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Best Document Scanner Features For Creating An Office Digital Archive

Digital archives have many advantages. They take up very little physical space, they don't degrade over time and they're easy to organize. However, converting your paper archive to a digital archive requires thoughtful consideration and hard work. These tips will help you get started on your digital archive.

Buy the Right Scanner

A good scanner will be a critical part of your digital archiving process. When looking at scanners and picking the right one for your office, look for these features that will make your digital archiving process easier and faster.

  • Sheet feeder. The sheet feeder is the part of your scanner that allows you to feed a stack of papers into the scanner all at once. Sheet feeding allows you to scan stacks of same-size papers in a fraction of the time that it would take to scan each page one at a time.
  • Flatbed for batch scanning. Batch scanning is the feature that allows you to scan multiple small documents or photos on the flatbed of the scanner all at once. With a push of the button, the flatbed scanner will scan all documents separately, provided that there is a space left between documents. This is a convenient feature for scanning documents of varied sizes and other documents that cannot be scanned through the sheet feeder.
  • Wireless connectivity and email ability. Wireless connectivity allows multiple computers to connect to the scanner at once, which makes it easier to divide the scanning and archiving project among multiple employees.

Start with the Oldest Documents First

The older the document, the more faded the ink and yellowed the paper. The oldest documents in your office are the most in danger of becoming degraded and unusable. When you begin your document archiving project, start with the oldest documents first.

If the documents are more than a few decades old, you may need to scan each page individually. Brittle, torn documents can become caught in the sheet feeder of your scanner. If you're not sure if a document is too old to be put through the sheet feeder of your scanner, scan a test batch of 4 or 5 relatively unimportant papers.

Institute a File Naming Policy

Smart and consistent file naming policies allow the files to be sorted and organized. The file name should include the date, author and a 1 or 2 word description of the file. Make this file naming policy known throughout your office.

Once you've finished converting your paper records into electronic documents, you'll find that electronic records are easy to sort, share and store. While converting your paper documents to electronic files can be a lot of work, the convenience of using an electronic filing system makes it all worthwhile.