Why digitize documents — the benefits of digitization.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by stacks of paper and the risk of losing important document files, learn about digitizing documents and how to digitize your files.
Paper files might be good, but digital documents are even better. Check out these 10 benefits of digitization that will help your organization get ahead.
What is one benefit to digitizing documents that most overlook?
There are many well-known benefits of digitization, like increased efficiency, easier collaboration, and enhanced accessibility. However, there is one benefit of digitizing documents that is often overlooked — the ability to free up physical space.
By converting physical documents into digital files, you can reduce the need for physical storage space, which can save you money on storage costs and free up valuable office space for other uses. Digital documents can be particularly beneficial for businesses that deal with large volumes of paperwork.
Benefits of digitizing documents for your business.
There’s more than just one benefit to digitizing documents. Learning how to prioritize and digitize important documents can make it easier to find them for reference and keep a secure extra copy. Boost your business with these 10 benefits of going digital:
- Better storage capacity. What takes up more space — a room full of filing cabinets or a single hard drive?
- Easy accessibility. It’s much easier for employees to click on a file folder than sift through cabinets. Multiple people can search simultaneously for even more accessibility.
- Fast file retrieval. Instead of wading through countless folders, simply type what you’re looking for into a search bar and find it instantly.
- Easier and faster collaboration. Skip the task of making file copies to share with co-workers. Send them in an email and collaborate in real time, even when you’re not in the same room.
- Increased security. Forget locks and keys. Digital document files are encrypted and secure. It’ll take more than a hammer to access your documents.
- Save on resources. Stop buying paper and toner for physical documents and save money on office supplies.
- Better data recovery. Digital backups can restore your files, even after a catastrophic failure. If you lose your paper files, they’re gone forever.
- File longevity. Paper files get worn out over time. Digital documents stay pristine forever.
Simple steps for digitization of documents.
It's easy with Adobe Scan to use your mobile device's camera to scan a document to PDF:
- Download Adobe Scan from your mobile device’s app store and launch the app.
- Place the physical document you want to digitize on a flat surface in a well-lit area.
- Align the document within the camera viewfinder and wait for the app to recognize it.
- Once the document is recognized, Adobe Scan will automatically capture an image of it.
- Review the captured image to make sure the document scans correctly.
a) If the document requires any edits or corrections, you can adjust them using the editing tools in the app.
- Once you are satisfied with the scanned document, save it in the desired file format and location.
By following these simple steps, you can quickly and easily digitize your documents using Adobe Scan. Digitizing your documents can transform them into sharable and easy-to-manage digital documents.
Once you digitize documents, how do you organize them?
Here are some best practices on how to organize your digital documents:
- Use a consistent naming convention. Give each file a descriptive name that reflects its content accurately. Use a consistent format, such as YYYY-MM-DD-description, to make it easy to sort and find files.
- Create a logical folder structure. Create a folder structure that mirrors the physical filing system, making it easy to find documents when needed. Use subfolders to organize your documents by category, date, or any other relevant criteria.
- Use keywords and tags. Use keywords and tags to make it easier to search for documents, which are especially useful for large document collections.
- Keep it simple. Avoid creating too many subfolders or using overly complex naming conventions. Keep it simple and easy to understand.
Organizing your digital documents not only makes it easier for you to find what you need but also for your team members if you need to collaborate or share documents. Keeping documents organized is important for every document type. Looking to digitize agreements? Learn more about how to digitize documents and organize a system of agreements to make the process easier from start to finish.
Digitalize vs. digitize documents: What’s the difference?
The terms digitalization and digitization are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference between the two concepts.
Digitization refers to the process of converting physical documents into digital formats, such as PDF, JPEG, or DOC files. The process involves scanning or taking pictures of the physical documents and saving them as digital files that can be stored, accessed, and shared electronically.
On the other hand, digitalization refers to the transformation of business processes and operations through the use of digital technologies. For example, the integration of digital tools and technologies into business operations to improve efficiency, productivity, and customer experience would be considered digitalization.
While digitization is a part of digitalization, it is not the same thing. Digitization is simply the first step toward digital transformation. By digitizing documents, businesses can reduce paper usage, save storage space, and improve collaboration. However, digitalization goes beyond just converting paper documents into digital formats. Digitalization involves using digital technologies to automate processes, enhance customer experiences, and create new business models.
Do I need to keep physical copies after digitizing documents?
After digitizing your documents, you might wonder whether you still need to keep the physical copies. The answer to this question depends on a few factors.
For some documents, such as tax records and legal documents, it’s recommended to keep the physical copies for a certain period of time, even if you have already digitized them. The IRS and other government agencies may require original documents or physical copies as proof of compliance or eligibility. In some cases, scanned copies of documents may not be accepted as valid proof.
For receipts, bills, and other financial records, keeping physical copies may not be necessary after the digitization of documents. However, it’s still a good practice to keep the original physical copies for at least a few weeks or months in case there are any discrepancies or errors in the digital copies.
The requirements for keeping physical copies may vary depending on your industry, jurisdiction, and specific circumstances. It’s always a good idea to consult with legal and accounting professionals to determine which documents you should keep and for how long.
More resources on documents.
Now that you’ve learned about the digitization of documents and how to digitize files that are most important, here are more resources to work with your docs:
- Learn how to collaborate on PDF documents.
- Learn how to use OCR with Excel.
- Learn about digital literacy.
- Learn about business sustainability.
- Learn how to scan receipts.
Want to learn more ways to work with PDFs online? Discover what more you can do with Acrobat to streamline the way you handle documents. From splitting your PDF files to combining two PDFs into one, Acrobat offers you the digital document flexibility you need.