Whether you intend to do the scanning yourself or contract with a document conversion service, these seven tips will help you prep your documents for stress-free scanning.
Don’t Botch It, Batch It
Before you pick up your first piece of paper, make sure you have a plan for where you’ll be saving your scans to. Think about the types of things you’re scanning and how you might want to retrieve them later. Do you want all invoices in one folder? All invoices by month? Figuring that out now will allow you to do your document scanning in logical batches.
Get Rid of Staples and Paper Clips
This tip applies when you’re using a scanner with an automatic document feeder (ADF). Staples and paper clips do not play well with high-speed machinery. If your scanner doesn’t have the feeder feature and you’re simply placing documents on the glass, you can skip this tip. Although, there is something to be said for the look of a scan that doesn’t have an image of a staple or paper clip on it.
Take off Sticky Notes
Post-its can cause problems with ADF scanners, too. If the note means nothing, toss it. But if the note is important to the record, you have two options. You can either tape the note to the document or scan the document twice, once with the note and again without.
You try to be careful with all your documents, but occasionally edges might become torn and uneven from use. Reach for the tape dispenser and repair the damage.
Unstick the Stuck
Before you put a stack of papers into the feeder, be sure you fan them to disperse static electricity. Especially if the office air is on the drier side, individual pieces of paper may stick together. Pages that cling to one another may jam the automatic feeder. That’s something you’ll notice right away. Sticky pages could also cause you to miss pages, and you won’t find that out until you look at the resulting scan.
Clean Your Machine
Blotches and smudges on scanned document not only looks JV, but they also could be covering important text. Take time to periodically clean the scanner’s glass. You should consult with the owner’s manual for details, but in general, regular glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth should do the trick.
Dispose of Scanned Documents
So what do you do with all the hard copies you just scanned? Hopefully you have a detailed record-retention policy, so you know exactly how long you need to keep those hard copies, if you need to keep them at all. For all other paper documents, you’ll want to recycle them, shred them, or most likely do a little of both.
The above seven tips will make your document scanning project go smoothly, regardless of whether you’re taking it on yourself or contracting with a document scanning service. Considering converting your paper documents to digital? Call HIG! We have the latest technologies and equipment to handle your scanning needs, including large formats and maps. Contact HIG today!