In-House Paper to Digital Conversion: How To Get Started

Imagine being able to find the exact document you need without leaving your office, without even getting up from your chair, with just a few mouse clicks. This can be your reality as digital documents become more and more popular in offices around the world.

With paper to digital conversion, everyone has the access that is needed to finally get rid of all that paper clutter once and for all. 

If you have already decided that outsourcing your project is out of the question, and have already purchased a document scanner, just follow these steps for less stressful scanning!

1. The first step is to determine what to scan. It is important not to duplicate documents that are no longer need by your organization.

2. Determine scanner capabilities like speed, document handling capacity, resolution in DPI, and OCR. Make sure to purchase a scanner that meets all of your needs. Look for a scanner that does 15-20PPM minimum at 300 dpi. Also, look for a scanner with a feed tray that can hold at least 50 pages of paper at one time.

3. Determine output file format(s). Every organization has different requirements for digital file storage. PDF is a relatively new standard, but it’s popular because many desktop applications create and read PDFs, and it’s possible to search against PDFs as well. Some people perform optical character recognition (OCR) on certain types of data by capturing text from a document and storing the data as word files or plain text files. Plain text is generally preferred due to the fact that it’s readable without any proprietary tools or encodings.

4. Decide on a Naming Convention. Before starting to scan, have a file naming system devised. A bad naming system will make it impossible to organize your data or find anything once it has been digitized. Make sure the name is easy to understand and is relevant to the file.

5. Spend a bit of time scanning test images and becoming efficient with the scanning software. Experiment with different settings so you can adjust accordingly for average file size, quality of the finished digital file, DPI, and speed.

6. Get a Coffee, load the boxes into the room with the scanner, and scan!