The evolution of our office space has been an interesting journey, to say the least. The last two decades brought us technology that changed almost every single aspect of how we work. Communication and business correspondence changed dramatically, collaboration improved with the birth of the Cloud and the tools on our desks look like they’ve been stolen from a 1970’s sci-fi movie.
Needless to say, our productivity has improved, as well. With the help of various inventions we became faster at completing our tasks and more efficient in our day to day efforts to improve both ourselves and the businesses we work in. One of the most obvious examples is the entire document management process.
What once was a tiresome workflow of sifting through endless paperwork is now a digitized and neatly organized procedure, designed for the best results. We can now receive a document from a client, collaborate on it with our teammates, send it for approval and share the finished report, all from the comfort of our computers. But have we gone completely paperless yet?
Despite how hard we try, the answer is no. There are still several aspects of our daily work that require us to deal with paper documents. If we want to be completely honest with ourselves, we have to admit that we simply like paper. We still need paper. Whether it’s for jotting down a note or brainstorming quick ideas, in the back of our minds, paper is still a dependable, affordable and reliable way to get things done. Suffice it to say, slowly, but surely–with the everyday use of smartphone apps and online tools, we’re making the switch.
So, in our quest for the completely paperless office, how would we efficiently get the paper from our desks to our storage format of choice?
If we were to turn paper into a digitized document and truly empower ourselves with paperless productivity, we would most likely utilize the PDF. The Portable Document Format is perfect for storing our files: it’s secure, non-editable by default and easily shared and compiled. An elegant solution to resolving all sorts of document needs.
That being settled, the entire process of getting rid of papers in our office then can be planned out in a few steps: gather all paper documents that we might need, scan them and then export them to individual PDF files. By doing so, we relieve ourselves of scattered documents and create a more centralized document management system that can instantly improve our productivity. Yet, how we work with those scanned PDF files is another thing altogether.
Since the scanned PDF is basically an image of text locked inside a PDF, the only way to make it usable again is to transform it into an editable file format using an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) featured tool. OCR technology is what reads that image, recognizes the characters and turns them into a completely editable file. It’s an advanced piece of technology, usually found inside top of the line PDF converters.
Thankfully, there are free OCR tools out there that can help us digitize our paperwork. One of the best is Investintech’s scanned PDF to Word online converter.
Completely free and intuitive, this advanced online tool packs a solid punch when dealing with image based PDFs. But with all the tools available, why would your office might want to bookmark an OCR tool like this one? Here’s why:
Have All Documents at Your Fingertips
In this golden age of digital information, having everything at your fingertips is now a necessity. By introducing an OCR tool to your office landscape, you’re allowing yourself the complete freedom to digitize all the important papers you need on a daily basis. Storing those documents in one place (either your hard drive or on the Cloud) will save physical space in your office and instantly improve your productivity to match your digital workflow.
Provide Document Accessibility
As you know by now, a scanned PDF is basically just an image of a document locked inside a PDF document. Since the computer reads it as one single image and not as individual characters, the PDF content isn’t accessible to visually impaired users who would like to screen read a document. In situations like these, you can rely on Investintech’s OCR tool to transform your scanned documents into a more accessible, digital format. Meet any document accessibility needs and you bring more value to your community.
Quickly Retrieve Information
Having all of your documents digitized and stored in your favorite place is great, but you wouldn’t be able to search the scanned PDF for a certain keyword in order to retrieve information you need. The work-around to that is to use OCR to make your digitized documents searchable. Quick tip: convert your scanned PDF to an editable file and export it again as a PDF for expert document management.
Save Hundreds of Hours
Next to saving space, saving time is the second biggest reason why you should use an OCR tool. With Investintech’s scanned PDF to Word converter you can convert both scanned and native PDFs, and can therefore forget about manually retyping PDF documents. By automating this aspect of your work you can save hundreds of hours in the long run and minimize unwanted errors. Let the technology do the work for you so you can focus on more important things. As an added bonus, your boss will be impressed by your productivity!
Reuse Scanned PDF Documents
Last, but not least, is PDF editing. Simply put, the sole purpose of having an OCR tool is to make your scanned documents editable. By using a high quality OCR engine, you minimize the amount of work needed to manually touch up the document. This completes the circle of your paperless existence as you’ll be able to quickly reuse those financial reports, bank statements, contracts, briefs and any other paper documents tucked away in the back of your filing cabinet.
We’re still on a journey to a complete paperless existence, which means that making the best out of available technology should come as second nature. Discovering and testing out different tools will definitely help transform offices into a more sustainable working environment. With productivity in mind, these five reasons alone should be enough to prompt you to introduce OCR technology to your office. There are other advantages and benefits to be sure. It’s up to you to discover the rest.