Pile of PaperI was lurking in a Facebook group the other day and I saw a photo of some documents that needed to be scanned…..  Well that’s the what the person who posted the picture said.

This generated a discussion about the joys (sic) of scanning vast amounts of paper. The general consensus of the conversation was:

  • Scanning was time consuming and dead boring.
  • Scanning documents was something that needed to be done.

Both of those points are true.

Why would we want to scan documents?

The main reasons you may want to scan your documents

  1. The documents are needed to do some type of work eg. correspondence to follow up, orders to process, that sort of thing. 
  2. You have no storage space for your physical documents, you store them off-site and you may need to refer to them from time to time.
  3. Purely as a backup in-case the paper documents are destroyed or lost.

How often should we scan documents?

As tedious as it sounds. you should scan your documents as soon as you receive them.  

Why?

Well, lets look at the three reasons mentioned above:

  1. Documents used for work:  Your computer and your CMS is where you and/or your staff do most of your work.  It just makes sense that you’d want all your current working documents (either external or internal) handy at all times.  The sooner you scan your documents the sooner you can do your work and make money.
  2. You lack storage space: This one is kind of obvious. The quicker you can scan those documents the sooner you can sit down in front of your computer or workplace and do all those things you need to do some work and make money.
  3. Back-up only.  The longer you put this type of thing off, the bigger are your chances of your document getting lost or destroyed.  Also scanning every time you receive a document does not distract you from your day to day business tasks as much as a “clean up day/scanning day” would do.

Scanning Myth #1: If you scan your paper documents you can destroy them. 

NO, NO NO & NO!!!!!! 

In a previous blog I discussed the merits of electronic documents Vs paper documents and talked  about the concept of original source, which is

 the format you originally made the record in or the format you originally received it.

I also mentioned that  keeping the original source safe is the key to protecting yourself from a lot of potential hurt in the future.


I think it’s important to state – don’t think just because you’ve scanned your documents you can destroy the paper versions. 
There is a big (alarming) trend amongst small businesses doing this.  It is all so risky. PLEASE STOP!! 

 

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