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Document Scanning vs. Traditional Filing: Which Is Better?

Document Scanning vs. Traditional Filing: Which Is Better?

When it comes to managing documents, businesses have traditionally relied on filing cabinets and stacks of paper. However, with the advancement of technology, document scanning has become an increasingly popular option. But which method is better? In this blog post, we will explore the benefits and drawbacks of both document scanning and traditional filing to help you make an informed decision.

What is document scanning?

Document scanning involves converting physical documents into digital files. This process typically involves using a scanner to capture an image of the document, which is then saved as a digital file. These digital files can be stored on a computer or in the cloud, making them easily accessible and searchable.

What are the benefits of document scanning?

Document scanning offers several advantages over traditional filing:

  • Space-saving: Storing documents digitally eliminates the need for physical storage space, freeing up valuable office real estate.
  • Easy access: Digital files can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, making it convenient for remote work or collaboration.
  • Improved organization: Digital files can be easily organized, tagged, and searched, making it quicker and easier to find specific documents.
  • Enhanced security: Digital files can be encrypted and password protected, reducing the risk of unauthorized access or loss.
  • Cost savings: Document scanning eliminates the need for paper, ink, and physical storage equipment, resulting in long-term cost savings.

What are the drawbacks of document scanning?

While document scanning offers numerous benefits, there are a few drawbacks to consider:

  • Upfront investment: Implementing document scanning requires an initial investment in scanning equipment and software.
  • Learning curve: Employees may need training to adapt to the new digital workflow and learn how to effectively use the scanning equipment and software.
  • Dependency on technology: Relying on digital files means that access to documents is dependent on technology functioning properly.

What is traditional filing?

Traditional filing involves storing physical documents in filing cabinets or folders. This method has been used for decades and is familiar to most people.

What are the benefits of traditional filing?

Traditional filing has its own set of advantages:

  • Tactile experience: Some people prefer the tactile experience of handling physical documents and find it easier to navigate through paper files.
  • No technology dependency: Traditional filing does not rely on technology, so there is no risk of digital files becoming inaccessible due to technical issues.
  • Low upfront cost: Traditional filing requires minimal upfront investment, as it primarily involves purchasing filing cabinets and folders.

What are the drawbacks of traditional filing?

While traditional filing may have its merits, it also has some drawbacks:

  • Space limitations: Physical documents take up space and can quickly fill up filing cabinets, requiring additional storage solutions.
  • Limited accessibility: Physical documents can only be accessed from the location where they are stored, making it challenging for remote work or collaboration.
  • Prone to damage: Physical documents are susceptible to damage from fire, water, pests, or mishandling, putting important information at risk.
  • Time-consuming: Locating specific documents in a large filing system can be time-consuming and inefficient.


Both document scanning and traditional filing have their own advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you value space-saving, easy access, improved organization, enhanced security, and cost savings, document scanning may be the better option for you. On the other hand, if you prefer the tactile experience, have limited upfront budget, and are not heavily reliant on technology, traditional filing may still be a viable choice. Consider your requirements and weigh the pros and cons to determine which method aligns best with your business.

Need help to decide? contact us here.

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