Did you know that poor document management in an organization results in a 21 percent loss in daily productivity? No matter the size of your company, this is not a level of loss you would want, especially if you’re trying to outshine your competitors.
You need to understand how to archive documents so that old papers don’t affect your productivity. Are you struggling to keep your records perfect and easy to find?
If so, read on to learn about a few documents archiving solutions to ensure that disorganized papers don’t slow down your productive operations.
Have a Document Archiving Plan
One of the most critical steps in archiving your documents is to have a plan. You should have a document retention policy in your business describing how you expect your employees to manage documents from their creation to destruction. You should update the policy as your company grows and changes.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you need to save anything and everything. You need to plan what you’ll store and how long you’ll archive a document.
If you’re not careful, you’ll save everything and spend hours searching through filing cabinets for the information you need. Having a plan lets you easily and quickly find the information you need without wasting valuable time.
Get Rid of Unnecessary Documents
To ensure that your business is following its document retention policy, you’ll need to get rid of unnecessary documents. This means going through all of your old files and papers and getting rid of anything you don’t need to save.
The process can be a daunting task, but it’s essential to keep your office organized and your employees productive. You can have a shredding party to get rid of all your old documents or take them to a recycling center. Whichever method you choose, ensure that you’re getting rid of everything you don’t need to keep.
Label and Organize Documents
Once you’ve decided what you need to archive and how long, it’s essential to organize your documents to make sense. You’ll need boxes and folders to organize your files.
Label each folder with the date range it covers and ensure that everything is easy to find. Labeling will help you keep track of your documents as they age and ensure that they’re easy to access when you need them.
It would be best to use tab dividers to separate your folders and ensure that everything is easy to read. The tabs will divide your documents into manageable sections, making it easy to locate the file you’re looking for. If you’re interested in custom printed tab dividers, you can order some online at Tabshop.com.
If you’re going to place the folders in a box, ensure that the box is strong. Label the boxes according to the files they contain. You can also create a record database and ensure that each file you put in a box has a number or barcode.
Each box can also have a unique number or a barcode. If you need a file, the database will show which box contains the file you’re looking for.
Digitize Your Documents
One great way to archive physical documents is to digitize them. This means scanning them and saving them as digital files. You can store these files on your computer or in the cloud.
Digitizing your records will make it easy to access them from any device, anywhere. You won’t have to worry about damage to your documents, and you’ll easily share them with others.
Scanning documents will let you free up space in your office and makes retrieval a breeze. It will also make it easy to backup your documents, so you don’t have to worry about losing them in a fire or natural disaster.
If you’re not sure how to digitize your documents, there are lots of services that can help you. And if you have a lot of documents to scan, consider using a document scanning service.
Store Similar Documents Together
When archiving your documents, it’s crucial to store similar documents together. Similar storage makes it easy to find the information you need without searching through every file.
You can use color-coded folders or tabs to help you group your documents together. You can also use a label maker to create labels that will quickly identify the contents of each folder.
Consider having specific areas for different types of documents. For example, you may want to have a file cabinet for personnel files, one for financial records, and one for product information.
When you store documents appropriately, retrieval will be effortless. You’ll know exactly where to look for a specific record and won’t have to search through cabinets full of random papers.
Store Your Documents in an Appropriate Location
It’s advisable to keep your documents in an onsite location for quick retrieval. But you’ll need to ensure that the storage site is safe to minimize the risk of destruction. You can consider polyester archival sleeves for documents to prevent dust and other pollutants damage.
However, you should keep in mind that you’ll need to store your files in a larger or more secure location as your company grows. As such, you should consider an offsite location.
An offsite location is a storage site away from your place of business. This can be a good option if you’re running out of space or need to protect your files from natural disasters.
Paper files are vulnerable to natural disasters like fire and floods. So you can even choose an offsite facility that’s specially designed to protect your paper records from catastrophes.
Many offsite facilities have advanced archiving mechanisms. They’ll make it easy to retrieve your documents if you ever need them.
When choosing an offsite location, consider the facility’s security. The site should have 24/7 security and fire protection. It should also be climate-controlled to protect your documents from damage.
Know How to Archive Documents for Easy Retrieval
Understanding how to archive documents is a great way to keep them safe and organized. Our article explains the steps you should follow for effective document archiving. Follow these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to ensuring that messy papers do not interfere with your productivity.
If you’re interested in more informative articles, check out other posts on our blog.