Pros of Digital and Paper Documents

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Pros of Digital and Paper Documents

In a recent workshop about managing digital documents, I shared with small business owners, the Pros and Cons of Digital vs. Paper Documents. One attendee commented that once he saw the list, he was more motivated than ever to move his business to a “paper-less” operation. He asked me to share the list of Pros with readers. (Author’s note: Being paper-less is more realistic than being paper-free in today’s world, but I imagine we’ll get there someday…)

The Pros of Digital Documents

  • Saves time to locate, retrieve and manage documents – Get them instantly while on a computer and on mobile devices. No more creating and labeling folders or binders AND no more running around a file room to return documents to their cabinets!
  • Saves money – Gone is the need for filing supplies and equipment: folders, binders, clips & clasps, labels, boxes, file cabinets.
  • Saves space – Eliminates the need to rent more floor space or storage space to house file cabinets and related supplies or archived documents.
  • Easily shared – Multiple users have immediate and simultaneous access via computer networks, cloud storage and/or email. Documents are printable, if needed.
  • Portable – Transport large or multiple documents via USB drives, disc media or external devices.
  • Easily updated – The worry of having the latest copy disappears. Edits and versions can be tracked and saved.
  • Safe & secure – Documents are “hidden” from prying eyes as they’re not lying around. They’re protected from “the Elements” by passwords, encryption and backup.

The Pros of Paper

  • Device-free – No need for a computer or device.
  • Convenient – Less hassle to jot quick notes or highlight important items or sections.
  • Legalities – Legal jurisdictions still require some documents to be in the original, paper-based form.

Why ScanSnap?

In addition to being among the slickest, fastest scanners on the market, the software that drives these powerhouses makes all the difference. When it comes to maximizing those Pros of being paper-less, nothing is more crucial than software that’s intuitive, easy-to-use and simple. Like any other digital device, helping clients to incorporate a scanner into their lives and businesses (and KEEP them using it) can be a challenge. But with ScanSnap’s bundled software, they’re able to quickly transform the paper-based activities into digital habits to reap the full benefits of going paper-less! What’s got YOU stuck under the paper piles?

Karen Simon is the Technology Organizing Specialist at Island Organizers, a firm that helps small business owners and solopreneurs to become and stay organized. She is also part of the Tech Team at, a resource for productivity consultants to stay current with tools and techniques to help their clients. Contact Karen at