When I moved three years ago after a decade in the same apartment, I threw out two huge trash hoppers of paper collected as a journalist during that time. Now most of the wire folder holders, the in-out box, the filing cabinet drawers are empty.
I keep my information digitally. But it is scattered among several programs and storage devices. So I’ve been using digital filing systems (in my case, Evernote and Dropbox). And I’m apparently not alone.
“Digital filing systems are essentially a reaction to the growing complexity of managing personal and business information,” said Jim Foster, Chief Executive Officer of The Neat Company.
“Consumers are receiving information from a variety of sources, yet have no comprehensive and convenient way to organize and manage it all.”
Digital Document clutter causing issues
Digital document clutter is creating issues for consumers and nearly half would consider it valuable to have all of their important information in a single, safe, electronic location regardless of its original format or source.
More than 300 consumers with smart phones responded to questions pertaining to how they would like to use digital filing systems.
Immediately Accessing Information
Participants responded to a series of questions that specifically dealt with how interested they are in immediately accessing important information:
- Over 45 percent of respondents estimated that they occasionally need information that is not immediately available to them;
- 37 percent of respondents said that at least once a week they find that important information is not immediately available;
- Finally, 70 percent of respondents are interested in a digital filing system because it will allow them to access information immediately by using any Internet connected device such as a computer, tablet or smart phone.
Sending and Sharing Information
This survey indicates that despite the advances in collaboration tools, consumers continue to express interest in exchanging information safely with others. In addition, a majority of respondents found it important to safely share items or permit digital filing system access to others.
- 25 percent of those interested in sending files said multiple times a month they would like to share important information;
- 17 percent of those interested in sending files said everyday they would like to share information;
- 82 percent find it valuable or very valuable to share information in a digital filing system with someone close.
The survey also revealed that email, paper, and electronic documents are the top three sources respondents would like available in a digital filing system.
A digital filing system is a computer and/or cloud-based repository where important documents and information can be safely stored, organized, easily retrieved and shared. The information can originate from analog (paper) or digital formats (PDF, JPEG, etc.) and be placed in the digital filing system by scanning, emailing, mobile device image capture or uploading.
Personally, I find that both Evernote and Dropbox – with their ability to save from the web and in the case of Dropbox, easily share files with a collaborator, meet our needs.