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A Beginner’s Guide to Improving Document Management

Kelli Harris
By Kelli Harris
Joel Taylor
Reviewed by Joel Taylor

Published May 24, 2022.

A Beginner’s Guide to Improving Document Management

We live in a digital age where information is at our fingertips. And with the rise of cloud computing, storing data has become easier than ever before—but that can make it even harder to manage all of your documents efficiently while maintaining your data integrity.

So, to improve your document management, you should invest in a reliable document management system (DMS) that allows you to store, organize, and access your electronic files easily by using advanced search tools.

We put together a beginner's guide to understand what a document management system is and how to best use it to optimize your business.

Types of Document Management Systems

Let's dive into the most widely used types of document management systems:

Cloud Document Management Storage

Cloud document management storage is a type of cloud-based file sharing that allows users to store files online and access them from any device. This technology has become increasingly popular over the past few years thanks to its many benefits including cost savings, convenience, and security.

The basic premise behind this type of storage is that data is stored in the cloud rather than on individual computers. Since the data is not physically located in a single place, it can be accessed from anywhere, making it easy to collaborate with other people who are working remotely. Additionally, since the data is stored on the internet, it is protected against theft and loss.

There are two types of cloud storage: public and private. Public cloud storage is accessible to anyone who wants to use it while private cloud storage is only accessible to those who have permission to view it. In addition to these two options, there are also hybrid solutions that combine both public and private cloud storage into one system.

Content Management System

A content management system allows users to create, edit, publish, and maintain web pages. A CMS can be used to build websites, blogs, intranets, extranets, etc.

Learn more in How to Improve Intranet Search.

Enterprise Content Management

Enterprise content management systems provide a central repository for information and standard business processes and practices with company content. An ECM can include features such as workflow, version control, search, metadata tagging, and security.

Work Collaboration Platforms

Like cloud document storage, work collaboration platforms allow users to access electronic files on a shared workspace. The difference here is that users can collaborate on projects from anywhere and at any time. These platforms have features that can generate reports, real-time co-authoring, version control, and file synchronization.

In general, they are used to share files, documents, presentations, and other content. Some examples include Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft SharePoint, and OneDrive.

Records Management

As the name suggests, records management software manages and stores various business transaction records, such as official memos, files, reports, database records, emails, and other forms of communication.

All these documents are instantly accessible for compliance audits and business operations.

From its creation to its use, receipt, maintenance, and disposal, records management software track the complete lifecycle of a document.

Dropbox Document Management System

Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud-based file storage services. Dropbox document management allows users to share and sync files across multiple devices and boasts user-friendly and intelligent search and organization features such as:

Dropbox Automations

With Automations, organizations can create a number of rules around file naming by using a template, which helps to create consistency with naming conventions. Companies can also automate other parts of the file management process. Dropbox Automations can be set up so that when a zipped file is uploaded to Dropbox, it will be unzipped automatically and moved to a specific folder.

Multi-File Organize

Multi-File Organize lets you set up rules for files as they come into your Dropbox drive. Rules can be based on keywords, date, or how often the file is opened/modified. This feature could reduce the time users spend searching for documents by organizing them instantly.

Image Content Search

Image Content Search is a feature that identifies key objects in images using machine learning. This technology suggests relevant images and best matches, based on a few descriptive words. If you are looking for pictures taken at a picnic, you can search using the keyword "picnic" or any other object in the image that you can recall.

How to Improve Document Management

Here are three strategies to improve document management:

Use a Cloud-Based Solution

We strongly recommend that you go paperless with your DMS. As we mentioned earlier, cloud-based document management systems help your organization manage documents across multiple devices and platforms, allowing for seamless collaboration.

Designate Clear Roles

Each employee in your organization usually has a particular task to perform, and document control should not be an exception. Be sure to establish guidelines and select a responsible person for each stage of the document's lifecycle.

Automate Your Processes

Automating processes can save your business money while improving efficiency. Many companies use automated processes to scan incoming paper documents into electronic format, index them, and store them in a database. Using this method, you can automatically archive old files and keep track of what's been scanned and indexed. You can even automate the process of sending out invoices and other correspondence electronically.

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