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Documents are indeed essential assets of an organization but storing them as hardcopies is not required now. In this digital era, keeping documents in hard copies will mark your business backdated and take away its potential. Therefore, you need to opt for document indexing to deal with your hard documents and convert them into digital format.

A. Explaining the Concept

Storing the documents in digital format after arranging them most logically is known as indexing of documents. The main motto behind this concept is to store the data for future retrieval in an accurate format. But you may ask why document indexing as there are other ways you can digitize records. In Digitization, the data will be shifted from physical form to virtual form. But, in indexing, the data will get arranged and become editable for future needs.

In simple words, indexing is a process where documents are stored digitally in editable format. You can turn any physical documents into soft copies and add information in that format if you want. Let’s take the example of a dictionary where you search for a word by going through the index. Like the dictionary indexing page, document, or data indexing help you to find the exact document that you are looking for.

B. The Need for Document Indexing

As per the AIIM report, US companies spend nearly $20 in labor to file a document and $340 in labor to find the misfiled document and reproduce that document again. So you can imagine that document mismanagement is the prime reason why businesses spend this much amount. You can take the benefits of document indexing if you do it correctly for all your files.

Indexing the documents is another name for organizing the documents but in digital format. Your employees can save time while searching data via the index and it will eliminate chances of mismanagement. Indexing also helps in auditing files as it will keep the main documents organized and ready for processing.

C. Benefits of Indexing Documents

Businesses of all sizes can take advantages of indexing if they follow accurate measures. The process is more than the digitization of records as it offers a range of benefits, which are detailed here;

I. Easier Access

Accessing the records becomes very difficult even if they are stored safely in far off. It might take a few days to access your files in that case. However, when you choose to Indexing documents, you will unlock easy accessibility of your documents. You can find all your files within just a minute through indexing.

II. Extra Storage

Storing hardcopies of documents takes space but not with indexed documents. The requirement of a physical space is much less when you choose to index your documents. You can store all your data on your computer in digital or virtual format.

III. No More Manual Searching

Manual searching is only required when you store your files physically. However, choosing document indexing will eliminate the manual file-searching process. You can find all the details of your files when you initiate the text-based search.

IV. Preserve Information

The fact is you cannot store paper-based documents for a lifetime, as they are highly prone to damage. However, you can preserve your documents for a lifetime if you choose indexing. For people who will ask why document indexing is essential, this answer is for them.

V. Faster Flow of Information

Sending hard copies to all members is tough when all sit for a board meeting. But this will not happen when you index your documents. Seamless sharing of documents is one of the main benefits of document indexing. You can share any document in any format in a fraction of a second via your computer.

Besides all these benefits, indexing can be very useful in bringing a collaborative ambiance to the workspace. Digital documents are easier to access and share than physical documents and everyone can view and work on the same page at the same time. Creating editable digital documents is one of the crucial advantages of indexing.

D. Types of Indexing

Indexing is not a single way of converting physical documents into digital files. Rather there are many layers that you can explore when choosing different indexing methods. You can choose the best type or combination type that suits your document workflow.

I. Automated Indexing

Variable lookup indexing is another name for automated indexing where a certain essential portion of the document is getting indexed. This document indexing method plays an important role in managing bills. The database will have only the required amount of data through this indexing method.

II. Full-text indexing

The entire content of the document is scanned to make content searchable in this indexing method. This allows users to search content using keywords or phrases from anywhere. This method of Indexing documents is widely seen in web browsers where content can be found by searching the keywords.

III. Metadata Indexing

To get control over your data, metadata indexing is widely used. It provides tags to indexed documents for later searches. In this method, metatags are given to documents when they are getting scanned. Therefore, you can scan the metatags later when you search for your documents.

Indexing the documents is a long-term solution for the problem of organizing, storing, and protecting the data. Any company regardless of size and matter of work must use document indexing to digitize their vital documents. This will allow them to protect the data and bring efficiency to the operations.

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