Easy Paperless Office Steps – Tips For Digitizing Your Mountain of Paper

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From email to snail-mail the volume of data SMBs are
accumulating is stacking up at an unprecedented rate…

… here are three easy paperless office steps:

Many SMBs are still dependent on physical file cabinets, paper shredders and manila folders to organize all those documents. While that may save a little capital in the short term, digitizing all of that data will insure that it’s preserved for years into the future.

See also: White Paper on Cloud-Based Document Management

cloud summit explains paperless office steps“Regardless of where your business operates in North America you are still statistically prone towards some sort of disaster,” says Eric Pulaski, president and CEO of SmartVault, a leading digital document management solution. “There’s a definite hard cost to your business if it can’t access its data, or it’s permanently lost or corrupted.”

Converting to paperless may appear a daunting task, which why approximately 80% of small businesses have yet to fully depart from paper. But strides in cloud computing have reduced the capital outlay for SMBs, rendering a move to paperless a cost effective prospect. 

Whether you select a cloud-based provider to store your data, or remain locally on an in-office server, here is a basic strategy of simple paperless office steps to get your cumbersome paper out of the physical file cabinet and into the 21st century.

Paperless Office Steps  #1:  Scan all the paper.

In order to go paperless you will first need to garner all important documents and scan them. You will want a scanner with an automatic feeder that can handle scanning multiple documents at one time at a rate of 25 pages per minute..

As you scan your paper you’ll need to index and organize it into specific folders, tagging each document with specific key words and labels similar to how Internet search engines work.

Paperless Office Steps  #2:  Create a PDF repository.

Because the goal of going paperless is ease of access, you will want to keep most if not all of your documents in a central location. This will aid when searching for information and make it easy to share access to a particular document.

Make access truly seamless and device independent by using PDF format,  which most experts say is the ideal final file format.

Paperless Office Steps  #3: Time to choose, cloud or local.

Cloud computing has made it simple and inexpensive for SMBs to store and back up data. Still many are resistant to the cloud and would rather store all documents locally. If you go the cloud route, find a provider that has a track record, brand name and good reputation (like Cloud9 Real Time, of course).

If, however, you choose to store the data locally, you must have a backup solution for the files data and a backup for the backup, one that you store off site.  It’s also critical to back up your data on a daily basis.  Frequently small business managers will put a backup solution in place, but only back up their data every few months.

– Source:  Fox Small Business

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Sarah Gardiner

All stories by: Sarah Gardiner