Work smarter with a home document management system.

These days, more and more living spaces double as workspaces as people make the move to remote work. From software automation to digital workflows, new technology and apps that replace paper documents, decrease clutter, and are not easily misplaced make this transition easier.

Whether you work for a small business, a large company, or are self-employed, effective document management can help save time and boost efficiency with quick searches, real-time feedback tools, and more.

Boost productivity with eDocs

The basics of document management systems.

A document management system (DMS) is a set of software tools that tracks and stores your electronic documents with cloud storage. No matter the file formats or file types, a DMS can help you keep tabs on all of your business and personal documents, including scans of paper documents, PDF files, and Microsoft Office spreadsheets.

Document management software showing bedroom floor plans with a drop-down menu.

Advantages of document management software.

Besides being a cost-effective method of document control and indexing, a DMS like Adobe Acrobat offers:

  • Accountability and authentication. Once you upload and save a file in Acrobat, there’s a digital record of who uploaded the document, and you can sort by name, date modified, or file size.
  • Security. There’s no need to make multiple copies of important documents — Acrobat automatically saves a backup in encrypted cloud storage as soon as you upload a file.
  • Improved business processes. The best document management software also comes with a built-in advanced search feature to help you locate what you need when you need it.
  • Smoother collaboration. With document management tools, multiple people can work on an electronic document together and share files. Acrobat, for instance, features version control that records changes and edits by each user, so you can go back to a previous version if necessary.
  • Access control. Only the users you choose can access documents.

Common features of document management software.

While every DMS has unique benefits, most document management systems have similar attributes.

1. Metadata

Defined as data about data, metadata for each document gets uploaded into the system in the form of tags. This generally includes information like file name, title, upload date, and a short description about the document itself.

2. Indexing

Assists each user to find documents based on content, identifiers, and metadata.

3. Security

Protects confidential and sensitive information through encryption and authentication security features. Administrators can control which users are able to access files in your document storage.

4. Workflow

Directs the traffic of documents automatically, whether you’re an entrepreneur or work with an organization. Create instructions around storing documents, file sharing, records management, and more.

5. Collaboration tools

Allow users to share documents, work on electronic documents together, and use other key features with all changes automatically monitored and recorded by the system.

6. Version control

Helps users retrieve previous editions of digital documents — useful for when a document is frequently updated.

7. Mobile access

To keep up with real-time feedback, make sure your DMS comes with functionality on mobile devices like smartphones or tablets. Or find document management software that also provides integration with a mobile app.

Note: Document management is similar to content management but with a critical difference. Content management focuses on unstructured content like media files or web pages instead of documents.

A man sitting at a desk scanning documents with their mobile phone.

Why document management software is good at home.

A DMS with the right functionality can help you go paperless, eliminate waste, help the environment, reduce your stress, consolidate your space, and make your workflow more efficient. Acrobat’s optical character recognition (OCR) technology can make this process even faster. It finds text in scanned documents and extracts and converts it into editable, searchable PDFs.

And that time savings isn’t a small efficiency. Studies show that more than 46% of workers waste time every day on paper-centric workflows and spend more than 11 hours per week on document management issues. And five of those hours are considered unproductive. Lost productivity equals lost profits.

With a solid DMS, you can free yourself from the clutches of disarray with a streamlined automation process, and make sure your time and energy are focused on business areas that need more attention.

Keep it moving with Adobe Scan.

Don’t let your location or lack of office equipment interrupt your document scanning workflow. Adobe Scan is a free mobile app that can help you capture everything from business cards to brochures with your phone’s camera. Take a photo and Adobe Scan converts it into a high-quality Adobe PDF file.

With AI-powered features like image sharpening and contrast removal, you’ll get high-quality scans every time. After you get what you need, comprehensive options allow you to save the scan in different file formats like JPEG, share it with others over social media, or even incorporate it into another document.

A graphic of editing a document scanned with a mobile phone against a gradient red background.

Frequently asked questions about document management systems.

What is document management?

Document management is an electronic method of capturing, storing, tracking and retrieving documents. Having a document management system in place can save time and reduce effort by making content easier to create, edit, find, and share.

What are the five methods of filing?

There are five general methods of filing that people use to organize their documents. You can set up a DMS with whichever method you prefer, and you can sort and filter your documents by these criteria as well. The five methods of filing are:

  • Filing by date
  • Filing in alphabetical order
  • Filing in numerical order
  • Filing by category or subject
  • Filing by location

How do you set up a document management system?

You can set up a successful system by thinking about the kinds of documents and processes you already have in place. Then think about the kinds of rules and procedures that will help you keep things organized:

  • Decide who will be in charge.
  • Make rules for creating, updating, and naming files.
  • Document the procedures you have established.
  • Identify and convert current documents into the new system.
  • Ensure that documents are protected.