Before You Create a Document Management Plan


Document management is a great solution, but if you jump in without a solid plan, you won't get the biggest and best benefits. Here are a few things to ask yourself before you get started!

Doing Your Homework

The good news about document management is that it's user-friendly and customizable, which means it can fit seamlessly into your workflows. However, that kind of perfection takes a little homework on your part--so here's how to prepare for your new document management plan.

Ask yourself these questions:

"What are the rules?"

Efficient document management requires rules--like, for example, file naming conventions. Deciding on these rules beforehand will help you make sure your document management plan aligns with your overall needs and goals. Here are a few more rules to consider:

  • templates,

  • style guides,

  • communication expectations,

  • file-sharing expectations,

  • and when to print vs. when to use a digital communication tool.

"What should storage look like?"

Document storage can look a lot of different ways depending on your needs, so it's important to do your homework and understand what will work best for you. For example, do you want to mix file cabinets with digital storage? Do you need to archive certain files? How are you going to organize your stored files so you can access them quickly and easily when you need them? (Hint: this is where consistent naming conventions come in handy!)

"What problems should we solve?"

Before you get started with document management, consider what you're hoping to gain from the experience. If there's something about your current document habits that just isn't working, make it a goal to start fresh and address that problem in your new plan--for example, by using a better tool or setting expectations beforehand.

Ready to create a document management plan? Need more pointers? Contact us today for tips, tricks, and advice!

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