Digitizing documents: 43 documents to prioritize.
Make digital copies for secure and efficient record keeping.
Bring and keep essential files up to date with modern technology.
Most people understand the importance of documentation, but they might not realize how vulnerable it is in paper form. converting, digitizing, and storing files are the first steps in better record keeping.
What is document digitization?
Document digitization is the process of creating digital versions of paper records. Digital copies can serve as backups to the originals or as more accessible file formats for users to view in multiple locations and adapt as needed. Records that can be digitized include documents like invoices, contracts, reports, insurance policies, letters, and photographs.
The digitization process is more than scanning and creating images of documents — it also involves producing electronic versions of files that can be edited, and it can extend to a full conversion of a record-keeping system from paper to digital.
Businesses often have an enormous number of files related to human resources, client information, and internal collaboration. As the world shifts to digital ways of doing business — working remotely and interacting with customers primarily online — many companies want to make important documents electronically accessible. When you digitize information, you make it available for better data insights. Plus, paper files can be costly to produce, store, and access, so digitization can result in major cost savings, as well as other benefits.
Individuals use digitization to preserve important legal and sentimental documents. Using equipment as simple as a home scanner, they can digitize and preserve items like letters and family photographs.
Digitizing documents provides you with backup copies and can make finding important information faster and easier. However, you might be concerned about security risks when data is stored on the cloud or accessed online. 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 protecting your information.
5. Get your new process up and running. Communicate with your team and with anyone accessing or uploading new files. Select or create a functional electronic storage system. Make certain that electronic assets end up in the correct folders and that those who need access can find them. Take steps to confirm that sensitive information is password protected or locked to anyone without permission to access.
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.
Guarantee internal collaboration keeps humming along by digitizing:
- Marketing materials
- Blog posts
- Style guides
- Sales reports
- Financial statements
- Tax documents
- Business plans
- Any other documents 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.
A copy of your family photos 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
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.
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.