Before your next scanning project, aside from renting a scanner from HTR, the most important step is to have a plan to scan. Case in point. A few weeks ago we rented a scanner to a customer located in Washington, DC. The scanner was delivered and set up and the customer was asked to run a few test pages which were successful and the tech was about to leave when the customer asked the delivery technician several questions that he couldn’t answer due to the time it would have taken him to explain to the customer. The technician called me and I had him go to his next delivery and proceeded to answer the customers concerns over the phone.
The questions were not related to the scanner itself but more on an overall plan for the scanning of the documents. Questions included; What do I name the file? Where do I scan the file to? How do I sort the documents? How can I retrieve my files? From these questions I realized the customer did not have on overall plan on how to go about the scanning of the documents in an organized manner since it was the first time they had to do this and it was basically dumped on them to do. As this service call has come up on a few occasions, I came up with some guidelines to help customers consider for their next scanning project.
- Sort all your documents before scanning. The best way is to imagine you are going to file these documents in a physical file cabinet. Usually you sort the documents and place them in manila folders which are then placed in the file cabinet. The folder is usually labeled with an identifier (this identifier is very important because it tells a person going through the cabinet which folder to look in) on the tab. Use the same analogy and sort your files and place them in manila folders with an identifier on the tab.
- Check with tech support/people that manage your computers and network if you have permission to scan files onto your machine locally or on a network storage drive. They know the company policy and should be able to direct you to the best location to store the files or give you the permissions you need to scan files on your machine. My suggestion is to rent a laptop or desktop from us along with the scanner. This way the machine comes preloaded with the software and is ready to go when our tech gets to your office. We will provide you with a disk that deletes all files on the machine (including the OS) once you are done with your rental so you can protect your data.
- On the computer that you will be using to scan, you will be making a virtual cabinet. Think of the computer as a building in which you will be storing the cabinet in a room containing manila folders that have your documents.
To do this on the computer you will have to create the cabinet (main folder e.g. SCANS) in a known location (this is the room e.g. C:\SCANS) Now inside SCANS create a folder for each manila folder name it with the identifier from above. I have a picture below of what it should look like I used my identifier as Manila folder 1 then 2 then 3.
- Now comes scanning take your first Manila folder (physical) and place the documents in it on the scanner. Click scan and direct the scans to the correct folder in my example it would be C:\SCANS\Manila folder1 and let the scans begin. Once Manila folder 1 is done proceed on to two then to thee and so on. Always remember to activate OCR (Optical Character Recognition). Activating OCR will create searchable PDF files allowing you to conduct word or phrase searches later on.
Scanning documents, especially large amounts, can be a monumental task. The way to make the process go smoother is to develop a plan prior to actually scanning. Do you have a scanning project coming up? Be sure to check out our scanner rental page to see the various models we have for any size scanning project. Our Technical Sales Representatives will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have and give you some advice on planning your next scanning project.