I often talk to organizations about scanning paper records into a content management solution like Laserfiche. Their focus is often on the mountains of paper that they have stored in the basement, simply because it is a huge and overwhelming task. The mountain seems insurmountable and often the sheer size of the project prevents them from even getting started. The key to success is to stop looking at the mountain and get started with a smaller piece. The advice we often give about electronic records applies to other parts of life too.
Step 1 – Day Forward
Day Forward means stop contributing to the mountain today. Don’t worry about yesterday’s stuff. Focus on what you can control today!
In the case of Laserfiche document management, that means examine your process and focus on being more electronic today. Don’t produce paper to grow the monster, but begin storing electronically.
In life, that means don’t worry about what happened yesterday – just be sure you don’t contribute more to the problem.
Step 2 – Deal with what you access the most
In Laserfiche that means prioritizing scanning and importing of items that you deal with most often. If you focus on the stuff you need to find or review the most, you will get the best results right away.
In life, to be effective, that means don’t clutter your time and surroundings with things you don’t really need. Focus on the important.
Step 3 – Keep what is really important
With records, it’s important for historical and legal reasons to keep vital items like signed deeds. This requires a thoughtful process to define what is important and what can be disposed of. Otherwise everything is kept forever and turns into a mountain of files but no real access to needed information.
In life, this means define what’s important to you and literally throw out the rest!
The keys to effective electronic records management are built on simple principles. While they are simple in concept, staying on task and keeping first things first is always the challenge.
Moving the mountains is just like old joke;
How do you eat an elephant?
One bite at a time.