One of the most frustrating things about maintaining an office is rifling through massive amounts of files searching for documents. Not only is this stressful and frustrating, but it can affect work performance because you are working harder, yet producing less. The goal of an efficient office is to work smart, which allows you to accomplish your goals without the stress.
The first step in accomplishing this goal is to create an effective document management plan. Once you have a good plan in place, you can work more efficiently, your job will become easier and less frustrating. The following document management tips will help you become more organized, which in turn may help the business become more successful.
Document Management System
The first and most important step is to create an electronic document management system. If there are more than one or two people in the office that use, create and store electronic documents, it is important to have everyone on board and using the same format, files and storage management. All documents should have identifiable names. This will make it easier to for everyone to know where each document should be saved and where to retrieve a specific document.
One of the biggest problems many offices have is organizing their email attachments. Many people struggle with where to archive and store their email messages and attachments. So they often end up staying in their inbox, which means searching for long periods of time to find a much needed attachment or message.
Organizing emails is a great place to implement your new document management plan. There are a variety of tools available that will allow you to download attachments in bulk, help you transfer and organize attachments in your document system. If you aren’t sure which tool is best suited for your business, help can be easily found through companies such as EDGE Business Systems who are experienced in document organization.
Once you have a document management system in place, it is essential that you file all documents on a daily basis. Regardless of how efficient your management system is, if you do not regularly put the documents in their proper location, it will be virtually impossible to find the documents you are searching for. Make it a priority to file all documents in their appropriate file before the end of the day.
In order to effectively maintain documents, it is essential that you routinely go through the archived files to remove old, outdated and non-valid files. If you are concerned about completely destroying files, create a file specifically for outdated, unused files. It is important to ensure that the files being considered for removal are indeed no longer used. An easy solution is to create files that have “destroy” dates. For example, if the office policy is to destroy files after one year, create a folder for each month of the year and schedule the moving of these files from current state to the coordinating date of removal. It is also important to alert everyone in the office that files have been relocated, the date they were moved and the expected date of permanent removal.
If you have file cabinets full of paper documents and are attempting to convert them to an electronic format, it is highly recommended that you sort through the files and remove all unnecessary documents and use a reliable scanner that has a document feeder. If you are attempting to organize documents that are already in electronic form, such as the office emails, plan a full day to go through each individual document, store the usable documents in the appropriate file as you are going through them and remove the ones that irrelevant.
Managing the office documents doesn’t have to be frustrating and overwhelming! Contact Edge Business Systems learn more information about document management, including easy tips to help you get started.