Keeping your company’s documents safe requires knowing what can hinder your progress.
Whether your business is brand new or has been around for a while, avoiding these mistakes in document management can keep you on track and organized.
We’ve put together a list of 8 mistakes to avoid when it comes to document management.
Keep reading to get your office organized.
Why Does My Business Need Document Management?
Document management is an essential part of running a successful business.
Without having the right systems in place, you can’t properly track your documents. The last thing anyone wants is to lose track of receipts, contracts, and other important pieces of paper that come into their work. An example of something important would be an SDS guide for your employees.
Not only can it be time-consuming to try and find those files again, but it can also be costly.
Here are some of the most costly mistakes to avoid:
- Scanning Documents Without Indexing or Labeling Them
You’ve probably heard about the importance of digitizing your business documents, but not everyone understands why. This simple mistake could cost your business time and money if you find yourself searching for a document that could have been easily found with better organization.
No matter what kind of document management software you use, there’s a system to follow. When scanning your documents and saving them as images, it is important to sort through and label them before uploading the files.
If you don’t take the time to index and assign labels, and create unique names for files, you’ll find yourself wasting valuable time searching for an image when all along it was simply mislabeled.
How is This Costly?
Indexing and labeling your scanned documents correctly can save you time when you’re looking for a specific document. If you have to search through every image file to find the one you’re looking for, it could take hours or even days. Not only is this a waste of time, but it’s also a waste of resources.
- Saving Documents to the Wrong Folder
This mistake is similar to the previous one. If you’re not careful, you might save documents to the wrong folder and have a difficult time finding them again.
Saving your documents to their appropriate folders is key to maintaining an organized system. Make sure you take the time to do this correctly, or you’ll end up with a disorganized mess on your hands.
- Not Backing Up Your Documents
This mistake is common among business owners and can be very costly. If you don’t back up your documents, you run the risk of losing them in the event of a computer crash or natural disaster.
Backing up your documents is a simple process, and there are many different ways to do it. Choose the method that works best for you and make sure to back up your files regularly.
How is This Costly?
If your business is small, losing a file might not seem like a huge deal for now. As the business grows and becomes more successful, you might need those documents to show proof of prior success. Not having those documents could hinder your growth and potential future investments.
- Not Password Protecting Sensitive Files
If you have sensitive documents in your company’s files, it is important to password protect them. This will keep your files safe from prying eyes and make sure only the appropriate people have access to them.
Password protecting your sensitive documents can be as easy as setting a password for each file. There are common cyber threats that you can easily avoid with great passwords. Make sure you choose a strong password with a combination of numbers, symbols, and upper and lowercase letters that is difficult to crack. You might even want to consider using a password manager to keep track of all your passwords.
- Not Utilizing Document Management Software
Document management software can be a lifesaver for businesses that struggle with document organization. This software makes it easy to store, find, and share your documents.
If you’re not currently using document management software, now is the time to start. There are many different programs to choose from, so find one that fits the needs of your business.
How is This Costly?
Using document management software can save you and your employees a ton of time. No more wasting hours searching through stacks of paper or trying to find the version of an important document that you printed months ago.
Document management software can be as easy as uploading files, assigning them to specific folders, and then using the search bar to find them later.
- Not Tracking Changes to Documents
If you’re working with documents that need edits or updates, it’s important to track the changes made. This will help keep everyone on track and ensure that the most recent version of the document is always used.
There are many ways to track changes, and it’s important to find one that works best for your business. Some common methods include using revision marks or track changes in Microsoft Word, using a changelog, or using digital signatures software.
- Not Restricting Access to Sensitive Documents
If you have sensitive documents in your company’s files, it is important to restrict access to them. This will keep your files safe from prying eyes and make sure only the appropriate people have access to them.
Restricting access to sensitive documents can be as easy as setting a password for each file. Make sure you choose a strong password with a combination of numbers, symbols, and upper and lowercase letters that is difficult to crack. You might even want to consider using a password manager to keep track of all your passwords.
How is This Costly?
Losing a file with sensitive data can cause a lot of harm. It is important to keep those documents safe from prying eyes.
- Not Organizing Your Documents for Retrieval
This mistake can lead to losing documents or wasting time searching for them when they’re needed. If you’re not careful, you might end up organizing your documents in a way that makes them difficult to find.
Organizing your documents for retrieval is key to keeping your company’s files organized and easy to access. There are many different ways to do this, so find one that works best for you. Some common methods include sorting documents by date, subject, or type. You might also want to consider using document management software to make finding documents easier.
Avoid the Most Common Mistakes in Document Management
Avoiding these mistakes in document management will help keep your business’s documents safe and organized. Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to a successful document management strategy.
For more helpful tips like these, check out the rest of our blog!