There’s paper everywhere but I can never find the information I need. Come on what have I done with it! Argh…I must have thrown it away, or maybe I left it at home. I’ll have to go through this pile again! It must be in the filing cabinet, maybe it’s in my car. Really guys how much time do you have for this!
It really isn’t rocket science but please do take some care, you need to have a strategy! If you just scan paper you’ll be moving the problem from being a visible burden into an invisible and potentially disastrous situation.
So what should I do!
Set aside an hour or two, grab a cup of coffee and think! Think about the paper that you have now. Where does it come from, what do you do with it, how long do you really need to keep, but most importantly does it actually have any value?
Right what now?
Don’t try and fix the problem all in one go, you lived with this for long enough so give yourself time to get your strategy right! Start with the really important stuff. Think small steps.
I’m ready what do I do now?
Slow down, you’re not ready yet. You have to spend some money, it’s not for free. The good news however is that it doesn’t have to cost the earth. There are many different products and solutions but to make it easy here are two choices.
Yes, this will be for most of you, as you don’t have time for complex and you are the IT department. Buy a ScanSnap, it’s a full solution. Don’t take my word for it (SPOILER ALERT – I do have an interest here) go to AMAZON in any country and read the reviews.
Slightly more Complex
Ok, first of all set aside time for some real research. Assuming you already have a computer you need to buy just two things, a scanner (don’t buy a flatbed scanner – life is far too short for that) and some Document Management Software. Relax, it doesn’t have to be too hard you’re not an intrepid explorer going where no man has gone before but you do have to invest some time here. If you’re in a paper intensive line of work, accountancy, legal, medicine there are plenty of packages available that are customised for your environment, we’ve just narrowed the search considerably already. If not then google is your friend!
Little Steps again.
Whichever way you decide to go, don’t forget small steps. Focus on developing your strategy for different types of documents. Why don’t you start with your expenses and receipts then move on to customer correspondence, Rome wasn’t built in a day!