After months of consideration and planning, my Fujitsu Scansnap ix500 arrived early Friday afternoon. I actually paid overnight shipping on Thursday when I heard the B word for Saturday’s weather forecast. Yep, B as in Blizzard. My husband follows National Weather Service website for the weather disucssion. Usually the weather professionals and models are similar. This time we could have 2″ or 20″ of snow, the models didn’t agree.
I am planning to scan – bring on the snow. Reality kicked in, even with all my study and research, I still had more details to consider before I was ready to pile the papers into my scanner. Scanning those papers isn’t the first step. I knew that. I thought I was ready.
Let’s start at the beginning…
Step 1: Planning – Needs Assessment
Answering the following questions can help you determine your needs.
- Why do I want to convert to digital?
- What do I store in paper files that I want to convert to digital?
- How will this make my life easier?
- What do I store in paper files that I don’t ever look at and don’t need to keep? Honesty Moment!
What scanner do I buy?
- How much paper will I be scanning in a week?
- Do I need wireless capabilities on my scanner?
- Do I want to get the fancy scanner because I love fancy things?
How will I store digital files and where?
- What will my file structure look like? Can I mimic my paper structure easily? Is my paper file system easy for me to use?
- Will I be storing financial and sensitive documents?
- Do I need software that organizes my files or do I want to use folders on my computer?
- What software will I want to purchase
What is my back-up and security requirements and plan? Because hard-drives and computers fail, natural disasters happen and many things are outside our control.
- What is my comfort level with storing files in the cloud as an off-site backup?
- What security measures are in place for various cloud-based companies? How do I select one?
Three-tier backup plan
- On-site backup to external drive
- Off-site backup to the cloud
- Clone back-up of the system – in case of hard drive failure
I spent my snowy Saturday on my file structure. Now my file structure is ready to go – with only a loose thread here or there. Here an important philosophy comes into play. I live by the 80/20 rule. Because that last 20% can take up so much time and energy that we forget to live. I may end up with 20% of my world on paper. Time will tell. Now that my structure and plan are sound, I can scan away. By the way, scanning is step 4. As I progress, there will be workflows to address and details to manage. I will continue to refine the process as I find ways to automate the process.
A big recommendation and thank you to Brooks Duncan at DocumentSnap. He provides so much great information, tips and tricks.
The Organizing Process
- Needs Assessment – Set Vision and Goals
- Sorting the papers and files Refining the Plan
- Flushing Out Details and Purchases
- Implement The Plan and Structure
- Refine the Process
Ok, I need a better acronym than NSFIR for this process. Scanning falls into Step 4, did I mention that? In Organizing hopscotch, we still start at #1. Look for future posts on my progress.
Are you trying to get a handle on organizing your digital information? I would love to hear your thoughts and your progress.
Cheerio, – Charee