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4 Surprise Techniques to Stop Wasting Time Searching For Documents

Paperwork already consumes too much time in back-office workflows, so why should it consume even more of your workday when you need to find a particular document? Whether you need to update an old contract or review a recent purchase order, finding what you need isn't always so easy. How many of us have spent more time than we'd care to admit scouring filing cabinets and opening dozens of similarly-named digital documents only to come up empty-handed?

Time spent searching is time you could use to be more productive — if you could only find those pages you need quickly. With some simple tweaks to your office workflow, you can eliminate most of the time you spend trying to locate lost documents. Sometimes the biggest changes come from surprisingly small changes, like changing the way you make PDFs. What can you do to improve document handling?

1. Make PDFs in Full Text of All Your Office's Important Paperwork

The simplest solution is to take full advantage of the power you already have at your fingertips. Windows 10 includes a powerful built-in search system to help you locate files by keywords or content. To leverage that tool to stop losing paperwork, you must first bring those documents into your digital ecosystem.

Digitizing your paperwork is simple with software built for ease of use by businesses, such as Kofax® Power PDF. With Power PDF, creating searchable copies of all your paperwork is a straightforward task within a familiar Microsoft-style user interface. What about older documents? Converting to a PDF takes only a few seconds across a wide variety of file formats. Use descriptive file names, including dates where applicable, to lay the groundwork for quickly finding them again later.

2. Rework Your Files Into a Collaborative System

Digitizing your paperwork is a good first step, but it's not as useful as it could be if the resulting files end up in different silos. Are the various teams across your business collaborating effectively, or are they closed off from one another? Many times, missing paperwork turns up in other offices that also had some requirement for them.

Transitioning to an enterprise collaboration platform, such as Microsoft Sharepoint, contributes to eliminating this problem. Power PDF includes built-in Sharepoint integration, including capabilities for saving documents directly to your company's Sharepoint cloud. In just two steps, an office can dramatically decrease the chance of losing important documents. Go digital, then knock down the walls between siloed content.

3. Develop Consistent Labeling and Tagging in Your Business

All the software advances in the world can't make up for poor clerical practices. When working in a primarily electronic environment, good file labeling and metadata usage are must-haves. Be clear and concise in file names. Differentiating on file name alone is not always the best way to locate files, so metadata must play a role too. When you finish editing a PDF and save it again, use descriptive tags to annotate its contents. Base your tags on a set of guidelines established for use across the company. When everyone tags their work consistently, narrowing down the results to find what you need takes much less time.

4. Make Data More Accessible Across Your Business

Empower your employees to search for the paperwork they need by keeping all your systems connected on the same network. Avoid the time lost by going from office to office, asking "Have you seen that contract?" Power PDF includes access control capabilities to ensure that the free flow of information in your workplace does not compromise sensitive information. Password protection and integration with Microsoft Active Directory Rights Management let management set firm boundaries without hiding documents in systems where they're liable to become lost.

Simplify Converting to a PDF and Find Your Files Faster

With a simpler way to make PDFs that enable your business to work like tomorrow and a filing system designed to make smart use of features such as tagging and collaboration, your business can make lost documents a thing of the past. It doesn't require a considerable capital expense to make these changes, either. With perpetual licensing models for Power PDF, deploying better software across an entire organization is cost-effective and straightforward. To learn more about how Kofax and Power PDF support good document handling at any scale, get in touch today.