your new system is highly recommended. Our team at PDS is always happy to share our expertise, so if you need help digitizing your archives or implementing a new DMS, get in touch!

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