If your small business or professional firm already knows the value of having a paperless office, you probably scan most of your paper based documents. And very likely you create most new documents in digital formats too. While that is a good first step, what makes all the difference is how you manage these documents. For example, are you still using Windows Explorer to manage them? If you are, then step aside and choose the more sensible way! In this post, we reveal the better way to manage documents…and show you why it is better.
What plain vanilla file management cannot do
- OCR enabled search: OCR technology helps in extracting text from image files to make the files searchable by their text content. Scanned images of paper based documents are stored in PDF or TIFF format. So if you scan an agreement, it gets converted into an image file. But thanks to document management software Sohodox, you can find such files using full text search. Simply type-in a few words from that document that you recall and Sohodox returns a list of files containing that text.
- Multiple ways to organize documents: In order for documents to be quickly found, they must be organized well. The only common way of organizing documents in Windows Explorer is by folders. But small business document management software offers several ways of organizing them. For instance, Sohodox lets you segregate documents by Document Type (Sohodox ships with a few common document types like Invoices, Checks etc.). Not only this, you can create your own indexing fields for each document type and thereby increase the number of ways you can search for files. For example, for Checks, you can store information like Date of Issue, Payee Name etc. Windows Explorer does offer a Category field, but does not let you store custom indexing information for each category. Again, Windows Explorer does let you add keywords (tagging/labeling) for every file, but it is certainly not user-friendly. Tagging in Sohodox though, is really simple. The Tags field and Tags node are visible on the Sohodox home screen itself. The Tags node in the navigation pane gives you a snapshot of all the tags assigned to your collection of documents that are in Sohodox. The Tags field in the document preview pane lets you quickly add words that people would normally use to find such a document. The tags are right in front of you waiting to help you find that document in seconds!
- Automatically capture POP3 email: You need not use a separate application to manage email and other types of documents. You can configure Sohodox to automatically capture email messages and their attachments from POP3 servers. Sohodox will store the email message and its attachments as separate documents. Now you will be able to manage email just like any other document. This would not be possible with a basic file management system.
- Annotate documents: While referring to a document, if you want to make notes or highlight a certain portion of it, your file management system won’t let you. But if you work with document management software like Sohodox, you can do this and much more. For instance, you can underline important portions of the page so you need not read the entire text again the next time. Or you can stamp an invoice as “Paid” or a voucher as “Approved” etc. You can even affix an electronic version of your physical signature or even highlight a certain passage of text and comment on it by adding notes next to it. All this can be done even if you have not installed an editing version of the file’s associated application on your system!
- Link documents to each other: If that wasn’t enough, Sohodox makes working with documents even easier. Certain documents that you work with may be connected to each other. For example, an invoice that was received from your supplier has now been paid and the check has been scanned into Sohodox. Now you can link the invoice to its check so that if someone wants to verify if the invoice was indeed paid, all they need to do is double-click the link to the check and the check will be on their screen! Relevant indexing information, if stored, would be visible in the Information panel; e.g. Courier Date, Couriered Via etc.
All this just goes to show that there is much more to your work life than just Desktop and My Documents. Using document management software can revolutionize the way you manage your small office. Sohodox can help you do so.