Regardless of the industry – finance, health, education, or tech – PDF has been proven to be the most reliable format for sharing documents. This is mostly because it retains the original page format, encourages team collaboration, and is easily viewed on any device.
In July 2021, PDF was ranked the 3rd most popular web file format after HTML and XHTML. It was also the most predominant digital format, accounting for 90% of online documents. As the portable document format continues to garner adoption, the onus falls on you to ensure efficient filing organization by integrating and optimizing the ideal PDF management tool.
Fortunately, implementing some of the best PDF management tools like Lumin PDF can help you declutter your desktop, organize, and find your files efficiently. In this article, we will discuss the feature of an ideal solution for organizing files.
Common Challenges in Document Organization
Efficient document organization can be hindered by common challenges affecting productivity and efficiency. Recognizing these obstacles is vital for developing effective strategies in streamlined file management. Here are the common challenges to know:
Issues with manual file organization and folder structures
When you rely on manual file organization and do not use file management software, you risk losing time and valuable information and slack on productivity.
You can avoid this challenge and the bad effects that accompany it by developing and implementing an organized plan to manage documents, like a cloud-based central repository. This repository provides general storage for saving and retrieving documents so there are no more mix-ups or inconsistencies.
Difficulty in locating and retrieving specific PDF files
As your company grows, you generate and share more data. So, there will be increased chances of misplacing specific PDFs, especially without proper document organization. You may also find duplicates of the same file on different sites or even have trouble finding the most updated versions of documents.
Handle essential records like contracts or customer data carefully in a general dedicated strategy to manage your files. This will help define file names, versions, access, and storage location to locate and retrieve them easily. You can also explore the pdf to pdf merge for related documents, reduce clutter, and make retrieval faster.
Inefficient workflows due to a lack of standardized organization practices
An efficient file organization strategy is essential for a seamless workflow for remote teams or companies with staff or shareholders in various parts of the world. Employees require unlimited access to relevant documents for projects they manage, regardless of time and location. Without this, there will be hitches or delays in the work delivery.
A practical document management solution should solve this challenge, as it provides a collaboration model that allows employees to share fillable pdf with team members, supervisors, and stakeholders while tracking and updating every revision on the file.
Types of PDF Management Tools
Below are the types of PDF management tools:
Document management systems (DMS) with PDF capabilities
Document management systems (DMS) are electronic filing systems that allow the automation of the process of managing files. A DMS offers a company the tools they need to develop, track, control, and share e-documents. This will keep your team in the loop and allow authorized staff to locate relevant files anytime to increase efficiency and productivity.
PDF editors and viewers with built-in organization feature
PDF editors are software that helps to create, convert, and make portable document formats editable. While simple PDF editors allow you to merge PDFs, split, and compress (to make pdf smaller), more robust options enable page rearrangement, multiple, password protection, e-signing, and more, in addition to the basic features.
Essential Features to Look for
Look out for these features to get a management tool
File tagging and metadata management
File tagging and metadata management allow you to fix keywords in your files so they are easier to categorize and locate. You can assign metadata, including the author’s name, date, or subject, making searching easier and saving valuable time by filtering for the most relevant files. This feature will help file organization and encourage adherence to industry rules and legal requirements for document holding and cataloging.
Advanced search and filtering options
Advanced search and filtering options like Optical Character Recognition (OCR) let you search and filter scanned or image-based PDFs, eliminating the hassles of first converting image to text. You can also get valuable features, like saved searches, favorites, tagging, and categorization, to improve document organization and simplify access to frequently used documents. Consider this factor when choosing a PDF editor to optimize your document management workflow and boost productivity.
Folder organization and hierarchical structures
Your document filing system should allow folder organization and hierarchical structures, where you can have the primary folder and subsequent subfolders. So you categorize your files and place each category in a subfolder. Now you can create more “sub-sub-folders” – folders within the first subfolders for more specific types, users, locations, etc. This file folder organization makes locating particular documents more straightforward and more time-effective.
Integration with cloud storage and collaboration platforms
File management platforms that integrate with cloud storage allow different users to simultaneously collaborate (view or edit) a file within a PDF editor. Also, the environment monitors the views and revisions made in a document and allows administrators to permit or limit particular team members. With cloud storage services, sensitive records are protected and accessible even if your system crashes.
Choosing the Right PDF Management Tool
Here are some tips to consider in choosing your ideal management tool:
Assessing specific organizational needs and requirements
- Which features does your company need?
- Do you work with PDF forms or documents?
- Do you need to merge pdf documents or split them?
The answers to these questions will guide you in choosing the right tool. Since PDF forms like contracts or application forms require pdf fill online by the author or recipient, get an editor that guides recipients appropriately. Additionally, if you need to split or combine PDFs, get a robust editor with those features to promote efficiency.
Compatibility with existing software and systems
Ensure your file management system can integrate appropriately with other existing software and systems to avoid information silos. So, if you have automation systems, CRM, or ERP, select a tool that is compatible with these systems for seamless file accessibility and transfer.
User-friendly interface and intuitive navigation
Choose a tool with an easy-to-use interface. Like any other suitable software, a clean interface encourages adoption, as it is easy to navigate and increases productivity. The user-friendly navigation feature helps users quickly locate the necessary tools, freeing time to focus on more technical matters.
Scalability and support for future growth
A scalable PDF management tool should handle your increasing document volumes as your company expands without compromising performance. With collaboration features like real-time document sharing, version control, and seamless integration with existing systems, your company can stay flexible and improve productivity.
Implementing PDF Management Tools
Here are some steps to implement PDF management tools
Planning and strategy for implementing PDF management software
Start by understanding your company’s unique needs and set clear goals for electronic file management. Then, research different software options and select the one that best aligns with your goals. Now, you can develop a detailed implementation plan, including data migration and user training. Also, maintain regular communication with stakeholders and continuously monitor and evaluate the software implementation’s effectiveness to identify improvement areas.
Migration of existing documents into the new system
First, take stock of your documents, carefully evaluating their quality and relevance and eliminating unnecessary duplicates. Then create an organized and intuitive filing system with consistent naming conventions. Conduct a trial test on the most suitable migration method to validate the process’s effectiveness. If the test is successful, initiate the complete migration and verify the migrated documents, confirming their accessibility and precision.
Training and onboarding for users and administrators
Develop engaging and bite-sized training materials that cater to respective roles and responsibilities. Then conduct interactive training sessions to show the users how features like document uploading, searching, collaboration, and metadata management work. For administrators, provide dedicated training on file management software configuration, security settings, and troubleshooting techniques. It would help if you also offer personalized support to address any challenges during the onboarding phase.