7 Considerations When Converting Paper Files to Digital

Despite the increasing trend to convert to electronic documents, the amount of paper waste still produced by offices is astounding. According to the EPA, the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper every year, and 45% of it ends up in the trash on the same day it’s printed.

Digital documents help reduce costs, reduce the amount of time employees spend on clerical tasks, and are a huge help to the environment. As a result, many businesses are interested in going digital, but they don’t know where to start.

It’s Time to Make a Plan

Digital document conversion doesn’t need to be difficult. With a little planning, you’ll be ready to join the ranks of paperless workplaces and start reaping the benefits.

1. Choose a Digital Platform/Storage Solution

Before you scan a single document, it’s vital that you know where they’re all going to go. You need a storage solution that’s large enough to accommodate your files, allows you to quickly search and access them, and is security compliant for your industry.

Fortunately, Go Find It is here to help. With our suite of digital document solutions, you’ll be able to house all of your documents in the cloud, retrieve them quickly with Go Share It, and rest easy knowing that they’re secure. Our software is compliant with HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, FINRA, and the SEC.

2. Get Your Team Onboard

Implementing change in the office can be an uphill battle. Once you’ve got a strategy and a timeline for your digital transformation, it’s time to tell your employees about it. Don’t be surprised to get some pushback.

To help ease your workers into the new plan, make sure they understand the process and how it will benefit them. Once training is complete, digital workflows are far less labor intensive than paper. Explain that while the process of scanning documents will be tedious for a while, the benefits will be worth it to the whole team.

3. Decide What to Keep

Before you start grabbing files and heading to the scanner, ask yourself if there’s anything you don’t need to digitize. In many offices, paper files are stuffed into filing cabinets and forgotten about because no one knew that it was okay to throw them away.

Now’s the time to go through your documents and create two piles: the files to scan and the files to put in the recycling bin. You may find that your scanning pile isn’t anywhere near as big as you thought it would be!

4. Organize Your Files

It’s almost time to start scanning. But before you do, you need to come up with a folder structure for organizing your new digital files as well as a naming convention that every employee will be able to follow exactly.

It won’t do you any good to have digital documents if you can’t find them when you need them. As long as your paper files are well organized, you can use the same system for digital. All you’ll need to do is swap out your physical file cabinets for digital folders.

5. Scan Your Documents

It’s finally time to scan your documents! This can be tedious work, so try to split it up amongst your employees and make sure they take breaks. Boredom can lead to mistakes very quickly.

When you’re scanning, make sure to remove any staples from the paper to save your scanner’s glass from being scratched, and clean off the scanner now and then. Paper files can be dusty, and you don’t want specks of dirt to become part of your new digital files.

6. Train Your Employees

Your new digital document management system will only work if your employees know how to use it and understand the importance of following the new procedures. Every worker needs to go through training to make sure everyone’s on the same page.

It’s important to emphasize that the new system will save them time and effort once they’re past the learning curve. Change is difficult for many people, so keep your employees incentivized.

7. Implement a System for New Paper Documents

Now that your documents are scanned and organized, you need to take steps to ensure that you won’t end up with a new pile of paper files to deal with. For the time being, you’ll still have some paper documents to deal with. You just need to make sure that they don’t stay paper for long!

Turbo Owl, part of the Go Find It suite of digital document solutions, uses an all-in-one barcode system for easy scanning and organizing. It even allows you to scan multiple documents in bulk, saving you time and effort.

Go Find It Can Help!

Are you ready to make the transition to paperless? Go Find It has all of the tools you need to enter the digital age successfully.

Check out all of the features of Turbo Owl, then contact us for a free demo.