It’s funny but we usually think about collaboration as a good thing. Employees working together to solve problems and to move your business forward is a goal that separates successful organizations from unsuccessful organizations.
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Sorting through all this information to find useful or relevant information is what separates out the productive people from the overwhelmed. It separates out the successful from the frustrated and it sometimes it even separates the happy people from the sad people.
Think about your day.
• How many e-mails did you receive today? How many of those were worthwhile?
• How many calls did you get today? Were any of them productive?
• How many meetings were you in? Did you want to be in any of them?
• How many web pages did you read? Did you learn anything useful?
Now look at your office.
• How many piles of paper do you have? Do you know what’s in them?
• How many documents are you supposed to read today? Are they right in front of you?
• How many deadlines do you have? Are you prepared to meet them?
This is a problem in society. This is the same problem at work. Too much! Too much information and most of it is not relevant.
So how do you solve this problem in both your personal life and your work life?
Turn off the autopilot and take charge of your life. Don’t let the information drive you. Instead use the relevant information to get to your destination. Choose where you want to go; choose what you want to accomplish. Then delegate, automate and ignore the rest!
First let’s discuss your day.
How often do you check your e-mail? It does not matter what the answer is; both you and I know it’s way too often. Will the world end if you only checked it once or twice a day? Do you feel the need to respond to all e-mails? How much time does that take? If you feel that you must respond to all e-mails, craft some canned responses that you can copy and paste into a response. Over time you can answer a majority of your e-mails this way.
You do not have to answer the phone. Use caller id to your advantage. If you know you need to take the call, then do so. But when you answer, thank the other person for calling. Then let them know you were busy, but saw it was them so you picked up the phone. This makes them feel special. It also allows you to get right to the point on the call and not waste time.
For the calls that go into voice mail, call them back after hours. You can leave a detailed message in under two minutes that would answer any question. This eliminates long conversations and at the same time lets you be responsive.
Just say no. If you have to go to a meeting, make sure there is an agenda. Keep everyone on track in the meeting. And here’s the hard part, leave if it’s not productive. You do not have to be the boss to do this. If questioned by your boss about your new practice, explain that it’s all about getting things done and being productive.
What a time sink this has become. We think of the Internet as a place to get information. Instead think of it as a dangerous destination similar to the island in Greek Mythology where the Sirens sang their songs. For those not familiar with the Sirens, they were a group of creatures who looked like beautiful women, but were really man-eating beasts. They sat on the shore and sang with voices so beautiful and compelling that anyone who heard their song became absolutely mesmerized. So mesmerized, in fact, that they became obsessed with reaching the shore to get closer to the sound.
And then the Sirens would eat them.
This describes the Internet perfectly. We get so mesmerized by pages upon pages of information that we don’t notice that our time was eaten by the Internet beast. If you use the Internet, schedule time to use it and please, please set an alarm or alert to remind you to stop!!!
Now let’s look at your office.
The sheer volume of documents that people touch or read in a day is unbelievable. Worse yet, what do most people do with these documents? They put them in piles for later use or they file them never to be found again. Think about how much time you waste looking at the same documents over and over again, or looking for a specific document. Stop using paper! With the right online document management systems you can capture, store and retrieve documents instantaneously. This eliminates the time spend sorting through piles and file cabinets. If you don’t think you spend a lot of time dealing with paper; for one day, just jot down each piece of paper you touch. You will be horrified!
The problem with deadlines is not that work has to be completed by a certain time; it’s that you have way too much competing for your time and attention. If you streamline your life and your work, you will find that you can meet your deadlines much, much easier.
In the end, it’s all about time. The less time you waste, the more time you have to do what really matters. Don’t waste time listening to “too much information” and don’t waste time sorting through irrelevant information.
What matters to you might be spending more time with your loved ones or getting more done at work. No matter what is important to you, using your time wisely will turn you into one of the productive, successful and happy people that we all aspire to be.
Interested in improving your organizations efficiency? Learn more about Online Document Management.
Special Offer to Jump-Start Workflow Mapping.
Tampa, FL. – May 26, 2010 – With organizations striving to improve their efficiency and make an impact on their bottom line, DocuVantage has made it easier to get started with a business process mapping jump start.Read More
DocuVantage’s integration with EzeScan offers quick and easy batch document scanning without capital expenditures.
Tampa, FL. - May 13, 2010 -- Document Advantage Corporation® (DocuVantage®) and EzeScan have partnered to provide affordable, quick and easy batch document scanning directly into DocuVantage's online document management platform. Organizations can now capture and manage any volume of documents without capital expenditures.Read More
Just like the cowardly lion, your paperwork can be helpful; you just have to treat it right.
