What Is a Legal Files Document Management System?
By Katherine Crowell
March 29, 2021
Managing all your important documents doesn't have to take over your life. With the right legal files document management system, you can take control of your important files while spending less time thinking about and dealing with those valuable documents.
Some families like to organize all their files on a home computer while others may choose to leverage a cloud-based solution that can satisfy the off-site backup need. Whichever option you choose, you have to do something. There are too many documents for a typical modern family to manage and organize today. If you're not careful, you could end up losing track of all your important files when you need them most.
The right electronic document management system not only puts your documents in a safe and secure place, but it also helps you stay organized so that you can access documents whenever you need them.
What Is Document Scanning?
To the uninitiated, it may seem silly to scan your documents only to look at them on a computer or phone screen. However, once you scan your documents digitally, you can ditch your cumbersome filing cabinet. Digitizing documents makes your life easier because you can see everything at a glance. No more fumbling around in a dusty drawer for that obscure document.
A scanned document is any document that exists in digital form. You can use a flatbed scanner, a photocopier, a camera, or even a phone. It's the picture of a document that you're saving, and that picture allows you to review the document no matter where you are, provided you've uploaded it to a safe and secure place online.
In addition to document scanning, there's also more advanced technology such as optical character recognition that encodes the text from your documents into editable content instead of images. That's often overkill since it's the storage of the document itself and access to the document is more important than being able to edit or search every word in a doc.
What About Storing Documents?
When it comes to storing your digital documents, it's all about the file management system. You may be able to get rid of the physical filing cabinet, but you'll still need a virtual one. If you're managing your documents on your own, that means setting up a folder structure that makes sense. You'll want to be descriptive enough that you can find anything you deposit, but resist the urge to be so meticulous that it becomes a burden to maintain.
With a legal files document management system, all the hard work has been done for you. Instead of designing a file management system, you'll be able to leverage the capabilities of the tool to both file away and find any document at a moment's notice. That'll make it easy enough to keep up on your filing responsibilities, which means that your digital file storage will always be up to date.
That said, it's not like you need to digitize and file away every piece of paper you've stored away in that old filing cabinet over the years. Moving to an electronic document management system is an opportunity to cull your unwieldy mix of random paperwork and establish document storage criteria. Most statements and regular mailings can be looked up online anyway, so it's safe to discard some documents in favor of keeping other documents well-organized.
How Can I Find a Document?
Often, looking for paper documents is really difficult. It's like looking for a needle in a haystack. Online, all those barriers are removed—this is where a legal file document management system really shines Instead of thumbing through folders and papers, you can conduct simple searches that will uncover any document in just a matter of seconds, not dozens of minutes or hours of rigorous searching.
If you leverage your legal files document management system's tagging capabilities, you can even drill down further with attributes. That way, you can just lookup a tag or run a quick search for any of your important documents, and it'll also mean that you have usable file discovery whenever you need quick access to anything.
Do I Need Cloud Accessibility?
With your documents all digitized and organized in a way that makes sense, the most important piece of document management services is to have on-demand access to your documents no matter where you are. That means your documents will have to be in the cloud, ideally accessible via any device, such as a phone, tablet or computer.
With Trustworthy, we've created a modern solution, which is The Family Operating System®. It's a new kind of filing cabinet for today's digital lifestyle, and it makes managing and staying on top of your important documents a cinch. Trustworthy helps your family get and stay organized. With The Family Operating System<span class="f3 relative top--1">®</span> you and your family can search for information quickly, and you'll receive reminders when documents are about to expire. Secure your documents today with Trustworthy!