How to Start a Document Scanning Project

Sometimes, just getting started is the hardest part of any project. This is especially true if you want to convert your documents to digital images; a project that may seem overwhelming.

Without the right expertise, it’s hard to know where to begin. Here are several tips for getting your document scanning project off the ground.

Define What and Where

Most of the time it doesn’t make practical or financial sense to scan every document, so decide up front which ones to digitize. Usually, your most active files benefit the most from being converted to an electronic format. That way, they can be shared quickly and easily with the click of a mouse. You’ll also need a reliable place to store those files after they are converted to a digital format. Consider investing in an online document management or enterprise content management (ECM) application to ensure seamless access to your files.

If you’re scanning your records for disaster recovery purposes, make sure you have a portable hard drive with enough disk space to hold your digital files. And remember to have an offsite data storage plan to protect your media and ensure speedy recovery of lost data.

Choose the Right File Format

To view your scanned documents, choose a file format that’s compatible with your document management or ECM system. Scanned documents can be converted to the following file formats:

  • PDF
  • TIFF
  • GIF
  • JPG
  • PNG

Portable document format (PDF) is the most widely used and compatible file format. They can be viewed and edited across a wide range of platforms. If you want your PDFs to be searchable by keywords or phrases, optical character recognition (OCR) software must be used during scanning.

Get Organized

Sorting, organizing and preparing your documents before scanning them is essential for a successful document imaging project. Remove the staples, paper clips and sticky notes from your files. Repair any torn and dog-eared pages. Arrange your documents in order.

If you have limited time or a large volume of documents to scan, consider investing in a document imaging service. Professional scanning technicians sort, organize and prepare your documents for you. Then, using high-speed scanners, they convert your documents to digital images in a fraction of the time it takes to do the job yourself.

Follow these tips to start realizing the benefits of a paperless office today.

Richards & Richards provides document scanning and imaging services for business throughout Nashville. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.