Published 21st of October 2019

Digitising your documents is a convenient way to create more space in your office and increase productivity as it saves time looking for files. Whether you are thinking about scanning your documents or you have already started but need some guidance, here are several guidelines to follow when digitising your documents:

1. Be Organised

Without planning a project, the project scope can expand endlessly or stop before it reaches its goal. It’s important to get an idea of what kind of documents you want to convert and how long you think it will take to scan all the files. Types of documents will require different scanning processes, for instance double sided documents or colour documents will need to be scanned differently to a one sided black and white document.

2. Preparing your files

This seems like a simple step, but it is very important to make sure all of your documents are prepared before scanning. All staples, paperclips, sticky notes and fasteners should be removed from multi-page files. Any screwed up and torn documents need to be flattered out and repaired or they won’t be scanned correctly.

A professional scanning service provider can streamline this time-intensive process for you with highly skilled and trained scanning technicians who can handle the tedious document preparation.

3. Scanning your files

This step isn’t as easy as feeding a document through a scanner like you may have done previously. Each file must be indexed with optical character recognition software (OCR) so it can be easily searched for and retrieved by employees. If you’re scanning images, they will need to be transferred to an electronic document management database and should be converted into the most appropriate format e.g. JPEG, PNG, GIF.

There are a variety of apps and softwares available that have made the document scanning process easier. However, multifunctional printers and flatbed scanners are not desirable for high volume scanning. High volume scanning can lead to jamming and can have high operating costs. Outsourcing your document scanning eliminates some of the risks associated with in-house high-volume scanning.

Quality control is highly important, it ensures the correct implementation of each task and guarantees the final output meets the highest quality standards. Each document should be reviewed once scanned and compared against the original document to ensure it’s readable, doesn’t need to be resized or re-scanned.

4. Choosing a file type

You can store your digital documents as images or PDF files. We would suggest evaluating the document itself to decide which format is best. Handwritten documents might be more practical to store as an image. Most files are typically converted into a PDF format, as it’s the clearest format and most computers are equipped with a PDF reader.

5. Storing and Disposition

Now that your documents have been digitised, they can be stored on a variety of different devices and formats such as: USB sticks, CDs/DVDs, hard drives, media tapes or a secure data management software. If you are looking for the most secure and efficient method using a document management system is recommended, as it makes retrieving files more efficient and means your files are protected from falling into the wrong hands.

If your digital files are replacing your hard-copy paper records, the originals should be disposed of securely. A ‘Total Information Management’ service can offer shredding, scanning and storing services to ensure every piece of information gets handled correctly and securely.

How we can help

Please get in touch with our team to discuss your scanning needs, we are able to shred, scan and store your documents. By using our scanning service, we can store your documents on our SDS Box Management System so you can easily retrieve, search and manage your files. There are four ways we can scan your documents depending on your requirements; scan on demand, bulk scanning, day forward scanning or on-site scanning.

Let us take care of scanning your documents so you don’t have to worry about any of the above steps.