Make it EASY for your staff to find your documents and information. If you manage a non-profit, dealing with the paperwork can sometimes make you feel like you are walking through a forest with Dorothy. There are volunteer liability release forms, vendor contracts, donor records, operations information and tax documents you need to retain for compliance. Trying to find an easy way to manage all that information does not have to be so challenging.
There is a great quote by Peter F. Drucker that says, “ Efficiency is doing better what is already being done.” You probably know that there is a better way to manage your paper, but maybe you haven't found a solution that resolves all of the issues just yet. Here are a few ideas that may help you get more organized:
- When a volunteer completes a liability release form, scan the document and immediately create an electronic file using document management software that will store it by name, date, category etc. in an easy-to-use system.
- Need to have a quick way to look up what a donor contributed to your organization before making that follow-up phone call? If you store information electronically in a document management system, you can quickly access anything related to the donor by searching your records using only the donors name in your search.
- Want to make sure your documents are automatically retained for the legal required amount of time? Use the same solution for your records retention needs and it will alert you when retention dates have expired so you can easily dispose of any unnecessary documents that may clutter your system or increase your risk of audit and potential litigation.
- Have vendor service-provider contracts that need to be reviewed by multiple people in your organization, and signed by individuals outside of your office? An online document management system with version control and e-signature capabilities can help you automate the entire business process.
- When your volunteers or service-providers are working off-site collecting information for you, instead of having them mail, drop-off, or fax paperwork to your office, allow them the flexibility to upload a document into an online document storage system that they can access from the internet. That way you save on postage, time, and your forms are automatically stored in your secure electronic system.
Since businesses' growth opportunities aren't quite at their peak right now (to say the very least), many executive managers are spending more time and attention on internal processes. Many organizations have become more involved in disaster recovery (DR) strategies and DR budgeting initiatives for the remainder of this year and for 2010.
Your company has already suffered from budget cuts, and you have transitioned a portion of your employees to "virtual" home offices. The LAST thing you need is to feel insecure about where your business files and information are as they leave the company network...
So how do you protect your valuable documents with remote workers? Here's a checklist with the most important aspects to consider when looking for an affordable and secure solution for information access and file storage:
Tampa, Fla. (September 25, 2009) Document Advantage Corporation, (DocuVantage), a provider of online document, business process automation and records management solutions, announced today that its purchasing contract with the State of Florida was renewed. As part of this agreement DocuVantage's enterprise document and content management services may be purchased through the State of Florida's online exchange for buyers and vendors, MyFloridaMarketPlace (MFMP). This contract with the Florida Division of State Purchasing, listed under Information Technology Consulting Services, recognizes DocuVantage as an approved vendor within MFMP.Read More
Although most financial institutions are challenged by the current economic situation, credit unions are especially under pressure to make sound financial decisions. Credit unions are owned and controlled by their members. They want to ensure that the credit union is always making business decisions that will benefit the members, and that budgets are not exceeded. Because of this, credit unions hesitate to allocate money towards implementing the newest technology.
The economy has hit businesses hard and it's causing a ripple effect in the nonprofit industry. To save on costs due to a reduction in revenue, companies have not only cut the donations they have given to charities in the past, but they have reduced available volunteer hours due to a reduction in staff and the need to have more people working in the office driving revenue. This cut in donations and volunteers has left non-profits with a heavy burden.
While many organizations are built of teams that wear many hats, this could not be truer for a nonprofit. With fewer volunteers in the field, the staff in the office now needs to get involved outside the office, causing workflows to back-up.
Technology can play an integral role in making the job of these non-profits easier. However, most non-profits struggle with information technology because of the lack of resources; IT expertise and money to fund technology.
It's important for non-profits to allocate the time to research what software and hardware solutions may be available to help them better manage their business. Often times, spending a small amount on technology to improve your business can save you a greater amount of money in other areas, including hiring more staff. One of the greatest areas where savings can be realized is in workflow and processing of paper documents.
Many non-profit organizations spend extra time processing their paperwork in a traditional manner because their technology budgets just do not include the funds for expensive, up-to-date software which typically needs hardware as well. These organizations can benefit from an inexpensive and easy alternative in which they will not have to rely on an IT support team to properly function. An online application that includes document management and compliance management is an affordable, easy-to-use, alternative providing immediate ROI...
How would an electronic document management (EDM) system satisfy the needs of a non-profit organization (NPO)?