Tips and Thoughts on Digitizing Files for Productivity in the Workplace

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We recently began a serious push to digitize old files and have begun digitizing even more of our current files that were still in hard copy format, to improve productivity in the workplace. This is a joyous time for me personally since I loathe filing paperwork – and I have a lot of it. This is also the first job I’ve had where I’ve experienced this kind of before and after transformation directly. It has had profound impact on my role, so I’ll share some observations and thoughts for anyone contemplating going “paperless” or moving towards cloud storage:

1. Just do it

It’s worth it for the organizational impact alone. Digitized documents are easier to store, share, file and modify. They don’t clutter up your desk and the time you spend scanning something would have been spent filing the hard copy anyway.

2. Digitizing files makes keeping a backup of your data easy

Cloud based storage is the norm now, so there are plenty of options to choose from. You’ll be able to access all your files from almost anywhere.

3. Your scanner can make or break you

Get a scanner that is capable enough to handle the workload you anticipate. Resolution, file compression, pages per minute, OCR capability and the ability to upload directly to the cloud is important to consider as well (some scanners can save directly to Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, etc.) You’ll still have to name and organize the files though!

4. Be proactive

If you are on the go, receipts can easily be captured with your phone’s camera and emailed or uploaded on the spot. Make it a habit to do this right after you sign it. Your part will be done, and it won’t matter if you lose it after that. Your accounting department will thank you, trust me. Mobile scanners are another option if a phone won’t cut it.

Adopting many of these changes will require some dedication and changes to how you handle your workflow, but in the end, you’ll have less clutter to manage, more accessible files and a cost-effective data backup solution that can easily grow with your needs.


The Culture Counts blog is a discussion of law firm culture and legal innovation, including topics such as effective leadership, employee engagement, workplace culture, ideal work environment, company core values, and workplace productivity.  

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