A businessperson reviewing paper copies of important documents

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Important documents you should digitize.

Some documents are too important to keep only as paper copies. All of these items can benefit from going digital.

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The slow march of time comes for every piece of paper, and errors, accidents, and natural disasters can destroy both personal and professional paper files before time does its work. Losing important business and personal documents is common. Things get left behind in a move, accidentally thrown out, or simply forgotten. Data loss is always a risk, but converting, digitizing, and storing files can help protect you.

Digitizing documents provides you with backups and can make finding important information faster and easier. But, according to an IBM report, data breach costs in 2021 were the highest they’ve been in 17 years. Data breaches can lead to document loss or the theft of sensitive information. Fortunately, there are tons of ways you can keep your documents safe once they’re online. A backup with security, for instance, can go a long way toward keeping your information safe.

Digitize business documents.

It’s easy to lose paper business documents if they’re left unsecured. A digitized document is less likely to get lost or damaged. After digitizing, you can convert files to anything from spreadsheets to PowerPoint presentations to PDFs for smaller file sizes, cutting back on both your paper use and storage needs.

Human resources

Document safety and security are top priorities for HR, which often needs to handle sensitive information. Digitizing documents helps ensure that HR professionals have everything they need at all times.

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Your HR department will want to digitize the following documents:

 

  • Payroll information
  • Employee contracts
  • Health and safety reports
  • Bylaws and policies
  • Employee handbook
  • Job descriptions
  • Financial information like W-4, W-2, and 1099 forms
  • Insurance information
  • Retirement plan information
  • Claims

Client-related information

Digitized client-related documents will give you a backup and can improve customer service — the last thing a client wants to do is wait while you struggle to find their information. By storing relevant information online or in the cloud, your team can be more responsive to clients and meet their needs faster.

 

Client documents to digitize include:

 

  • Invoices and transactions
  • Client contracts
  • Proposals

Internal collaboration

It's easier for employees to collaborate when they can access documents from a central location like the cloud. And if your business experiences a data breach or corruption, you will have your original files backed up in the cloud.

 

You can also get your site back online more quickly after a disaster if your files are backed up. Recreating documents from scratch costs time and effort. Make sure you never have to do it.

     

Make sure internal collaboration keeps humming along by digitizing: 

 

  • Marketing materials
  • Blog posts
  • Style guides
  • Sales reports
  • Financial statements
  • Tax documents
  • Business plans
  • Any other docs essential to your particular business’s success

 

It’ll save you a significant amount of money and time if you don’t have to replace a document when the time comes.

Preserve personal documents online.

Keeping your family history and photos in a box in the closet isn't enough to ensure that future generations can connect to their heritage. Digitizing these items makes them easy to share with friends and family while also protecting them against loss or damage. Saving data online keeps you protected, so people who depend on you will always have access to these documents no matter what happens.

Legal documents

Personal legal documents are crucial. Most people need to access them easily when certain situations arise. From a will detailing how your assets will be distributed to a power of attorney allowing someone else to conduct business while you're out of town, these documents can be of monumental significance.

 

Make sure that no matter what happens, these critical legal documents are accessible by storing copies in an easily accessible format, like PDFs:

 

  • Personal possession inventory
  • Personal property deed(s)
  • Wills and trust documents
  • Sensitive information and important documents

 

This includes insurance information, birth certificates, records of correspondence with government officials, and more. You can scan and save many of these documents. Sensitive and vital records to digitize include:

 

  • Credit card information
  • Bank account information and statements
  • Birth certificate
  • Social Security card
  • Marriage and divorce certificates 
  • Driver’s license and ID cards
  • Passport
  • Diplomas and certificates
  • Insurance policies: auto, home, renters, life, health, vision
  • Immunization records
  • Resumes and CVs

Sentimental items

Sentimental documents bring back memories of key points in your life. But these nostalgia items can be lost in the blink of an eye, which makes it essential to save digital copies.

A person sitting on a couch working on digitizing important documents

A copy of your family photos and converted from JPG to PDF for storage is a smart way to keep these priceless images safe. It also makes it easier to share old photos with family members. You can and should digitize items like:

 

  • Diaries, journals, and scrapbooks
  • Wedding mementos
  • Old photos
  • Greeting cards, letters, and postcards
  • VHS tapes
  • CDs
  • DVDs

 

While you can’t store the contents of VHS tapes, CDs, or DVDs via PDFs, you still can digitize them. Digitizing a CD or DVD is usually a simple matter. Digitizing VHS tapes, though, requires particular equipment or the services of digital transformation professionals.

The advantages of converting paper to PDF.

The advantages of converting paper to PDF.

Convenient sharing

You’ll never have to worry about finding paper copies of a document each time you need to share it. If you want to send a copy of an important document elsewhere, simply attach it to an email or text.

Easier storage

You can store important documents on your computer, phone, external drive, or in the cloud. All of these options take up less space than paper documents.

Automatic backup

If you scan a document with your camera in Adobe Scan, you can save the files as PDFs either on your device or in the cloud, making it even easier to find backup copies of everything.

Disaster proofing

Physical copies of documents can get wet, catch fire, or simply get lost. Storing a digital version of these files in numerous places, including the cloud, will increase your chances of them staying safe and intact.

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Upgrading documents

If you need to customize a document, you can easily change the font, color, or size of a PDF. Sometimes a document may need to be signed, revised, or otherwise altered. You can easily make these adjustments digitally — much simpler than updating paper docs.

 

When you convert paper files into digital copies, you can use and access them more easily, and you will no longer need to worry that one day your old documents may disappear. What’s more, you can have both physical copies and an extensive electronic history detailing everything from birth certificates and family trees to contracts and receipts from last year's tax return. Keep them secure and safe, and carve out some extra peace of mind in the process.

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